Book Review: Ancient Wisdom, Modern Hope

Book Review: Ancient Wisdom, Modern Hope

Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts in this review are a reflection of my personal experience and honest opinion.

For 14,000 years, the Indigenous people of Southern New England survived and thrived despite experiencing extreme and dramatic climate and environmental changes. Like our present and near future, they faced dramatically warming temperatures that brought about a radical transformation in the climate, ecology, and biodiversity of their environment. Why were they successful? Despite enormous environmental challenges, they adapted and prospered because of their perception of and conscious relationship with every single living and non-animate element within their environment. Unlike our current society which views humanity as separate from nature and therefore free to exploit all of creation for our benefit, Indigenous people understood deeply that we humans are part of a web of interconnected and interdependent energy and consciousness within a Living Earth.

Book Blurb on Amazon

James T. Powers is an educator who has written four books, each one coming from a historical perspective. He is a historian, archaeologist, and retired teacher who holds a Bachelor’s Degree and two Master’s Degrees from Wesleyan University in Connecticut. Per his author bio, he has spent his entire career attempting to understand how our ancient history as humans has shaped how we live our lives today.

About the Book: Ancient Wisdom, Modern Hope

Ancient Wisdom, Modern Hope explores the history of humans in the Southern New England area of the United States. The author recounts stories from his education, detailing how the ancient peoples of New England likely lived. Throughout the book, James Powers explains how learning from the ancient people can help us today, correlating the climate changes of history with our current global crisis. What the ancient people experienced was relatively long and drawn out, not helped along and hurried by the advances of technology. Today, humankind has aided in worsening climate change and we are struggling to keep up with what we have helped cause.

My Thoughts

Ancient Power, Modern Hope by James T. Powers
Ancient Power, Modern Hope by James T. Powers

I commend the author for his intentions, but I really didn’t connect with the book. It isn’t a bad book, but I do think the writing style was just not for me. There are long, run-on sentences that made it difficult for me to read. Each idea in a sentence was strung together with little break for punctuation. For me, this made reading the book a struggle.

The focus of the book is important, and the author approaches it from an academic perspective. He talks about the history of climate change and how the ancient people survived those changes. He also made the distinction between climate change then and climate change now.

“We have created a culture and society that seems unwilling and incapable of making the types of changes necessary to live once again in harmony and balance with Nature and prevent the further degradation of the environment.”

Ancient Wisdom, Modern Hope by James T. Power; Chapter Five: A Second Chance

Overall, I agree with the author’s thoughts. We should take a seat and listen to the voices of Native Americans. Their teachings are focused on Earth and community, living in reciprocity with the other things around us. We have a culture of “things” in the United States, and this culture continues the cycle of waste, overspending, and exploitation of people.

Should you read this book?

The book is okay, and it isn’t one I would not recommend, but it isn’t the first one I would recommend, either. If you grab a copy because it’s affordable, then it would be a good option for you.

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