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Academic & Professional Books  History & Other Humanities  Philosophy, Ethics & Religion

Every Living Thing The Politics of Life in Common

By: Jenell Johnson(Author)
198 pages, 4 b/w illustrations
Every Living Thing
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  • Every Living Thing ISBN: 9780271094571 Paperback Feb 2023 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks
  • Every Living Thing ISBN: 9780271094564 Hardback Feb 2023 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks
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About this book

This book examines the question of what we mean when we talk about life, revealing new insights into what life is, what it does, and why it matters. Jenell Johnson studies arguments on behalf of life – not just of the human or animal variety, but all life. She considers, for example, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe's fight for water, deep ecologists' Earth First! activism, the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, and astrophysicists' positions on Martian microbes. What she reveals is that this advocacy – vital advocacy – expands our view of what counts as life and shows us what it would mean for the moral standing of human life to be extended to life itself.

Including short interviews with celebrated ecological writer Dorion Sagan, former NASA Planetary Protection Officer Catharine Conley, and leading figure in Indigenous and environmental studies Kyle Whyte, Every Living Thing provides a capacious view of life in the natural world. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in biodiversity, bioethics, and the environment.

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Jenell Johnson is Associate Professor of Rhetoric, Politics, and Culture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is the author of American Lobotomy and has edited or coedited numerous volumes, including The Neuroscientific Turn, Biocitizenship, Rhetoric of Health and Medicine As/Is, and Graphic Reproduction, this last also published by Penn State University Press.

By: Jenell Johnson(Author)
198 pages, 4 b/w illustrations
Media reviews

"Rhetoric needs more audacious scholarship, and Every Living Thing is audacious yet rigorous. The inclusive nature of Johnson's approach is exemplary. Scholars of rhetoric will be citing from all parts of this book for years to come."
– Debra Hawhee, author of Rhetoric in Tooth and Claw: Animals, Language, Sensation

"Every Living Thing is a highly original work that is also readily recognizable, which is a testament to how on point its concept is. It is brilliantly novel yet familiar. Jenell Johnson's style and scholarship, which are of the highest caliber, are worthy of deep respect."
– Nathan Stormer, author of Sign of Pathology: U.S. Medical Rhetoric on Abortion, 1800s-1960s

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