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Book Data

ISBN: 9781603585859
Year Added to Catalog: 2014
Book Format: Hardcover
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5
Number of Pages: 224
Book Publisher: Chelsea Green
Release Date: October 21, 2014
Web Product ID: 829

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Angels by the River

A Memoir

by James Gustave Speth

"Angels by the River does what the best memoirs hope to do—launch the reader into a larger collective story. Gus Speth, a native son of the Deep South, has spent his life in the service of justice. He has not only been part of America's social and environmental history, but his leadership has helped shape it. This book is a testament to spirited engagement, showing us how 'the gift of having a cause beyond ourselves' can translate to personal and political transformation. Angels by the River is an antidote against despair and a prayer for action."

Terry Tempest Williams, author of The Open Space of Democracy

Reflections on race, environment, politics, and living on the front lines of change

Angels by the River follows James Gustave Speth’s unlikely path—from a Southern boyhood to his career as an influential mainstream environmentalist to his current system-changing activism.

In this compelling memoir, Speth explores the issues, and realities, that have shaped the nation since the 1950s, and that turned an “ultimate insider” into someone willing to be arrested in front of the White House.

Born and raised in a town where both the best and worst of the South shone through—a town that eventually became the scene of South Carolina’s horrific Orangeburg Massacre—Speth explores how the civil rights movement and the South’s agrarian roots influenced his academic career at Yale and later work in the heyday of the environmental movement, when he helped launch two landmark and influential environmental groups—the Natural Resources Defense Council and the World Resources Institute—advise the White House on climate and other emerging issues, and lead the UN’s development efforts around the globe.

Speth fought to create and uphold the nation’s toughest environmental laws, but now believes a new environmentalism is needed to confront today’s challenges. The advancing climate crisis cannot be addressed, he warns, as long as we remain fixated on endless growth and consumption, corporate profits, increasing the incomes of the well-to-do, neglecting those just getting by, and helping abroad only modestly.

An American tale, in all its complexity, Speth’s memoir is an inspiration—especially for readers contemplating how to make a difference in an increasingly complex world.


About the Author

James Gustave Speth

James Gustave "Gus" Speth is the former dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, founder and president of the World Resources Institute, and co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council. He has also been administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, chair of the U.N. Development Group, professor of law at Georgetown University, and chair of the U.S. Council on Environmental Quality in the Carter administration.

He currently teaches at Vermont Law School, and is a senior fellow at the Democracy Collaborative where he is co-chair of the Next System Project. He is also distinguished senior fellow ...

View James Gustave's full profile page >





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Format: Hardcover
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James Gustave Speth's Upcoming Events

  • Gus Speth at Yale Law School Lunch
    Yale Law School, room TBD, New Haven CT
    October 27, 2014, 12:15 pm
  • Gus Speth at Yale University
    Yale University, New Haven CT
    October 27, 2014, 4:00 pm
  • Gus Speth at Yale Law School Library Lecture Series
    Yale Law School, room TBD, New Haven CT
    October 27, 2014, 6:00 pm
  • Gus Speth at Institute for Policy Studies
    1112 16th St NW #600, , Washington, DC 20036
    October 30, 2014, 4:00 pm
  • Gus Speth at Thomas Berry Award Ceremony
    Yale Divinity School, Yale University, New Haven CT
    November 8, 2014, 5:00 pm

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