The Insurrection of the Common Good. By Phil and Kathy Dahl-Bredine. ISBN: 978-1-951088-12-5. 6" x 9" 250 pgs.
The events in this novel are real, many of the names and places are fictitious.
U.S. environmental activist, Susana Olsen, arrives in this complicated milieu to try to overcome indigenous resistance to a “clean energy” project.
In the mountains of southern Mexico a culture of ancestral communal life over seven thousand years old still thrives. Like the communities of the state of Chiapas that erupted into resistance in the Zapatista war of 1994, these communities are threatened by a global economy that cares nothing for communal living and holds nothing as sacred.
Armando Pedro Cruz and his village in the Mixteca Alta of Oaxaca struggle to regain their ancestral memory and to resist the encroachment of mines and megaprojects that threaten the territories of their pueblo. Meanwhile, Armando´s sister, Elena, organizes her adopted pueblo on the Oaxacan Isthmus against international development projects that divide the community.
The violent reality of current day Mexico forcefully imposes itself on all three as they try to make sense out of what would really constitute “a civilization for the future” of an embattled planet.
The book is dedicated to the memory of the activists from across the indigenous South who have been assassinated for their efforts in favor of the Mother Earth and of a more viable and civilized society and economy than those presently promoted by Western civilization.
The understanding and the actual relationships that exist in our communities of original peoples of the Mixteca contain a profound respect for Mother Earth. Today humanity is disconnected from the natural world by influences both industrial and technological. The Western world has something to learn from our culture. This book can help as it describes the life and the values of our communities living in harmony with the natural world and respect for our Mother Earth. Eliseo Reyes, Director of Health and Ecology in the Mixteca Alta, Oaxaca, Mexico
A taut and insightful thriller that relates Mexican history in ways that it is rarely told. The villains belong to a wind-power megaproject financed by foreign capital but protected, inside Mexico, by cartel gangsters. “Wherever there is that much money…organized crime is going to be there,” one of the characters observes. The protagonists are an indigenous community struggling to protect not just their lands but, more importantly, their pre-Columbian tradition of gueza, or mutual helping. The authors refer to this conflict as a flashpoint in today´s world. Peter Canby, senior editor, The New Yorker; author of The Heart of the Sky: Travels Among the Maya.
Phil and Kathy Dahl-Bredine have worked with Catholic Worker communities, with Maryknoll Lay Missioners, and organizing cooperative and community-based projects for many years. Kathy is founder and former director of three Montessori schools, and Phil has co-authored two previous books, The Other Game: Lessons from How Life is Played in Mexican Villages, and the bilingual book, Milpa! De semilla a salsa. Since 2001 they have lived and worked in indigenous villages of Oaxaca, Mexico and they are now both Mexican and U.S. citizens. They have been married 57 years, have seven adult children and eleven grandchildren, and lived and worked in Mexican/Chicano communities in the U.S. from Chicago to New Mexico for many decades.