Medicine Stories: History, Culture and the Politics of Integrity
by Aurora Levins Morales (Goodreads Author)
Drawing vibrant connections between the colonization of whole nations, the health of the mountainsides and the abuse of individual women, children and men, Medicine Stories offers the paradigm of integrity as a political model to people who hunger for a world of justice, health and love.
Paperback, 135 pages
Published July 1st 1999 by South End Press
(first published October 1st 1998)
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Aurora Levins Morales does an excellent job in explaining the complicatedness of the self, race, class, gender, sexuality, colonialism, capitalism, imperialism, abuse, violence and healing. She offers her personal experiences throughout her life as a Puerto Rican Middle Class Jewish Woman. In the thorough explanation that she offers there is room for criticism of the left and the idea of liberal inclusiveness. She states that in order to transform oppression, abuse or the violence we have all ex...more
Aug 10, 2011 Drick rated it 5 of 5 stars
Aurora Levins Morales, a long time feminist and anti-racism activist has put together a series of essays that are poignantly written and speak of both the personal and political experiences of oppression in an integrated way. Born to a Puerto Rican mother and a Russian Ashkenazi Jewish father, Morales explores and extends her multiple identities as Latina, Jew, a woman of privilege, a woman of color, feminist and abuse survivor. In her first essay she draws a connection between abuse and oppress...more
South End Press sent out a call for manuscripts to selected writers in late 1997 or early 1998. I was in the middle of finishing my book Remedios, and consulted my other and collaborator about whether to take it on. She said to do it, but not worry, to write a B+ book not strive for A+. As a result, I wrote it easily, without anxiety, and have been astonished at how widely it is read, quoted and used by young activists exploring the politics of trauma and healing, the meaning and uses of histori...more
Aurora Levins Morales writes with such intimacy that the reader feels her strength, her resilience, her story that I finished the book inspired to write. She reminds us that the practice of our cultures is revolutionary and a needed tool to resist the "other" placed upon each of us. A short book, but take your time to take in each essay. You will not regret it.
My favorite book on why history is so essential. The Historian as Curandera is an amazing essay. Morales urges us to view history as a way to build hope for marginalized folk, making for better movement building. She also argues that we embrace the complexity of our own personal histories as well as those of our peoples.
Aurora Levins Morales manages to place lost histories of marginalized communities in context of why they were lost, and how they can be found. Written with personal and historical accounts, I appreciated her anecdotes which humanized history, something we tend to forget when reading dates and facts.
Apr 09, 2012 MsEarthIntruder marked it as to-read
I didn't get too far into this before I had to return it but what I read was fantastic. Will definitely pick it up again soon.
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“...oppression is really quite simple. It's about looting.”
“The only way to bear the overwhelming pain of oppression is by telling, in all its detail, in the presence of witnesses and in a context of resistance, how unbearable it is. If we attempt to craft resistance without understanding this task, we are collectively vulnerable to all the errors of judgement that unresolved trauma generates in individuals. It is part of our task as revolutionary people, people who want deep-rooted, radical change, to be as whole as it is possible for us to be. This can only be done if we face the reality of what oppression really means in our lives, not as abstract systems subject to analysis, but as an avalanche of traumas leaving a wake of devastation in the lives of real people who nevertheless remain human, unquenchable, complex and full of possibility.”More quotes…