Confronting Trauma in a Violent World, a Guide for Activists and Their Allies (Flashpoint) by Pattrice Jones
mamakats’s review: “I was extremely excited to read this book as I cross a lot of its subject matter in my activism and worklife; having over 25 years of feminist activism and scholarship myself. The thought of blending a feminist perspective with psychology and activism seemed an idea whose time had come! While much of the book was compelling and informative, it was equally charge with Jones’ particular flavor of eco-feminist perspective. If you are in agreement with her politics and are philosophically alligned with her – then this is a fabulous read! However, I found myself disappointed – over and again – thinking that Jones’ thesis (as I understand it) relates to the connection between psychological trauma and activism. Her eco-feminist politics so very much overshadow the main thrust of the thesis that at times it felt like reading a self-congratulatory master’s project rather than a serious effort to cross bridges of difference in academic and theoretically divergent structural forums. I am loathe to state that I did not like this book when in fact, I really enjoyed it very much! So you can imagine my disappointment when in attempting to describe the work and theory to friends – I was left with a struggle to seperate her overt animal rights politics from the overarching idea that trauma in activism experiences can create long-term effects for activists. I thought about how I could use this text across all kinds of activism efforts and wondered many times (quite honestly – too many) if Jones’ politics would ‘turn off’ some activists who might genuinely need to read such an important treatise on self-care for better and long-term involvement, yet disagree with her radical stance on animalism and human-animal connections. Overall, I think Jones’ efforts to write a politically personal text about the psychological impact on activists is an intriguing and innovative project. Her revelations and connections to theory and practice certainly elicit provocative responses for the reader. Yet I fear that her personalization ultimately taints the overall text in establishing a perfected tool for supporting activists across a lot of leftist communities that will sympathize with her personal experiences to varying degrees. Her accounts in activism and eco-relations were incredibly interesting and poignant read, but I would be hard-pressed to use the text in its entirety for educating activists and that’s where I find I am so struck by the seeming overuse of her personal philosophical/political agenda. I would strongly recomend this book, with the caveat that one should take and use what is best and enjoy the rest.”
Lantern Books (2007), Paperback, 257 pages

a bitchin feminista mama at the intersection of political quagmire and real life.

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