Book Review: The Legacy: An Elder's Vision for Our Sustainable Future

Photo: Photo Courtesey of The David Suzuki Foundation

Book: The Legacy: An Elder's Vision for Our Sustainable Future

Author: David Suzuki
Publisher:Greystone Books
Pages: 128
Price: $25

Where can it be purchased?Online. At all major bookstores in Canada and the U.S.
You can also purchase the eBook at the Apple App Store.

Brief summary: In The Legacy, Suzuki argues that we must realize that the laws of nature have priority over the forces of economics. If we take this opportunity to create change, Suzuki believes we can “find ways to live in balance with the sacred elements, and to create a future rich in the joy, happiness, and meaning that are our real wealth.”

Layout: The book is an extended version of a December 2009 lecture Suzuki gave.
It has four sections:

  1. Introduction
  2. One: Evolution of a superspecies
  3. Two: Finding a new path
  4. Three: A vision for the future

The book reads as if Suzuki is speaking to you, taking you by the hand on a journey. Within this narrative are short tangents, one to two pages long, which expand on an idea or teach a lesson like the “The Consequences of Relentless Population Growth” (p. 20). There are photos and simple graphs throughout the book.

Our thoughts: This book is a summary of some of the big concepts that are being thrown around in the media today. It takes them, simplifies them for the everyday reader and makes them easy to digest. By no means does Suzuki feel everything can be fixed, but he gives the next generation hope that necessary changes can be made to sustain the planet. Not surprisingly, it’s written in a way that can be easily digested by teens.

Favourite Quote:
“We are spiritual beings, and we need spirit more than ever. We need to understand that nature gave us birth and is our home and source of well-being, and that when we die, we will return to it. We needn’t be saddled with the impossible weight of managing the entire biosphere, but we must meet the challenge of living in balance with the sacred elements. We are part of a community of beings that are related to us.” (p.83)

Responsible publishing:

  • The book was printed on FSC paper.
  • The print run was small (in comparison to other books) — approximately enough to sell in six months. If additional books are needed they will do small runs to accommodate.
  • A portion of the proceeds will go to The David Suzuki Foundation.
  • A documentary film, Force of Nature, was produced in connection with the book; it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.

Grade from Green Living: A.