Stay Cool: Why Dark Comedy Matters in the Fight Against Climate Change

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Product Details
New York University Press
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.4 X 1.0 inches | 0.7 pounds

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About the Author
Aaron Sachs is Professor of History and American Studies Cornell University. He is the author of The Humboldt Current: Nineteenth-Century Exploration and the Roots of American Environmentalism, and Arcadian America: The Death and Life of an Environmental Tradition. With John Demos, he co-edited Artful History: A Practical Anthology. He lives in Ithaca, NY, with his wife, three children, and two cats. Occasionally there's a woodchuck in the backyard.
"Sachs is like the Stephen Colbert of scholars--wicked funny and smart, dead serious, and utterly friendly and accessible, all while explaining why it's so urgent to have a good laugh as we deal with the climate crisis. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll laugh, you'll cry."-- "Jenny Price, author of Stop Saving the Planet! An Environmentalist Manifesto"
"Punchy, clarifying, and invigorating. Even while maintaining a happily irreverent tone, Stay Cool explores a deep question: how the environmental movement might learn from previous social movements that kept up their catalytic energy rather than succumb to despondency and defeatism. It is a book perfectly attuned to the challenges of our moment."-- "Scott Saul, author of Becoming Richard Pryor"
"Aaron Sachs' insights burn hot. While ever careful not to minimize our current straits, he guides us toward a sustainable way to think about, well, sustainability. Gallows humor, self-deprecation, the trickster's ploys--all have served to inoculate those considered without history from the forces of history. Stay Cool recognizes the importance of remembering that within our frail humanity is the possibility of being better, and that one good way to start addressing our climate needs is to learn to laugh at our fallibility, if only so that we are prepared for the not-so-funny work ahead."-- "Jonathan Holloway, President, Rutgers University, and author of The Cause of Freedom: A Concise History of African Americans"
"Aaron Sachs's central message in Stay Cool is if you want to survive catastrophe--whether one brought on by people or nature--don't be alarmist, and definitely don't be earnest and moralistic. Be funny."-- "Cindy Ott, author of Pumpkin: The Curious History of an American Icon"
"Feeling in the depths of despair about the future of our planet? As someone who can relate to getting the 'climate blues, ' I encourage others in the planetary doldrums to read this book! Sachs will challenge your ideas about what climate change activism might look like--and will do so in ways that may lighten your mood at the same time."-- "Rachel Bezner Kerr, Cornell University, member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change"
"Declaring that the sanctimonious tones of environmentalists have a demotivating impact, this book muses on how humor might be more effective. It meditates on the role of morale in social movements, noting places where oppressed people turned despondency into determination and defiance, shifting their perspectives toward humor and hope amid despair. Stay Cool encourages a fresh, creative approach to addressing one of the biggest challenges of the time--climate change."-- "Foreword Reviews"