Book Review: The Nation’s Guide to the Nation

The Nation's Guide to the Nation

For some people, The Nation’s Guide to the Nation by Richard Lingeman and the editors of The Nation could be mistaken for a guidebook for “Cultural Creatives,” we citizens living in America (and abroad) who deeply care about the environment and fellow humankind, where sustainable living is sensible living.  Edited by The Nation’s former executive editor, Richard Lingeman, one might even suspect that The Nation’s Guide to the Nation is a harbinger of the changes yet to come under the new Barack Obama administration, addressing climate change (finally), human rights and community.  It’s no coincidence that the pub date for the guide was Obama’s inauguration date.

The Nation’s Guide to the Nation,” writes Victor Navasky and Katrina Vanden Heuvel in the book’s Introduction, “is for and about a community of committed, passionate people who have active consciences and a lively sense of social justice.”

This guide covers it all, revealing progressive film festivals to exploring the explosive growth of organic and slow food restaurants.  By what is included in the listing, the guide examines solutions to our energy crisis (not to mention financial crisis) in ways that do not involve transporting stuff around the world and burning lots of oil.  It logs in the latest collection of progressive (and some left-leaning) websites as well as locally owned bookstores that carry what many of the chain stores don’t.  All done with a touch of humor, when necessary.

Broken into five parts — culture, media, organizations, goods and services, and social connections – The Nation’s Guide to the Nation is an authoritative (if not also eclectic and admittedly arbitrary) resource for places to go, things to try, magazines to read and radio stations to listen to.  For example, in the organizations section, learn about the diversity of organizations like the Apollo Alliance, Bioneers, Global Exchange and E.F. Schumacher Society, all encouraging creative approaches to solving our present economic woes that don’t involve big business bailouts.

This book is for anyone who wants to reclaim our community, restore the planet and create a lifestyle (and livelihood) that is more meaningful and mindful.

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