Biographies of people who have made planet earth a better place for everyone.
Pippi Longstocking is one of those very memorable fictional characters in children's literature. She was created by Astrid Lindgren, a country girl who moved to the big city. She overcame the stigma of being a single mother, financial hardship, depression, the terrors of World War II, and eventually became a leader in modern Swedish children’s literature. She also became involved in politcs and campaigned for equitable taxation, non-discrimination, animal rights and environmental issues. She was presented with the Right Livelihood Award, "For her commitment to justice, non-violence and understanding of minorities as well as her love and caring for nature."
In her day, Beatrix Potter was expected to marry and be a good wife, but she had other notions about all of that. Her family attempted to block her from publishing books, and tried to arrange a suitable marriage. Overcoming family pressure, she published the first of many books for children. The most famous is The tale of Peter Rabbit. As a countrywoman she was a major conservationist in the Lake District of England, helping to maintain the landscape and farming practices of the region. She acquired over 4,000 acres of hill-farm property that she bequeathed to the National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty.
Emma Gatewood, aka Grandma Gatewood, was the first woman to hike the entire Appalachian Trail alone, and she did it when she was a great grandmother and 67-years-old. That first trek in 1995 brought her public attention, but more importantly to her way of thinking, it brought attention to the neglected and little-known Appalachian Trail.
This incisive biography brings deserved recognition to the overlooked life and achievements of George Bird Grinnell, a major American conservationist.
Lady Bird Johnson was wife of President Lyndon Baines Johnson, who came into office as the result of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Lady Bird was one of the most astute First Ladies, who was a staunch environmentalist, possessing an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the greater ramifications of environmentalism that included numerous socioeconomic factors. Because of the times in which she lived and worked, her program was promoted as a beautification program, but it was a great deal more, as was the woman behind the program.
Barry Lopez was a notable essayist, novelist and nature writer. His autobiography charts his travels to six different regions of the world reflecting on humanity's quest for adventure and knowledge. Always contemplative, Lopez looks for meaning in our fragile and fragmenting world.
Some of the eight conservationists are familiar, and others are not: John Muir, Ding Darling, Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, Chico Mendes, Billy Frank Jr., Wangari Maathai, and Gro Harlem Brundtland. Each of them has made life-changing contributions to the environment that all of us inhabit, and made it a better place for everyone.
Environmentalist Bill McKibben has been an activist, researcher, protestor and writer, who has been warning us about climate change for more than 25 years. He provides understandable information for those new to the subject matter and details his personal growth as an environmentalist.
Over 50 years ago, in her book The silent spring, Rachel Carson warned about the dangers of widespread use of pesticide. This recent biography examines the life of this quiet, dedicated scientist.
Louis Bromfield won a Pulitzer Prize and wrote numerous bestselling novels during the 1920s. The rains came was twice made into a movie, in 1939 and 1955. He was an early proponent of organic farming and gardening and established the Malabar Farm which, at the time, was an experiment in organic and sustained farming. It still exists today as The Malabar Farm Foundation. This biography explores Bromfield's life as early environmentalist.
Chico Mendes was a Brazilian labor organizer and environmental activist who was murdered in 1988. A man ahead of his time, who knew that it was possible to preserve the Amazon's rain forest without harming the lives of laborers who worked as rubber tappers. He knew that destroying the rain forest to make way for massive cattle ranches would be horrendous to the environment of the world.
During World War II, Astrid Lindgren kept personal diaries that reflect her thoughts on war, violence, rationing and how to overcome evil and make the world a better place in which to live.