About the 2013 Selection
The 2013-14 year will bring another exciting Life of the Mind (LOM) program, the common reading experience that gives first-year students their initial taste of academic life at UT.
The world is "melting, drying, acidifying, flooding, and burning" because of destructive environment changes, and we must alter our ways if we want to keep the planet habitable for ourselves and future generations. That's the warning from noted environmentalist Bill McKibben in his latest book, Eaarth.
Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet is the 2013 Life of the Mind common reading selection for UT freshmen. We are especially excited about this book because it reinforces the university’s commitment to sustainability and allows us to showcase the environmental research and initiatives taking place at UT and in the Knoxville community. Author and scientist Tim Flannery calls McKibben “the most effective environmental activist of our age” and says, “Anyone interested in making a difference to our world can learn from him.” We cannot think of a better way to introduce the Class of 2017 to academic life at UT while bringing all of the university and surrounding communities together to discuss “our new planet.”
McKibben has written ten books, including The End of Nature and Deep Economy, that have helped shape public opinion about climate change, alternative energy, and the need for more localized economies. McKibben formerly worked as a staff writer at the New Yorker, and as a Guggenheim Fellow, he writes for various magazines, including Rolling Stone, The Atlantic, National Geographic and The New York Review of Books. He is also the founder of 350.org, an international environmental organization dedicated to solving the climate crisis.
In Eaarth, McKibben pulls no punches in demonstrating the crisis state of our environment, but he also envisions solutions for the planet and our everyday lives, solutions that begin not with future generations, but right now. We are pleased to give our newest generation of UT students the opportunity to join in these solutions.
Selection of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet was the result of a lengthy process in which the Life of the Mind Committee reviewed hundreds of nominations from the campus community and beyond. Members selected the book for its rigorous information and grave yet hopeful tone, as well as McKibben’s status as, according to The Boston Globe, “probably the nation’s leading environmentalist.”
About the book, award-winning author and Appalachian native Barbara Kingsolver says, “Read it, please. Straight through to the end. Whatever else you were planning to do next, nothing could be more important.”
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Questions? Contact the First-Year Studies Team
1817 Melrose Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37996
Office Hours: Monday–Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.