234 pages, illustrations, tables
Inspired by women's struggles for the protection of nature as a condition for human survival, award-winning environmentalist Vandana Shiva shows how ecological destruction and the marginalization of women are not inevitable, economically or scientifically. She argues that "maldevelopment" – the violation of the integrity of organic, interconnected, and interdependent systems that sets in motion a process of exploitation, inequality, and injustice – is dragging the world down a path of self-destruction, threatening survival itself. Shiva articulates how rural Indian women experience and perceive ecological destruction and its causes, and how they have conceived and initiated processes to arrest the destruction of nature and begin its regeneration. Focusing on science and development as patriarchal projects, Staying Alive is a powerfully relevant book that positions women not solely as survivors of the crisis, but as the source of crucial insights and visions to guide our struggle.
"Vandana Shiva is one of the world's most prominent radical scientists. In Staying Alive she defines the links between ecological crises, colonialism, and the oppression of women. It is a scholarly and polemical plea for the rediscovery of the 'feminine principle' in human interaction with the natural world, not as a gender-based quality, rather an organizing principle, a way of seeing the world."
– The Guardian
"Extraordinary in the ease of its global and historical scopes and the clarity of its arguments."
– Women's Review of Books
"Laced with references to Hindu deities, hard-nosed research into Indian land use and bold attacks on Western science [...] Staying Alive [...] has the 'go' of a big personality behind it."
– The Observer
"Shiva [...] has devoted her life to fighting for the rights of the ordinary people of India. [...] Her fierce intellect and her disarmingly friendly, accessible manner have made her a valuable advocate for people all over the developing world."
– Ms. magazine
"A leading thinker who has eloquently blended her views on the environment, agriculture, spirituality, and women's rights into a powerful philosophy."
– Utne Reader
"Shiva is burst of creative energy, an intellectual power."
– The Progressive
"Staying Alive is a woman's book-inspiring, gripping, compassionate, unflinching. A family story, an exquisitely drawn portrait of a mother and daughter, and the story of a woman's courageous decision to free herself from a history of breast cancer. I could not put it down."
– Carol Gilligan, author of The Birth of Pleasure
"Compelling [...] What keeps this from being mere medical melodrama is the author's warm, meticulous reconstruction of her relatives' lives, including her tangled relationship with her beloved mother. A tragic but ultimately hopeful story."
– Kirkus Reviews
"There are many fine stories here-about dying with dignity and with disability-and about the courage to sacrifice vanity in order to live without fear."
– Publishers Weekly
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