Megan's Reviews > Anything We Love Can Be Saved:: A Writer's Activism

Anything We Love Can Be Saved by Alice Walker
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's review
Jan 03, 2008

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bookshelves: non-fiction, activism
Read in January, 2008

I found many of the essays in this collection to be somewhat uninspiring: repetitive, and often lacking either in content or subtlety. However, the last essay, "My Mother's Blue Bowl," almost moved me to tears. And overall, the collection is an interesting glimpse into the movement for social justice in the U.S. from the civil rights movement onward, and I enjoyed reading Walker's personal perspective on her own involvement and on the movement as a whole.
I also enjoyed the pieces about her travels to Cuba and her encounters with Fidel Castro. This includes a letter written to President Bill Clinton around the time he tightened the embargo on Cuba. Walker raises good questions here: Castro may be no saint, our relationship with Cuba may not be so simple, but what right have we to continue punishing an entire nation simply because its leaders took away property from U.S. fruit companies decades ago? Especially in a post-Cold War era, what are we doing causing the impoverishment of children in another country simply because of disagreements with the political philosophy of its leaders? (One should also note the irony here: allegedly we are punishing Cuba for not capitulating to 'free' capitalism, yet we are doing so precisely by further control and restriction of a market.) The embargo has been labeled a violation of international law by the United Nations since the 1980s (not that such violations seem to bother the U.S. too much). Isn't it high time we lifted it?
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