Episode for April 26, 2021
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I was really excited to get the opportunity to Interview Senator Mazie Hirono who I have watched kick the crap out of everyone from her seat on the Senate Judiciary Committee from Brett Kavanaugh to Bill Barr. She has written an important, powerful and enlightening memoir about her life and service and it’s a great read. It’s called Heart of Fire AN IMMIGRANT DAUGHTER’S STORY
Senator Mazie K. Hirono is a graduate of the University of Hawaii, Manoa and the Georgetown University Law Center. She has served in the Hawaii House of Representatives (1981-1994), as Hawaii’s lieutenant governor (1994-2002), and in the U.S. House of Representatives (2006-2013). She became Hawaii’s first female senator in 2013, winning reelection in 2018. Hirono serves on the Committee on the Judiciary, the Committee on Armed Services, and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, among others.
My new book, Up to Heaven and Down to Hell: Fracking, Freedom, and Community in an American Town (Princeton University Press, April 2021), is an intimate, ethnographic account of what happens when one of the most momentous decisions about the well-being of our communities and our planet—whether or not to extract shale gas and oil from the very land beneath our feet—is largely a private choice that millions of ordinary people make without the public’s consent. Based on time I spent living in a rural Pennsylvania community, the book documents the dramatic confrontation between personal sovereignty and the public good that unfolds from the fact that landowners have the right to lease the subsurface of their property for oil and gas development. This “deeply reported” (Publisher’s Weekly) community study reveals “the tradeoffs that follow from America’s liberty-loving ways” (Sarah Smarsh [author of Heartland], the Atlantic). What’s more, it serves as a lens through which to understand the cultural polarization that drives so much of contemporary American politics and stymies efforts to combat climate change.
Click here for a complete list of reviews, events, and media related to the book.
Click here to purchase the book.
CLick here to download and read the introduction for free.
Click here to read an essay from this project published in Slate.
My first book, The Global Pigeon (2013, University of Chicago Press), examines how relationships with animals and nature shape social life in the city. Click here to read an essay I adapted from The Global Pigeon for the New York Times Sunday Review.
Click here to visit my twin brother’s website. He’s a real scientist.