Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Paradise for Sale: A Parable of Nature” as Want to Read:
Paradise for Sale: A Parable of Nature
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Paradise for Sale: A Parable of Nature

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  57 ratings  ·  9 reviews
The grim history of Nauru Island, a small speck in the Pacific Ocean halfway between Hawaii and Australia, represents a larger story of environmental degradation and economic dysfunction. For more than 2,000 years traditional Nauruans, isolated from the rest of the world, lived in social and ecological stability. But in 1900 the discovery of phosphate, an absolute requirem ...more
Paperback, 239 pages
Published January 28th 2000 by University of California Press (first published December 1st 1999)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Paradise for Sale, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Paradise for Sale

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.47  · 
Rating details
 ·  57 ratings  ·  9 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Paradise for Sale: A Parable of Nature
Nathan Albright
Jan 11, 2021 rated it did not like it
Shelves: challenge-2021
One of the most notable aspects of the contemporary left, and that includes the authors of this book, is an appalling lack of self-awareness that would allow the readers to rise above the hypocrisy that all too many works end up in. The authors want to use Nauru as an example of error and use a supposed crisis in Nauru--a crisis that is not felt by the people of Nauru, much to the annoyance of the authors who want the reader to fear environmental catastrophe and anthropogenic climate change--as ...more
Ed Lehman
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
When discussing the island and islanders, this book serves as a valuable insight. When it goes into screeds about climate change, soil erosion and environmental degradation in general (not talking about the portions related to Nauru), I had the impression that the author had found a place to publish his Masters thesis...and it isn't a good fit. ...more
Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Everybody should read this book to be more concious about the negative consequencies of not taking care of our world. I've learnt a lot about places I didn't even know they exsisted. It's a worthy reading. ...more
Aug 05, 2008 added it
This is the saddest book I have ever read.

When I was a child, my family obtained an atlas. I looked through every page of that atlas. I studied it. The differences in design of each nation's flag intrigued me. Nauru's flag is a saffron line against a field of blue, the equator and the ocean. The island nation is represented by a star, beautiful instructive geographic abstraction.

The design delighted me, but what excited me most was the magic of this place actually existing. Could it be, a world
What happens when a small island country allows a foreign country to mine a resource there? In the case of Nauru, the self-sustaining tropical paradise loses much of its native culture, almost all of its natural beauty, and all of its ability to be self-sustaining. It's a grim story that plays out all over the globe.

"The story of Nauru is the story of all of us." (from page 7)

Definitely worth reading. A tiny island country with a really dramatic history and a bleak future.

Aug 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
Global capitalism takes very little account of the environmental impact of trade. That is not a new idea, but Nauru is a demonstrative example of the fact. The island has been devastated and the short term benefits squandered. This is a depressing read.
The country could have benefited from a better, more long-term plan for development. The story could have benefited from a better writer.
The sections of this book about Nauru are fascinating - a small island with an isolated population suddenly becomes part of the world economy. And, predictably, destruction follows. But, it was a little too textbook for generally reading. I already know about biodiversity loss, climate change, etc etc, so those parts were a little dry.
Well, having just finished this book, I feel incredibly depressed. Human beings are one of the worst things to happen to this planet. We have murdered our environment and it is in its death throes as we speak. Let's all just go and commit hara-kiri right now.

This is why I try not to read too much about the environment and global warming. It's just so incredibly sad.
rated it liked it
Sep 26, 2010
rated it it was ok
Apr 02, 2008
rated it did not like it
Nov 02, 2015
rated it really liked it
Apr 17, 2021
rated it really liked it
Jan 28, 2020
rated it really liked it
Jul 26, 2014
Tom Becker
rated it really liked it
Jan 21, 2019
Amy Quigley
rated it liked it
Nov 15, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Sep 29, 2014
rated it liked it
Jan 31, 2021
rated it liked it
Sep 20, 2016
rated it really liked it
Oct 14, 2008
rated it really liked it
Apr 17, 2020
rated it liked it
Dec 18, 2012
Eli Herring
rated it it was ok
May 29, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Sep 01, 2010
rated it it was amazing
Apr 09, 2018
Lindsay Mcneill
rated it liked it
Jan 21, 2013
rated it it was amazing
Oct 24, 2020
Mar 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I would like to recommend this book to all those in our current government who feel Market should trump Nature.
rated it it was amazing
Sep 14, 2015
rated it really liked it
Oct 04, 2013
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Complete Persepolis (Persepolis, #1-4)
  • Madame Bovary
  • The Ordinary Princess
  • Un bambino prodigio
  • Urban Design
  • North
  • The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again)
  • Architecture in Italy 1500-1600
  • The Power of Place: Urban Landscapes as Public History
  • Dear Leader: Poet, Spy, Escapee - A Look Inside North Korea
  • Start-Up City: Inspiring Private and Public Entrepreneurship, Getting Projects Done, and Having Fun
  • Walkable City Rules: 101 Steps to Making Better Places
  • Human Transit: How Clearer Thinking about Public Transit Can Enrich Our Communities and Our Lives
  • Tracing Eisenman: Peter Eisenman Complete Work
  • Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design
  • The Bell Jar
  • Jazz (Beloved Trilogy, #2)
  • Suburban Remix: Creating the Next Generation of Urban Places
See similar books…

Related Articles

Let's face it: Being cooped up inside during the pandemic has left a lot of us searching for a sense of connection with one another. Memoirs...
30 likes · 7 comments