YOU ARE INVITED TO JOIN US FOR A BOOK RELEASE PARTY
IN-STORE AUTHOR APPEARANCE
THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 29, 2016
MITCH HESCOX & PAUL DOUGLAS
CO-AUTHORS OF Caring for Creation: The Evangelical’s Guide to Climate Change and a Healthy Environment
THERE WILL BE A PRESENTATION ON THEIR BRAND NEW BOOK, TIME FOR CONVERSATION AND OF COURSE AUTOGRAPHING AND LIGHT REFRESHMENTS. HELP US SPREAD THE WORD.
As you will see in our review below, the Rev. Mitch Hescox is a local friend, a former coal industry engineer, beloved United Methodist pastor and now President and CEO of the Evangelical Environmental Network. Paul Douglas is an award winning meteorologist and techie innovator, having invented certain 3-D computer weather graphics. Now working in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, we are thrilled that Paul will join Mitch here in Dallastown for this exciting evening to launch their book into the world.
Caring for Creation: The Evangelical’s Guide to Climate Change and a Healthy Environment by Mitch Hescox and Paul Douglas (Bethany House; $14.99)
Hearts & Minds SALE PRICE $13.49
Please use our link to the order form page below.
In our last BookNotes newsletter we offered a few words about Labor Day, linked to previous Hearts & Minds lists and bibliographies showcasing books about work, celebrating that the Spirit is doing something in this arena in these days, calling church folk to wake up to the need for a Christian perspective in their ideas about work and the nature of their jobs leading to a lived out Christ-like suite of practices in the workplace. I hope you read it and enjoyed the reviews and links and suggestions.
The book we want to tell you about today is not overtly about work or career or calling, but yet these themes are near and underneath much of the great story it tells. It is a great case studies in many ways about how people discern their vocations in life and how personal faith can lead to public action. Caring for Creation: The Evangelical’s Guide to Climate Change and a Healthy Environment by Mitch Hescox and Paul Douglas (Bethany House; $14.99) is such a good read in part because these two gentleman have a story to tell, not just about the details of climate change, framed by Biblical teachings about creation care, but a story of their own professional awakening. Mitch used to work in the coal industry. Paul is a world renowned meteorologist. Both are Penn State fans, which is mostly beside the point, but I had to say it. They are both those kind of guys.
GREAT GUYS, GREAT AUTHORS
Mr. Douglas, formerly of Lancaster, PA, is known in his field not only as a weatherman who makes jokes about the Amish Doppler (that would be a window, a helpful scientific tool in weather forecasting) but as a creative professional who, in fact, invented some of the best Doppler technology. One of his early companies (EarthWatch) brought 3-D weather graphics to TV stations and Hollywood icon Steven Spielberg used his special effects for Jurassic Park and the film Twister. Douglas even has a cameo and speaks one line in it. He notes that if you sneeze you’ll miss it and his last residual check from Warner Bros was, literally, one cent. (“So much for my film career.”) Didn’t I say this was someone about discerning one’s calling? Ha.
It is important that Mr. Douglas is an entrepreneur – he sold some of his tech stuff to Garmin in 2007 and now works to brief Fortune 500 companies on global weather risks and threats, “helping weather-sensitive companies operate more efficiently, profitably, and safely with desktop and mobile applications.” You see, he’s not a crunchy neo-hippy or anti-pipeline activist. He is a science guy who works in the corporate world, is a entrepreneur who has “sweated out payroll” and – get this: “believes the power of markets can help transform our world for the better.” Which is to say he is a Republican, of the Reagan sort. Joking about how rare this combo may seem, he calls himself “an albino unicorn.” Alrightee then.
And then there is my friend and almost neighbor from here in South Central Pennsylvania, Reverend Mitch Hescox. He was raised in a coal mining family in one of the scrubby industrial towns in Western PA. He has regaled me with stories of growing up as I imagined my own father did (my grandfather was a coal miner and died of Black Lung disease) playing in the toxic pools of water fouled with sulfur and messing around in the mine shafts and strip mine fields.
“One vivid memory,” Hescox writes, “was the volunteer fire department’s siren going off in the middle of the day. In our town, that siren typically wasn’t a warning of a fire but rather a coal mine accident. On more than one occasion, those accidents involved at least one of my family members.” Of course he worked the mines, too, until he left the region to get an engineering degree. As he puts it,
I spent the first fourteen years of my professional life in the coal industry. After college, I began my career selling, installing, and eventually designing equipment for use in coal processing or in coal-fired utilities. My last coal-related position saw me designing grinding equipment for pulverized coal boilers in China, India, and South Africa.
Which is to say, he helped create sub-standard technologies that would not even have been permitted in the US or Europe as they were cheaply made and polluting. He doesn’t say this in the book, but without a robust vision of vocation he was able to compromise basic values and was part of a larger industrial system that was in dire need of reform. I can’t help but think of the brave whistleblower such as Jeffrey Wigand portrayed in The Insider, the must-see, award-winning movie about the tobacco industry. Mitch was not that guy.
But he sort of is now.
These authors, then, have been deeply involved in the very sciences and skill sets in the fields that we must understand if we are going to wrap our minds around the topic of climate change – the energy industry and meteorology. There have been many books on this, even some by devout people of faith, but none that are overtly Christian and written by such industry insiders.
And certainly none that are whimsical, upbeat, easily understandable, written by Bible-believing, fairly conservative Republicans. They joke about how they do not genuflect when they hear the name Al Gore. I’m telling you, this is a book that deserves to be read and discussed and considered. Kudos to Bethany House, part of the Baker Publishing Group, for releasing it.
Mitch says in the wonderful introductory chapter that “coal is part of my legacy, but so is God. Growing up, a little white country church was the center of my life.”
As it ends up, during a tumultuous time as a college student at the University of Arizona he re-dedicated his life to Christ; he called that season his Jonah experience. (Interestingly, in a theme that will re-emerge later in the book, his own spiritual re-conversion happened while on a grueling hiking journey in the wilderness, witnessing a blazing saguaro cactus deep in the Sonoran Desert. It is notable, they later say, how many people say they find God in nature, and have had significant spiritual encounters with God while in the beauty of creation. Not a bad reason to care for creation and steward well our eroding environment! These guys are conservatives that believe in conservation!)
Mitch eventually became a United Methodist pastor and served the local church well for almost twenty years. He has had a good ministry helping the church become more Christ-centered, more spiritually alive, and more missional, as we now say, outward focused and service-minded. He was a good pastor and a fruitful church leader.
As Mitch continued to be open to God’s leading he increasingly felt called into the fray of energy policy and creation care – perhaps atoning for his years facilitating some of the worst polluting on the planet by selling these sub-standard scrubbers to third world nations? He doesn’t offer much about how he sensed this call, although “it was no overnight epiphany.” He speaks for his co-author Paul as well when he describes their growing interest in stewarding the earth well. “Our conviction built gradually; a slow-motion realization that the threat was real and people of faith have a moral obligation to step up.”
Mitch is now the President and CEO of the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN), the largest evangelical group dedicated to creation care, an organization we have gladly followed since its inception. Their former leaders and current staff are folks I greatly, greatly esteem!) As such, he has been an international spokesperson, spending time educating others and doing public advocacy, writing op-ed pieces in the national media and testifying before congressional hearings, the EPA, and the like. He is still an evangelist at heart and has told me about some of the beautiful conversations that have opened up (even on airplanes) when non-Christians or formerly churched folks hear that he is an evangelical and a climate activist. I would say he is now living into the role of being both pastoral and prophetic, always eager to talk about God’s grace shown in the gospel but also willing to denounce the idols of the time when necessary. He’s balanced, and this book captures that beautiful tone.
Caring for Creation: The Evangelical’s Guide to Climate Change and a Healthy Environment is spiritually vibrant, passionate and clever. It is easy to follow although jam-packed with stats and data and a few charts. (Please: if you are like me and are pretty allergic to books with charts – don’t fret. They explain everything quite nicely and even in those few pages that show the math, the figures and footnotes are really clear and helpful.) Caring… is not academic, although it is informed by good science, lots of it. It is not theological, although they can quote N.T. Wright and John Wesley and John Calvin’s commentary on Isaiah 24 with the best of ’em. They are decidedly evangelical (and quote Billy Graham, of course) but they also happily cite Pope Francis.
And it is a good thing, too: his Laudato Si’: On Care for our Common Home is very, very important and an excellent, beautiful document. We have been happy to stock several editions of it since it was released last year.
I could describe other features of Caring for Creation as I was enthralled with it. (And, for the record, I have read a lot of books on this topic, both the general genre of books about Christian Earth-keeping and environmental stewardship and specific stuff on the science and policies around climate change. See a passionate piece I wrote here which includes a good list.)
FOUR GOOD FEATURES
Here are four good features that might make Caring for Creation appealing to you or your book group. There are more than four, but these are four good reasons to buy the book. Maybe it is a book you’ll give away to someone you wish would more carefully consider this topic.
First, again, it is nicely written with a light touch, even though there are oodles of footnotes, many from academic journals, meteorological studies, and prestigious scholarly sources. Like great college professors or others with the gifts of teaching they are able to explain complex and detailed stuff with quips and motivational passion drawing us right into the content. This is as fine an introduction to this topic as you are going to find. If you need convincing that the melting icecaps and change in ocean temperatures and sea levels and storm intensity isn’t a huge, human-caused pattern that must be addressed, Caring for Creation will help. The evidence they marshal, the balanced, non-ideological view, the common sense writing and the interesting explanation of good science from all over the world will be very compelling. It’s a great book for ordinary readers.
And, not surprisingly, they have a little bit about the relationship of faith and science, what it means to be a person of truth and integrity, resisting ideologies of the right and left and following the data wherever we can. Again, this book is lively and interesting but it covers a lot of the current debates about the scientific consensus, discussion of junk science, and of why people of orthodox Biblical faith and evangelical spirituality should be eager to follow the science.
(Permit me a little digression, here, but we just got into the store the pocket sized, truly brilliant, long needed A Little Book for New Scientists: Why and How to Study Science by Josh A. Reeves & Steve Donaldson (IVP Academic; $12.00) which is tremendous, just tremendous, on these very themes. Designed for college students, it is great for anybody who likes reading about the interface of religion and science.)
So, yes, Caring for Creation: The Evangelical’s Guide… is easy to read and helps us understand the consensus about the climate science and the dangers to our health from pollution and a bit about why some are skeptical for these concerns. It’s a great read, informed and smart and obviously important.
Secondly, we commend this brand new book because it really does frame all of these concerns in light of joyous evangelical Christian living. These two guys and the organization they represent love Christ, they live for the gospel, they are eager to share their own faith and spiritual testimonies. They nicely ground their expansive social vision and desire to make a difference in the hurting world in their personal experience in the church and their good understanding of God’s Kingdom. They got a winsome, attractive faith — not strident or contentious as some might fear in a book like this. There other books that more systematically and seriously relate theology and ecological work, better and more comprehensive Biblical studies on creation care. But Caring for Creation is obviously written out of a great confidence in God’s ways and the author’s commitments to being faithful to what God demands of us in these days. It is refreshing.
Thirdly, Caring for Creation: The Evangelical’s Guide to Climate Change and a Healthy Environment frames some of the environmental material – I hope you find this as curiously attractive as I do – in light of what it means to be pro-life. EEN has done stellar work connecting the way mercury pollution, for instance, effects the unborn; they have made good strides helping traditional anti-abortion folk become more consistently pro-life. To expand the vision of the pro-life community to include quality of life issues, the dangers pollution presents to the unborn, to insist that a pro-life perspective include protecting pregnant moms and, of course, all children, is a huge, noble undertaking. They’ve attracted to the cause of fighting air and water pollution many who have not been politically or socially active before, including many whose entry to these issues have been mostly motivated by right-to-life principles.
I wish they would have talked about this more but since it isn’t the primary concern of the book they don’t explore it, but it is my experience that there are a lot of closeted pro-life folks within the peace and environmentalist movements; similarly there are closeted “greens” within the pro-life movement, too; in both cases they are nervous about admitting their true concerns to their associates. To see this book bravely advocate for issues that are often (needlessly) perceived as liberal or left-leaning by linking them to an authentic and wholistic pro-life vision perhaps frees other pro-life folk on the left or environmentalists on the right to make connections and shift the bi-polar ways these things are unhelpfully discussed. Maybe this isn’t as exciting to you as it is to me, but it’s a sly little aspect of the book, innovative, even, bringing into conversation folks who are too often polarized and not talking to each other. Reading CfC reminds us that green is not a liberal color and that caring for a healthy environment can help us transcend partisan politics.
In other words, this book is pleasantly paradigm shaking, surprising at times, not predictable. They are not the only anti-global warming activists who lean right politically and they are not the only voices linking concern for the unborn with a robust program of fighting toxic pollution, but it is still striking. This refreshing take on things makes for a really rewarding and even inspiring read.
Fourthly, I think many will appreciate the practical (if visionary) proposals they weave into the book. Of course we all need to consider lowering our carbon footprints, we need to push our organizations towards more faithful, sustainable practices. We are fastidious about recycling and try to watch our energy consumption and hope you are too. But there are bigger fish to fry, and Hescox and Douglas make some pretty big and quite thoughtful proposals about policy and our own advocacy as citizens. This stuff is inspiring and very interesting.
Paul, the science guy who serves as a meteorological consultant with businesses and organizations all over the world, has seen how institutions work, knows corporate culture, and has been involved in global conversations with thought leaders and executives. It seems he has an awareness of what works, how to get typically conservative institutions and agencies to move proactively. Mitch, the former engineer who worked in global technology transfer and who became a small town pastor and now serves as a faith-based environmental activist, has testified before congress, before sub-committees at the state and national level, has done daunting media work and sat in the White House at high level meetings. These guys know what they are talking about.
Their reputations and insight are hard-earned and they deserve our respectful consideration. This book deserves to be read. Again, there are more sophisticated, advanced-level policy books with arcane details about the global summits, international treaties, and carbon use protocols; for non-specialists, though, Caring for Creation… brings us up to speed with just a small bit of policy proposals, ideas that can fuel good conversations and better citizenship among us. I recommend it for this reason, too.
By the way, there is a little motivational page or two that reminds me that Mitch has lived here in South Central PA for decades. He cites a major report done by our local York Daily Record newspaper editor, James McLure, who explained what was well known during the World War II years as “The York Plan.” Created in 1942, it included a 15-point plan which had to do with converting industry, coordinating business plans, creating a “all hands on deck” cooperative vision that would allow business and industry to focus on the public good and the urgent crisis facing the country. Our small town industrial base became the generative context for creative thinking about solving large, looming problems.
As they describe it, The York Plan “called for shared expertise; sought cooperation and joint resources; and cared for health, housing, and fair wages for all.” It was “adapted quickly for national use, provided the blueprint to defeat a common threat; our society coming together to find solutions, work in harmony, remain competitive, and value its employees.” We need to rekindle this vision and concept, they say, and this book truly inspires us all to understand, to care, to take steps both personal and civic, allowing God to lead us to better practices of our grand call to be stewards of the creation God made and so loves.
Hope you noticed (above) that we are hosting both authors to talk about the Caring for Creation book here at the bookstore on Thursday night, September 29th. If you can’t come but want an autographed copy, let us know before then. We can have them inscribe it, even, if you give us a name to whom you’d like it made out. See our Facebook events page, too, for a reminder or to RSVP if you’d like.
SEVEN (or so) MORE mostly RECENT BOOKS
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FROM HEARTS & MINDS
For the Beauty of the Earth: A Christian Vision for Creation Care
(2nd edition) Steven Bouma-Prediger (Baker Academic) $26.00 Okay, this isn’t new. And, although my theology of creation care was early formed by Francis Shaeffer’s 1970s still-in-print Pollution and the Death of Man and I am very much taken with the recent, serious contribution of Introducing Evangelical Ecotheology: Foundations in Scripture, Theology, History, and Praxis by Daniel Brunner, Jennifer Butler and A.J. Swoboda of George Fox University and looooved the lovely Making Peace with the Land: God’s Call to Reconcile with Creation by farmer Fred Bahnson and agrarian food philosopher Norma Wirzba, this one by Hope College prof is still my major go-to book for anyone wanting a comprehensive theology of creation care. It is a must-read, if just a bit academic at times. It is worth every moment studying it and bears repeated reading.
Embracing Creation: God’s Forgotten Mission John Mark Hicks, Bobby Valentine & Mark Wilson (Leafwood Publisher) $14.99 This wonderfully done new book is so refreshing and interesting as it relates a wonderfully robust view of new creation in the Bible to our environmental crisis. It invites us to explore the full story of God’s work in the world — God, creation, humanity, sin, redemption, promises of restoration. It draws on brilliant and well known friends of ours such as Richard Middleton, Al Wolters, and N.T. Wright as well as some of the finest Christian thinkers about environmental science and creational stewardship. All three authors have advanced seminary degrees and are not only Biblically astute, but have studied church history and know flow of ideas, the ups and downs of theological insights and how they have been applied. Hicks teaches at Lipscomb (he earned his PhD from Westminster Theological Seminary) while Valentine is a pastor in Tucson AZ. Mark Wilson (whose first Master’s degree was in biology) has worked for 36 years in conservation through the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. How great is that?
I really, really liked Embracing Creation and it offers a fabulous framework for thinking well about our mission in the world. It explores creation and new creation from the perspective of what is called in American church history the “Stone Campbell Movement” that gave rise to the Church of Christ denomination. Each chapter ends with some take-away bullet points and excellent discussion questions. It is very nicely done and I happily recommend it.
Hospitable Planet: Faith, Action, and Climate Change Stephen A. Jurovics (Morehouse Publishing) $18.00 This author is remarkably skilled at thinking about both big picture stuff about climate change and how energy use can be refined and reformed, both institutionally, in our church buildings and in our own personal lives. With a PhD in Engineering, mitigating climate change as been the focus of his engineering work for two decades. (He has nearly 20 technical, scholarly papers published and he has presented at many professional conferences.) So he knows what has to happen about the sorts of structural changes we need to make. As a person of faith, Jurovics realizes that the Scriptural teachings of the Older Testament law and prophets “contained instructions relevant to contemporary issues such as greenhouse gas emissions, preserving biological diversity, treatment of the land and sustainability.”
The forward to this was written by the passionate MD turned evangelical earth-care leader, Matthew Sleeth. Blurbs on the back are from mainline denominational leaders such as Katharine Jefferts Schori, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal church, Fletcher Harper, the Executive Director of GreenFaith, and The Revered Gerald Durly, the beloved Pastor Emeritus of the storied Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta. Some will surely appreciate the interfaith tone of some of this one. For instance, Rabbi Irving (Yitz) Greenberg raves about Hospitable Planet.
Rabbi Greenberg says:
Based primarily on the Five Books of Moses, sacred to both Christians and Jews, this book is written with passion, wisdom, and intelligent. The author’s sensitivity enables him to speaking movingly to people of faith, offering a handbook on the Bible’s greatest mandate for mortal existence – to choose life for the earth (which is the Lord’s) and all its inhabitants.
Windfall: The Blooming Business of Global Warming McKenzie Funk (Penguin) $18.00 I named this as one of our favorite books of 2015 and re-announced it when it came out in paperback. I was struck by the curious range of rave reviews it got – including Wired and The Wall Street Journal and Mother Jones. It is thoroughly enjoyable (“as entertaining as it is disturbing” The New Yorker said.) The environmental/literary journal Orion awarded it one of their books of the year, which is impressive. I just have to announce it here, again.
The reporting in this book is essential reading for anyone who wants to know about what big business is doing to cash in on climate change – mining in what used to be ice lands, profiteering around wild fire dangers, making water out of melting Swiss icecaps to fight African drought. I’m telling you, you haven’t read anything like this and at times it made me glad for such human ingenuity. What fascinating stuff… who knew? There are some colorful characters and extraordinary entrepreneurs who show up. Other times it seemed nearly grotesque – what the oil companies know and believe based on internal documents – and an indication of a massive crisis, with victims already. Windfall was called “darkly humorous and brilliantly researched.” The WSJ said it “brings a dizzyingly abstruse phenomenon down to a more human scale.” I very, very highly recommend it.
Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence Christian Parenti (Nation Books) $16.99 Now out in paperback, this book was awarded “Book of the Year” status from numerous nonfiction reviewers; Bookforum says “if you read one book on climate change this year… Tropic of Chaos should be it. The way you understand the changing climate and the resulting conflicts that serrate our world will be transformed.” This is a book of science, yes, but also of political affairs, perhaps even of geography. It is a study of violence through the lens of the environment. As such, I think it seems extraordinarily important and we’re glad to have it in paperback.
Mr. Parenti is an esteemed writer with a PhD from the London School of Economics. As an intrepid reports he takes us from the drought stricken savannas of Northwest Kenya to Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan, from the slums of Brazil to the increasingly militarized US border. “Climate-driven rural crises in the South are pushing people into the furnace of the urban drug wars…” What a book.
Great Tide Rising: Towards Clarity and Moral Courage in a Time of Planetary Change Kathleen Dean Moore (introduction by Sister Mary Evelyn Tucker) $26.00 I have said often that some of Moore’s early writings are among my all time favorite books. I adored Riverwalking and Holdfast: At Home in the Natural World and commend her eloquent, insightful prose for those who read Terry Tempest Williams or Annie Dillard, even. To call her writing lyrical was obvious and I longed for better ways to invite people to read her glorious essays. Wild Comfort is about “the solace of nature” and, as one reviewer wrote, her “descriptions are powerfully visceral. Readers will find that the world seems larger, wilder, and yet safer than they had thought – more beautiful and more like home.” I think I have read all of her books, and have been deeply moved by them, even though I do none of the outdoorsy exploring she and her family do. Whew!
Moore has grown increasingly agitated by the crisis of climate change which, as a naturalist she observes plainly. As a philosopher professor she struggled to affirm a moral worldview; a few years ago she helped edit the big, demanding reader Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril
asking what we are obliged to do, seeing what we see, knowing now what we know. In her own latest, the glorious Great Tide Rising, she offers her most urgent book yet, a “clarion call to summon the moral courage to ‘rage against the dying’ of the Earth.” There is beautiful nature writing here, there is stuff about her adventures and observations, but also about resilience and courage and loss and hope. From “the art of watching” explored in the chapter “On Joyous Attention” to her “Every Parent’s Prayer” and “Because the World is Wonderful” it becomes clear that Moore is a likable, caring, even ordinary sort of mom, neighbor, friend. Yet she compellingly and seriously offers “a call to witness” and “a call to action.” This offers stories about her love of water, the tides, the natural history of her place, but it moves to environmental passions with huge political implications. I have not finished this as I am reading slowly, wanting to honor the books weight and beauty by treating it well and attending to it. I invite you to it, too.
Trace: Memory, History, Race, and The American Landscape Lauret Savoy (Counterpoint) $25.00 I list this for a few reasons but I do believe that many of us will become more aware of our need to grapple with the questions of environmental stewardship not just because we come to realize the Bible tells us so or because we realize the crisis is imminent but because (think of Jamie Smith’s books) we love well. That is, we love the world the way God does. So, nature writing and books which maturely ponder a sense of place and that help us see and stand in awe of God’s good creation are bound to be helpful. (Also, some of this genre offers some of the finest writing by some of our most artful essayist and memoirists working today — for instance, certainly one of the most widely and universally acclaimed books in the last few years was the luminous, gripping bestseller H Is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald.) Hence, even for those who are not outdoorsy or wilderness types, reading well about the great outdoors is a good practice.
We carry a lot of these sorts of books (see here for a pretty amazing list) although I have in the past noticed that much of this sort of good literature is written by white folks. (We just got into the store what looks to be a tremendously fun, historical study called Under the Stars: How American Fell in Love with Camping by Dan White which, no doubt, comments on this matter. At least I hope…)
I have commended the serious (and fascinating) book by a woman of color named Lauret Savoy called The Colors of Nature: Culture, Identity and the Natural World that was the only book I knew that explored these things directly. Are there readers and leaders out there who care about racial justice and multi-ethnic ministry who also are engaged in experiential education in the woods or rivers? People who read Belden Lane’s Backpacking with the Saints and Gerald May’s The Wisdom of Wilderness but who also are interested in human culture and the quandaries of race relations? Well, just such a friend recently asked me if I heard of Savoy’s new one, Trace. I had not but we promptly ordered it in and realized it is considered quite an important work, a more personal story as a follow up to her work in The Colors of Nature.
Terry Tempest Williams (who has a new book out on the national parks, by the way) says :
We have waited a very long time for Trace by Lauret Savoy. Too long. Her words are a stunning excavation and revelation of race, identity, and the American landscape. I have never read a more beautiful, smart, and vulnerable accounting of how we are shaped by memory in place… I stand in awe of Savoy’s wisdom and compassionate intelligence. Trace is a crucial book for our time, a bound sanity, not a forgiveness but a reckoning.
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