Ellen's Reviews > Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation

Radical Hope by Jonathan Lear
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's review
Oct 17, 2009

really liked it
Read in December, 2009

This book addresses something I've been thinking about constantly for some time--that is how people who have been stripped of a context in which to live as human beings manage to imagine survival and then to venture forth on that imagined thread. The author does not pretend to be an expert on Crow Indian culture of but he uses the situation of cultural collapse they found themselves in the late 1900's to examine the
difference between wistful or magical thinking and radical hope springing from an imaginative response to a desperate situation. I had a bit of an unfair advantage navigating the methodical logic and painstaking definition of terms because one of my daughters is a moral philosopher and talks like this! But the language is not inaccessible or full of jargon--it's just relentless in it's inquiry into the most important of all human capacities--worldmaking. I loved this book.
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