My Green Manifesto
In My Green Manifesto, David Gessner embarks on a rough-and-tumble journey down Boston’s Charles River, searching for the soul of a new environmentalism.
With a tragically leaky canoe, a broken cell phone, a cooler of beer, and environmental planner Dan Driscoll in tow, Gessner grapples with the stereotype of the environmentalist as an overzealous, puritanical mess. But as Dan recounts his own story of transforming the famously polluted Charles into an urban haven for wildlife and wild people, the vision of a new sort of eco-champion begins to emerge: someone who falls in love with a forgotten space, and then fights like hell for it.
Considering everything from Edward Abbey’s legacy to Jimmy Carter’s sweater, weaving his intellectual quest with real adventure, Gessner points toward a scrappy environmentalism that, despite all odds, just might change the world. “Heartfelt and informed” (Boston Globe), My Green Manifesto is a spirited call to arms by a major figure on the vanguard of a new environmentalism.
Like this book? Sign up for occasional updates
Praise and Prizes
“A wonderfully readable book. David Gessner’s attempts to define the role of the new environmental warrior, both in terms of idealism and political practicality, are heartfelt and informed. My Green Manifesto is brave enough and intelligent enough to embrace technology as well as art, pure ideology as well as compromise, hope as well as despair, depression and paralysis as well as valor and joy.”
“For nature-writing enthusiasts, David Gessner needs no introduction. His books and essays have in many ways redefined what it means to write about the natural world, coaxing the genre from a staid, sometimes wonky practice to one that is lively and often raucous.”
“A thought-provoking and at times even entertaining call to arms. David Gessner realizes most people will never have the opportunity or the interest to visit the Amazon, witness the melting polar ice caps, or climb Kilimanjaro. So he keeps the ambitions on a much more accessible scale, urging readers to establish a real, pleasurable connection to a local space, its creatures and natural wonder.”
“Raw and honest . . . There’s a lilt in his jig that many will find invigorating.”
“Funny and inspiring . . . David Gessner believes that committing to a lifelong environmental fight is an act of personal fulfillment. My Green Manifesto is an easy, pleasurable read, with an environmental message that . . . there is still transcendence to be found in the ‘limited wild’ of our own communities. So get out there, enjoy it, and fight for it before it’s gone because, at least according to Gessner, this is the key to a better life.”
“Earthy and funny, frank and pragmatic. David Gessner asserts that nature is necessary for our well-being, that ‘the most important wilderness is the one closest to home,’ and that effective environmentalism is rooted not in theory, renunciation, or gloom, but, rather, in love and wonder, even anger. Take a ‘good walk,’ he advises, and be willing to fight and hustle for the place you love.”
“My Green Manifesto challenges us to put away the Sierra Club calendar and instead go outside, into whatever ragged patch of field or forest we have at hand, and once there to discover new ways to appreciate what we’ve found. Like the river it follows, My Green Manifesto is a meandering, recursive book, one rich with lively stylistic riffles and digressive back eddies.”