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Unbowed: My Autobiography

by Wangari Maathai - £8.99  Arrow Books (2008)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9780099493099 | ISBN 10: 0099493098

'When I was a child, my surroundings were alive, dynamic, and inspiring. Even though I was entering a world where there were books to read and facts to learn - the cultivation of the mind - I was still able to enjoy a world where there were no books to read, where children were told living stories about the world around them, and where you cultivated the soil and the imagination in equal measure.'
 
Born in a rural Kenyan village in 1940, Wangari Maathai was already an iconoclast as a child, determined to get an education even though most African girls then were uneducated. In her remarkable and inspiring autobiography, she tells of her studies with Catholic missionaries, earning bachelors and master’s degrees in the United States, and becoming the first woman both to earn a PhD and to head a university department in Kenya. She tells of her numerous run-ins with the brutal government of Daniel arap Moi and of the political and personal reasons that compelled her, in 1977, to establish the Green Belt Movement, which spread from Kenya across Africa, and which helps restore indigenous forests while assisting rural women by paying them to plant trees in their villages.
 
Maathai’s extraordinary courage and determination helped transform Kenya’s government into the democracy in which she now serves as Deputy Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources and as a Member of Parliament. Eventually her achievement was internationally recognized in the Nobel Peace Prize, awarded in recognition of her ‘contribution to sustainable development, human rights, and peace’.
 
In Unbowed, we are in the presence of a hugely charismatic yet humble woman whose remarkable story carries with it an inspiring message of hope. Hers is an extraordinary story, spanning different worlds and changing times, and revealing what the courage, determination, tenacity and humour of one good woman can achieve; how as small a thing as planting a seedling and watering it can made all the difference in the world.

"Renowned and admired throughout her native Kenya and across Africa for her pioneering struggle against deforestation and for women’s rights and democracy, selfless and steadfast, Ms. Maathai has been a champion of the environment, of women, of Africa, and of anyone concerned about our future security."
(Kofi Annan)

(Price & availability last checked: June 2018)

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In booklists: Black and Asian Biography and Autobiography, Environmental Memoirs and Biographies, Women and Environmental Issues/Activism, Environmental Activism, Women in Politics, Kenya, Women in Africa, Women's Activism, Trees and Plants, Political Memoirs and Biographies,
In categories: History & Biography, World - Asia, Black, Asian & Other Diasporas, Environment & Animal Rights, Feminism & Women, Changing the World, Politics & Philosophy, World - Africa,

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