Rebecca Solnit's Publisher Offers 'Hope' For Election Doldrums: A Free eBook

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A publisher is giving away free ebooks of San Francisco author Rebecca Solnit's 'Hope in the Dark' as a comment on the election  (Photo: Courtesy of Rebecca Solnit)

In the days before Prohibition, candidates often wooed voters on election day with free beer and liquor. This week, a publisher is offering a free eBook by a San Francisco writer to anyone nursing a hangover -- not from drink, but from election results.

Haymarket Books in Chicago, a publisher of left-leaning authors like Angela Davis, Noam Chomsky, and Howard Zinn, announced days after the election that it’s offering free electronic copies of Rebecca Solnit’s Hope in the Dark, written during the presidency of George W. Bush in 2004, and described as “a radical case for hope as a commitment to act in a world whose future remains uncertain and unknowable.”

Rebecca Solnit's book 'Hope in the Dark'
Rebecca Solnit's book 'Hope in the Dark' (Photo: Courtesy of Haymarket Books)

"I write for a living,” Solnit wrote in an email Tuesday, “but I also write to be of use and benefit, and it seemed like this book, written in another nightmarish time -- the outbreak of the Iraq War -- might be of benefit to a bunch of people in this horrific and bleak moment.”

Needless to say, Solnit was not a supporter of Donald Trump.

Haymarket Editor Julie Fain says the publisher has given away more than 25 thousand copies so far, which would make it a bestseller for the company, if it were for sale.


“When people we care about a lot are under attack, women, immigrants, people of color,” Fain said in a phone conversation, “we want to remember that resistance is also part of who we are. And Rebecca speaks to this, remembering the capacity of human beings to resist politically pessimistic times.”