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Break Through: From the Death of Environmentalism to the Politics of Possibility

By: Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger

344 pages, no illustrations

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Hardback | Oct 2007 | #173193 | ISBN-13: 9780618658251
Availability: Usually dispatched within 7 days Details
NHBS Price: £23.50 $29/€26 approx

About this book

Current tactics can't solve today's complex global crises. The "bad boys of environmentalism" call for a bold and empowering new vision.

Environmental insiders Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus triggered a firestorm of controversy with their self-published essay "The Death of Environmentalism," which argued that environmentalism cannot deal with global warming and should die so that a new politics can be born. Global warming is far more complex than past pollution problems, and American values have changed dramatically since the movement's greatest victories in the 1960s, but environmentalists keep fighting the same old battles. Seeing a connection between the failures of environmentalism and the failures of the entire left-leaning political agenda, the authors point the way toward an aspirational politics that will resonate with modern American values and be capable of tackling our most pressing challenges.

In this eagerly awaited follow-up to the original essay, the authors give us an expansive and eloquent manifesto for political change. What Americans really want, and what could serve as the basis for a new politics, is a vision capable of inspiring us to greatness. Making the case for abandoning old categories (nature/market, left/right), the authors articulate a pragmatism fit for our times that has already found champions in such prominent figures as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

This book will hit the same nerve as What's the Matter with Kansas and Don't Think of an Elephant. But its analysis will reshape American politics for decades to come.

&i;"Nordhaus and Shellenberg persuasively argue, environmentalists must stop congratulating themselves for their own willingness to confront inconvienient truths and must focus on building a politics of shared hope rather than relying on a politics of fear".&o;
- Matthew Yglesias, New York Times January 2008.

&i;"Break Through is unremittingly interesting, sharp, and wide-ranging, and it provides a great deal of thoughtful comment for anyone trying to figure out how to rally public support behind action on climate change, or indeed behind any progressive change".&o;
- Bill McKibben, New York Review of Books.


Introduction: From the Nightmare to the Dream 1

Part I: The Politics of Limits
1. The Birth of Environmentalism 21
2. The Forest for the Trees 41
3. Interests Within Interests 66
4. The Prejudice of Place 89
5. The Pollution Paradigm 105
6. The Death of Environmentalism 130

Part II: The Politics of Possibility
7. Status and Security 157
8. Belonging and Fulfillment 188
9. Pragmatism 216
10. Greatness 241

In Gratitude 274
Notes 278
Bibliography 322
Index 333

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