Book of the Week (10/15/2018)

The Habit of Turning the World Upside Down by Howard Mansfield (Peterborough, N.H. : Bauhan Publishing, 2018).
While reporting on citizens fighting natural gas pipelines and transmission towers planned to cut right across their homes, Howard Mansfield saw the emotional toll of these projects. “They got under the skin,” writes Mansfield. “This was about more than kilowatts, powerlines, and pipelines. Something in this upheaval felt familiar. I began to realize that I was witnessing an essential American experience: the world turned upside down. And it all turned on one word: property.”

In The Habit of Turning the World Upside Down we meet a dairy farmer in far northern New Hampshire who refuses $4 million from Hydro-Quebec for his land, and we meet a Massachusetts family whose two acres may be subsumed by a gas pipeline. We see property in its many guises. We walk with the Tohono O’odham in the Sonoran Desert. We visit a small Maine island and stand where the water will be rising in just a few years as the planet warms. There are historic moments, too: a stubby granite monument in the woods of New Hampshire that tells of the death of feudalism in the New World; the buried history of a Vermont farmer who suicides as his life is bulldozed under for the new interstate; and there’s great reform push that gave us the glorious and precarious Weeks Act which saved the White Mountains and gave us national forests east of the Mississippi.

The Habit of Turning the World Upside Down tells the stories of Americans living in a time in which everything is in motion, in which the world will be turned upside down, again and again. The book’s title comes from an observation by Alexis de Tocqueville on his visit to America in 1831, which is the book’s epigraph: “It would seem that the habit of changing place, of turning things upside down, of cutting, of destroying, has become a necessity of [the American’s] existence.”--Author's website
Join NH author, Howard Mansfield at the following NH bookstores where he will be discussing his latest work!

October 17, Wednesday, 7:00 p.m. – The Bookery, 844 Elm St., Manchester, NH
October 20, Saturday, 11 a.m. – Toadstool Bookshop, 12 Emerald St., Keene, NH
October 24, Wednesday, 5:30 p.m. – Gibson's Bookstore, 45 S. Main St.,Concord, NH
November 15, Thursday, 7:00 p.m. – Water Street Bookstore, Exeter, NH

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