Monday, April 13, 2009

Book Review: Webs of Power by Starhawk

I just finished reading Webs of Power: Notes from the Global Uprising by Starhawk. The book spans the years between 1999 and early 2001. Starhawk is prolific Neo-Pagan writer and is best known for her book the Spiral Dance. This book however, is in comparison to her other books focused entirely on politics, though her spirituality influences her political activism.

The book is broken into two parts. The first part gives an overview of the major demonstrations around the world between 1999 and 2001 and are largely unedited non-fiction stories and reports that the author wrote around those. It specifically addresses the famous Battle of Seattle around the WTO protests, A16 around the World Bank and IMF meeting, Prague also around the World Bank and IMF, the World Social Forum in Brazil, the FTAA demonstrations in Quebec City, the G8 protests in Genoa and, the aftermath of 9-11.

The second part dealt with the very real issue of what type of world that progressive movements would like to build. The main critique generally of progressive movements is what would be put in its place. In reality those alternatives are being created in many places around the world. Starhawk gives essays on what is needed for a new world. They are Our Place in Nature, The Practice of Direct Democracy, Building a Diverse Movement, Cultural Appropriation, "Many Roads to Morning:" Rethinking Nonviolence, What We Want: Economy and Strategy for the End Times and, Spirit in Action. It is through these principles of living sustainably as a part of nature, direct democracy, diversity, respect for each other's culture, a concerted look at tactics, a just economy and, a vibrant non-dogmatic spirituality that we can create a new world.

Overall a very good book. 5 out of 5.

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