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Letters of Hope, Habitat, Defiance, and Democracy

Dear America

Edited by
Simmons Buntin, Elizabeth Dodd, and Derek Sheffield

Trinity University Press, Publishing on Earth Day, April 22, 2020

When you get a book like this, Dear America, you carry it with you into war, onto the battlefield, into classrooms, because it’s not just a book in the traditional sense, it’s a tool to sharpen the dull mind, to see injustice where before you let it pass.
– Jimmy Santiago Baca

America is at a crossroads. Conflicting political and social perspectives reflect a need to collectively define our moral imperatives, clarify cultural values, and inspire meaningful change. In that patriotic spirit, more than 170 writers, artists, scientists, and political and community leaders have come together since the 2016 presidential election to offer their impassioned letters to America. Dear America collects more than 80 of those (revised) letters plus 50 new, not-previously-published letters.

In the inaugural piece in Terrain.org’s Letter to America series and the first letter in this book, Alison Hawthorne Deming writes, “Think of the great spirit of inventiveness the Earth calls forth after each major disturbance it suffers. Be artful, inventive, and just, my friends, but do not be silent.” In Dear America, the diverse voices from across the country are anything but silent.

Reviews

“These letters come from a deep, real love of this place, and they imagine willing, receptive readers on the other end. We need a series of miracles looking forward, and this is one”
— Bill McKibben