How Global People’s Movements Are Leading the Fight for Our Planet

Ashley Dawson

Haymarket Books (January 16, 2024)

Trade paper • ISBN-13: 9781642599701  •US $22.95 • 6 in x 9 in • 336 pgs.


A global account of the grassroots environmental movements fighting for the future of the planet.

Environmentalism from Below offers readers a hopeful alternative to the gridlock of UN-based climate negotiations, taking readers to the heart of popular struggles for a radical, global green new deal. These groups – those most vulnerable to but also least responsible for the climate crisis – are at the frontlines of the fight for environmental reconstruction.

Drawing on accounts from Cuba to Nigeria to India to Colombia, scholar and activist Ashley Dawson constructs a multi-layered narrative of those fighting climate imperialism across the globe. Taking up the four critical challenges we face in a warming world—food, urban sustainability, energy transition, and conservation—Environmentalism from Below details the alternatives developed by grassroots movements that chart a path forward, from the practice of agroecology to urban insurgency. Along the way, Dawson offers an urgent case for environmental reconstruction and a global, decolonial Green New Deal. Environmentalism from Below offers a much-needed reminder that the fight against ecocide and for environmental liberation is already being waged worldwide. It’s time we all start paying attention. 


Praise for Extinction:

“An elegant, controversial thesis”

The Guardian

“A welcome contribution to the growing literature on this slow-motion calamity.”

Los Angeles Review of Books

“Dawson’s searing report on species loss will sober up anyone who has drunk the Kool-Aid of green capitalism.”

Andrew Ross

“Fusing social and ecological challenges to power is the only way forward … a long-awaited, elegant and comprehensive expression of why the time is right to make these links.”

Patrick Bond


Ashley Dawson is Professor of English at the Graduate Center / City University of New York and the College of Staten Island. He is the author of several books on key topics in the environmental humanities, including People’s Power: Reclaiming the Energy Commons, Extreme Cities: The Peril and Promise of Urban Life in the Age of Climate Change, and Extinction: A Radical History. A member of the Public Power NY campaign and the founder of the CUNY Climate Action Lab, he is a long-time climate justice activist. Dawson lives in Queens, New York. 


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English outside North AmericaDavid Grossman Literary Agency
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GermanPaul & Peter Fritz AG Literatur Agentur
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HebrewThe Deborah Harris Agency
ItalianBerla & Griffini Rights Agency
JapaneseThe English Agency (Japan) Ltd
KoreanBC Agency, or Korea Copyright Center
PortugueseRIFF Agency
Russia/Baltics/Eastern EuropePrava I Prevodi
Scandinavia Sebes & Bisseling Literary Agency
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TurkishAnatolialit Agency

For all other languages/territories, please contact Roam Agency.