Save the Humans?: Common Preservation in Action

Book Info

  • Length: 254 pages
  • Trim size: 6" x 9"

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  • ISBN: 978-1-61205-097-3
  • Publish date: October 2011
  • List Price: $28.95
  • Your Price: $24.61


  • ISBN: 978-1-61205-096-6
  • Publish date: October 2011
  • List Price: $127.00
  • Your Price: $107.95


Today our individual self-interest depends on what the author calls common preservation--cooperation to provide for mutual well-being. But is that possible? As world leaders fail to cooperate to address climate change, nuclear proliferation, economic meltdown, and other threats to our survival, more and more people experience a pervasive sense of denial and despair. But common preservation can reshape the human future. Jeremy Brecher has seen common preservation in action, and in Save the Humans? he shows how it works. From Gandhi’s civil disobedience campaigns in India, to the Solidarity movement that initiated the end of Communism in Eastern Europe, to the 2011 uprisings throughout the Middle East and in the U.S. Middle West as well, Brecher shows what we can learn from the history of past social movements to help us confront today's global threats of climate change, war and domination, and economic chaos.

Author Info

Jeremy Brecher ( is the author of more than a dozen books on labor and social movements, including Save the Humans? Common Preservation in Action and his classic labor history Strike!, which was just published in a revised fortieth anniversary edition. He has been writing about climate protection strategy since 1988; he is a founder of the Labor Network for Sustainability (; he was arrested in the first White House protests against the Keystone XL pipeline. Over the course of half a century, he has participated in movements for nuclear disarmament, civil rights, peace in Vietnam, international labor rights, global economic justice, accountability for war crimes, and many others. He holds a Ph.D. from the Union Graduate School and has received five regional Emmy Awards for his documentary film work.


Jeremy Brecher's work is astonishing and refreshing; and, God knows, necessary.
--Studs Terkel

I have been an advocate, a student, and a teacher of advocacy for more than 40 years, but I have never learned more useful knowledge about advocacy than from this book. It is absolutely unique in its integration of engaging personal narratives of the author’s direct involvement in every significant social justice movement of the last 40 years with his analytic history of previous movements.
--Mike Pertschuk, former chair, Federal Trade Commission

This is a remarkable book: part personal story, part intellectual history told in the first person by a skilled writer and assiduous historian, part passionate--but clearly and logically argued--plea for pushing the potential of collective action not only to right the injustices that abound around us but ultimately to preserve the human race. Easy reading and full of useful and unforgettable stories...A medicine against apathy and political despair much needed in the U.S. and the world today
--Peter Marcuse, Columbia University

Over the last decades, Jeremy Brecher has known how to detect the critical issue of a period, to sort the many realities of suffering and injustice, and to emerge with a clear, short, powerful description. He does it again in this important book--it is about people: how our system devalues people and what needs to be done.
--Saskia Sassen, Columbia University and author of Territory, Authority, Rights

Indispensable....A fascinating blend of political autobiography and manual for social change, giving cogent primacy to the stark goal of human preservation. With species survival at stake, what Jeremy Brecher writes is at once frightening and inspiring.
--Richard Falk, University of California-Santa Barbara

In a world with multiple specific demands, Jeremy Brecher outlines a concept for a politics which links environmental justice, economic fairness, and a movement for democracy renewal. It is a vital contribution. If anyone asks what connects the struggles between police and protesters, those out in the streets, and those who would rather see them disappear from the public commons, Brecher has given us a concise way of describing the way a movement is struggling for a common future for all of us.
--Benjamin Shepard, Political Media Review

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