The opening vignette of Survival of the Richest sees the author, media theorist Douglas Rushkoff, invited to a secluded luxury resort for what turns out to be a conversation with mega-rich tech investors who want to learn how to survive the coming apocalypse. This bizarre meeting—which centers in large part on how the mega-rich will defend their bunkers from desperate hordes—sparks Rushkoff’s reflections on tech elites’ fantastical attempts to escape the consequences of their own rapacious greed and addictive, socially destructive products. He covers, among other topics, the industry’s dependence on financial abstraction, its propagandistic manipulation, and its scientistic “technosolutionism.” Against this worldview, which he dubs “the Mindset,” Rushkoff poses a “bounded economics” centered around local investment and a rededication to reality.

Survival of the Richest
Escape Fantasies of the Tech Billionaires

Douglas Rushkoff
W. W. Norton
$17.95 | 224 pp. 

 

In her magisterial debut novel, Ash Davidson invites readers to explore Northern California’s redwood territory, a rugged part of the country unfamiliar to most Americans and largely ignored by writers more concerned with more trodden parts of the country. At the center of her story are Rich Gunderson, a fourth-generation logger, and his wife, Colleen, who are raising their young son near Damnation Spring, a resource-rich grove where redwoods “taller than the Statue of Liberty” sprang to life before Columbus first set foot in the New World. Determined to leave his family a legacy of their own, Rich purchases a ridge in the late 1970s, just as the once-mighty logging industry begins to wobble and the health effects of its decades-long herbicidal treatment start sprouting throughout the small community. Davidson’s prose sings, and her story lingers well after readers step away.

Damnation Spring
A Novel

Ash Davidson
Scribner
$28 | 464 pp.

 

How do we see humanity in our tormentors? In his new book, The Light We Give: How Sikh Wisdom Can Transform Your Life, Simran Jeet Singh reflects on how his spiritual awakening, inspired by the teachings of Guru Arjan, liberated him from the cycle of hate and pain. Growing up as a Sikh in San Antonio, Texas, Singh faced racism daily, from slurs on the basketball court to accusations of terrorism on the street. As he highlights in his book, Sikh teachings like chardi kala (everlasting optimism) taught him to see humanity in everyone, including the perpetrators of hate crimes against the Sikh community. He charts a path to finding “oneness through our differences,” allowing us to break the colonial cycle of hatred and discover God’s presence in everything around us.

The Light We Give
How Sikh Wisdom Can Transform Your Life

Simran Jeet Singh
Riverhead Books
$28 | 320 pp.

Please email comments to [email protected] and join the conversation on our Facebook page.

Published in the April 2023 issue: View Contents
© 2024 Commonweal Magazine. All rights reserved. Design by Point Five. Site by Deck Fifty.