Still Hopeful: Lessons from a Lifetime of Activism

Barlow, Maude

  • “Canada’s best-known voice of dissent.” — CBC

    “It’s time we listened to the Maude Barlows of the world.” — CNN

    In this timely book, Barlow counters the prevailing atmosphere of pessimism that surrounds us and offers lessons of hope that she has learned from a lifetime of activism. She has been a linchpin in three major movements in her life: second-wave feminism, the battle against free trade and globalization, and the global fight for water justice. From each of these she draws her lessons of hope, emphasizing that effective activism is not really about the goal, rather it is about building a movement and finding like-minded people to carry the load with you. Barlow knows firsthand how hard fighting for change can be. But she also knows that change does happen and that hope is the essential ingredient.


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  • Maude Barlow is the bestselling author of 20 books. She sits on the board of Food & Water Watch, the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, and is a councillor with the World Future Council. She served as senior water advisor to the UN General Assembly and was a leader in the campaign to have water recognized as a human right. She is the recipient of fourteen honorary doctorates, the Right Livelihood Award and is the current chancellor of Brescia University. She lives in Ottawa, Ontario.

  • Published: March 2022

    ISBN: 9781770416321

    Dimensions: 5 x 7.75 in.

    Pages: 240

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“We live in uncertain times in which the insatiable greed of the most powerful is leading us to unprecedented crises on multiple fronts, such as the climate crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the inexorable bursting of the global financial bubble. While there is certainly no shortage of reasons for pessimism, in this book, Maude Barlow projects that supportive energy and rebellious, proactive intelligence with which she has inspired us throughout her life and which we need today more than ever. Thank you, Maude.” — Pedro Arrojo-Agudo, UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation

“A refreshing take on the power of people-based movements … A worthy message from an iconic Canadian social justice activist.” — The Council of Canadians

“Maude Barlow’s latest book, Still Hopeful, does a masterful job of addressing this dilemma [hope]. She definitely does not buy into mindless optimism that humanity will certainly be able to address the multiple crises that we are facing, nor does she succumb to despair that we are helpless in the face of these existential challenges. Instead, we are treated to an eloquent and personal account of her experience of more than four decades as an organizer, activist, and writer in her fight against greed, patriarchy, pollution, and inequality, among other evils.” — Canadian Dimension

“Barlow’s memoir will be an inspiration to anyone with a vision of a better future.” — The Literate Quilter blog

“In a world that is thirsty for good news, Maude Barlow delivers a delightfully refreshing book. Drawing on decades of experience campaigning relentlessly for clean water, social justice, and a better future, this is her most personal and most powerful book. I laughed, I cried, and I wished that Maude Barlow was Canada’s prime minister.” — Dr. David R. Boyd, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment and author of Thirst for Justice

“This book is so useful for the youth discouraged by the lies and unkept promises of the politicians of this world. A book where hope isn’t an abstract concept, Barlow gifts us concrete and real stories that can be only inspiring and worth sharing with readers.” — Rabble

“Barlow’s writing is clear and concise, and her narrative is enhanced by personal stories that are included when describing the lessons that she has learned in her decades of fighting for social and environmental justice.” — Informed Comment

“This is an enriching book for those who dedicate their time and energy to making the world a better place (for humans and non-humans alike).” — Southern Alberta Group for the Environment