Today’s movements celebrating slow food and simple living owe a debt to food writer Patience Gray. In 1986, she published Honey from a Weed, considered one of the greatest cookbooks of all time by the likes of Mollie Katzen and April Bloomfield, and she has influenced culinary trailblazers like Alice Waters. For more than 30 years, Gray lived without electricity, modern plumbing, or a telephone in remote area in southern Italy. She grew much of her own food and also foraged. In the new book, Fasting and Feasting: The Life of Visionary Food Writer Patience Gray (Chelsea Green, 2017), Vermont author Adam Federman shares Gray’s fascinating and trailblazing life with a generation that may not know her name, but has been influence by her ideas. (September 20, 2017 broadcast)
Adam Federman, author, Fasting and Feasting: The Life of Visionary Food Writer Patience Gray
Two senior advisers to Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign are out with a new book that they intend as a playbook for progressive activists. Rules for Revolutionaries: How Big Organizing Can Change Everything (Chelsea Green, 2016) challenges conventional wisdom about how to wage a political campaign. It tells the story of the organizing behind the Sanders campaign: a technology-driven team that empowered volunteers to build and manage the infrastructure to make 75 million calls, launch 8 million text messages, and hold more than 100,000 public meetings—in an effort to put Bernie’s insurgent campaign over the top. The authors reflect on Donald Trump’s victory and suggest a way forward for progressive activists and those who want to advance Bernie’s “political revolution.” (Nov. 16, 2016 broadcast)
Becky Bond and Zack Exley, co-authors, Rules for Revolutionaries
Nationally renowned environmentalist Gus Speth has come full circle: from working inside the White House as a top environmental adviser to Pres. Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, to getting arrested outside its gates. Speth co-founded the Natural Resources Defense Council in 1970. Under President Jimmy Carter, he was chair of the Council on Environmental Quality, then went on to found World Resources Institute, and was a senior adviser to Pres. Bill Clinton on natural resources, energy and the environment. He served as director of the United Nations Development Program, and was Dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He now teaches at Vermont Law School and lives in Strafford, Vermont. In 2011, Speth was arrested, along with 350.org founder Bill McKibben and others, protesting the Keystone XL pipeline. He argues that the environmental movement has lost its way and now advocates for a new political economy to combat climate change.
Speth’s recently wrote a memoir, Angels by the River, published by Chelsea Green. He talks about his life growing up in the Deep South under Jim Crow laws, his awakening to issues of civil rights and the environmental, how we went from insider to radical, and what gives him hope.
The Essential Bernie Sanders and his Vision for America (Chelsea Green) is a new book by veteran journalist Jonathan Tasini that features speeches by and analysis of presidential candidate Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Tasini is the former president of the National Writers Union and a political analyst. He is the publisher of Working Life, a popular progressive blog on work and the economy. In 2006, he ran against Sen. Hillary Clinton in New York. He talks about his new book, Sanders, Clinton, Donald Trump, the decline of the labor movement, and his own insights on what it takes to run a major campaign.
Author David Grant discusses how mission-driven organizations can go from good to great. And he discusses his experience with reconnecting high school students with the land at Vermont’s famous Mountain School, a semester program which he co-founded in the 1980s. Grant ends with a re-enactment of Mark Twain, which he formerly performed to worldwide audiences.
Traditional economic development has ripped off communities, losing both jobs and money. Economist and author Michael Shuman argues that investing locally can reverse the damage. He proposes how local reinvestment could be a solution in riot-torn Baltimore, which has suffered from massive disinvestment from the inner city.