Daily Archives: July 7, 2022

The Flag, the Cross, and the Station Wagon: A Graying American Looks Back at His Suburban Boyhood and Wonders What the Hell Happened: Bill McKibben

Bill McKibben―award-winning author, activist, educator―is fiercely curious.

“I’m curious about what went so suddenly sour with American patriotism, American faith, and American prosperity.”

Like so many of us, McKibben grew up believing―knowing―that the United States was the greatest country on earth. As a teenager, he cheerfully led American Revolution tours in Lexington, Massachusetts. He sang “Kumbaya” at church. And with the remarkable rise of suburbia, he assumed that all Americans would share in the wealth.

But fifty years later, he finds himself in an increasingly doubtful nation strained by bleak racial and economic inequality, on a planet whose future is in peril.

And he is curious: What the hell happened?

In this revelatory cri de coeur, McKibben digs deep into our history (and his own well-meaning but not all-seeing past) and into the latest scholarship on race and inequality in America, on the rise of the religious right, and on our environmental crisis to explain how we got to this point. He finds that he is not without hope. And he wonders if any of that trinity of his youth―The Flag, the Cross, and the Station Wagon―could, or should, be reclaimed in the fight for a fairer future.


“We do inhabit the same world, after all, and to see it for a while through Bill McKibben’s eyes is good medicine.“
―First Things

“If we survive the interlocking plagues of climate change, right-wing authoritarianism, and savage inequality, future generations will utter the name of the New England moral visionary and activist McKibben with the reverence we speak of Emerson, Thoreau, and Garrison. This sparkling little diamond of a book illuminates the all-American boyhood and education of a radical Christian environmentalist in love with a broken world that, frankly speaking, may or may not exist at all a century from now. May McKibben’s golden pen continue to flow swiftly and conquer―with both love and reason―the dangerous enemies of human civilization.“
―Rep. Jamie Raskin (MD-8)

“Plainspoken, direct, conversational, and inspiring, Bill McKibben offers us generous insight into who he is and how he has been shaped by his middle-class upbringing in the suburbs. We see through inner and outer choices, struggles, and influences, why one of the world’s most effective and humble leaders in the climate justice movement committed himself to an activist’s life on behalf of a warming planet. The Flag, the Cross, and the Station Wagon is more than a memoir, it is a bow to the power of social justice movements and a smart and savvy historical reflection on what has brought us to this crucible moment of climate collapse. Bill McKibben is an every-day hero who continues to show us not only what is possible, but necessary to our survival, the survival of our democracy, and all life in the places we call home.“
―Terry Tempest Williams, author of Erosion: Essays of Undoing

“What went wrong with America in the 1970s? In this searching book, Bill McKibben wrestles with a generation that lost its way, and why, and how to find the way back.”
―Jill Lepore, author of These Truths: A History of the United States

“Bill McKibben has written a great American memoir, using the prism of his own life to reflect on the most important dynamics in our society. Bill McKibben’s writing is poignant, engrossing and revealing. His message is a clarion call for a generation to understand what happened to their American Dream, and to fight for our common future.”
―Heather McGhee, author of The Sum of Us: How Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together

“Bill McKibben is such a heroic and consequential leader in the fight for the climate on behalf of all humankind, it’s easy to lose sight of his humanity. As usual, this book is a thoughtful critique of wrong turns America has taken, but this time refreshingly and revealingly intertwined with his personal story. As a fellow former suburban boy who has also tried hard to figure out ‘what the hell happened,’ The Flag, the Cross, and the Station Wagon was like listening to a wise old pal preach.”
―Kurt Andersen, author of Evil Geniuses: The Unmaking of America

“The prolific writer and activist finds some of the causes of our societal meltdown in the idyllic suburbs of his youth. . . . McKibben capably picks apart long-ago history to find present themes.”
―Kirkus Reviews

“Adept at factual storytelling and connecting the dots, earnest, caring, and funny, McKibben dovetails personal reckonings with an astute elucidation of our social justice and environmental crises, arguing wisely that facing the truth about our past is the only way forward to a more just and sustainable future.”
―Booklist, starred review

About the Author

Bill McKibben is the author of more than a dozen books, including the best sellers Falter, Deep Economy, and The End of Nature, which was the first book to warn the general public about the climate crisis.

He is the Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College and the winner of the Gandhi Prize, the Thomas Merton Prize, and the Right Livelihood Prize, sometimes called “the alternate Nobel.” He lives in Vermont with his wife, the writer Sue Halpern. He founded the global grassroots climate campaign 350.org; his new project, organizing people over sixty for progressive change, is called Third Act.

  • Publisher‏ : ‎ Henry Holt and Co. (May 31, 2022)
  • Language‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover‏ : ‎ 240 pages
  • ISBN-10‏ : ‎ 1250823609
  • ISBN-13‏ : ‎ 978-1250823601

Are UN’s sustainable development goals achievable?

Jul 7, 2022

In 2015 the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. At its core are seventeen Sustainable Development Goals or – SDGs. But are they too ambitious? Mohammed Mahmoud, Senior Fellow and Director of the Climate and Water Program with the Middle East Institute, discusses.

UN sustainable development goal challenges

Jul 7, 2022

In 2015 the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. At its core are seventeen Sustainable Development Goals or – SDGs. For a Chinese perspective, we hear from Victor Gao, Chair Professor at Soochow University.

Historical Cartography in the Digital Age: Exploring Old Books & Maps with New Technologies, New Questions & New Communities | EV&N – 441



YouTube Version

This is a presentation of some recent approaches to historical cartography that have emerged as novel technologies are being developed to equip new groups of professional researchers, teachers and students at all levels.

These innovations have been guided in part by the life-long work and inspiring insight of Prosser Gifford — scholar, administrator and kind mentor for scholars and students of the humanities and world history. [See: “Prosser Gifford – A Memorial Celebration”]

See related:

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Grand Jury Subpoenas Giuliani, Sen. Graham And Other Trump Legal Team Members

NBC News – Jul 6, 2022

A Georgia grand jury have subpoenaed attorney Rudy Giuliani and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham as part of an investigation into possible interference by former President Trump in the state’s 2020 presidential election. NBC News’ Ken Dilanian has the details.

Trump’s Legal Peril: Giuliani Subpoenaed As New Jan. 6 Witnesses Speak Out After Coup Bombshells

MSNBC – Jul 5, 2022

Several of Donald Trump’s closest allies, including Rudy Giuliani, Senator Lindsey Graham, and John Eastman, have been subpoenaed by a Georgia grand jury in the criminal probe into Trump’s election interference. This comes as more witnesses are coming forward in the Jan. 6 investigation following Cassidy Hutchinson’s bombshell testimony. The next Jan. 6 hearing is set to focus on the role extremist groups played in the insurrection. Meanwhile, Trump is eying an early presidential run announcement.

Robert Reich: The Common Good | Town Hall Seattle

Town Hall Seattle– Streamed live on Mar 5, 2018

Societies and nations undergo virtuous cycles that reinforce and build the common good, as well as vicious cycles that undermine it. In his new book The Common Good, acclaimed author Robert Reich contends that over the course of the past five decades America has been in a slowly accelerating vicious cycle—one that can and must be reversed. With the warmth and lucidity that have made him one of our most important public voices, Reich takes our stage to make the case for a generous and inclusive understanding of the American project, centering on the moral obligations of citizenship. Rooting his argument in everyday reality and common sense, Reich demonstrates the existence of a common good and argues that it is this that defines a society or a nation. He examines how we as a country should relate to honor, shame, patriotism, truth, and the meaning of leadership. Join Reich for a discussion on the fundamental purpose of society, and a cri de coeur to save America’s soul. Robert Reich is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations and has written fifteen books, including The Work of Nations, which has been translated into twenty-two languages, and the best sellers Saving Capitalism, Supercapitalism, and Locked in the Cabinet. His articles have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. He is co-creator of the award-winning film Inequality for All, and is also chair of the national governing board of Common Cause. Presented by Town Hall Seattle as part of the Civics series.

Jason Stanley: U.S. Headed to a One-Party State Unless “Americans Wake U p” | Amanpour and Company

Amanpour and Company – Jun 29, 2022

Jason Stanley, an expert on authoritarianism, has been an adviser to the January 6 committee. The author of “How Fascism Works” speaks with Hari Sreenivasan about the hearings and the state of democracy in America. Originally aired on June 29, 2022

Expert Warns of Rise in “Mass Casualty” Events as a Result of Climate Change | Amanpour and Company

Amanpour and Company Jul 1, 2023

The Supreme Court has voted to curb the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate carbon emissions. This comes amid a period of increasingly extreme weather around the world. More than 40 million Americans were under heat advisory last week. Kristie Ebi has been researching the health risks of climate change for decades, and she tells Hari Sreenivasan that death rates will increase unless response systems are improved. Their conversation is part of the ongoing public media initiative Peril and Promise, on the challenges and the solutions to climate change.

Georgia subpoenaing Giuliani, Graham in Trump election probe

CBS46 Atlanta– Jul 5, 2022

The Georgia prosecutor investigating the conduct of former President Donald Trump and his allies after the 2020 election is subpoenaing U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and other members of Trump’s campaign legal team to testify before a special grand jury.