Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Green Genius Review

Over at The Green Book Review, Heather MacAndrew discusses Genius of Common Sense, the legacy of our wonderful heroine Jane Jacobs, and finding the clarity and courage to act in a crazy, crazy world:

“Younger readers will enjoy meeting Jacobs as an inquisitive, fearless child who never lost her propensity to think independently until the day she died in 2006, just a week shy of turning 90. The book’s title, Genius of Common Sense, is not hyperbole. Jacobs’ observations about what makes cities livable ran counter to urban theorists in New York City, where she lived at the time. Lacking a university degree, she wasn’t taken seriously until she began writing articles and making her voice heard in neighbourhood protests.

Augmented with photographs and pencil illustrations, Genius of Common Sense chronicles Jacobs’ life from her early years in Scranton, Pennsylvania, to her family’s move to Toronto during the Vietnam War — revealing how her activism grew from the strength of her convictions and her political savvy. The deliciously subversive but common-sense lessons in this book prod us to trust our own observations, challenge conventional wisdom, and protest with verve and imagination — and to remember to feed the people you’re organizing. (Jacobs’ post-protest dinners were legendary.)”

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