When you're climbing a mountain, and the distance before you seems overwhelming, it's helpful to look back at how far you've come already. This book serves as a reminder that environmental activists have accomplished the seemingly impossible before, so it's possible to do it again. Progress is being made in other corners of the earth, even if it's not visible to you. Boyd manages to give the activist in us all a shot of adrenaline and hope without making the current problems seem any less daunting.
I think that the first chapter on animal species that have recovered is perhaps the most simplistic and his weakest, so it's unfortunate that it came first. He definitely has a point, but doesn't include the whole picture for the species he focuses on. His research just felt less thorough on that topic than on the others. But once he got going, it was informative. It was also a smooth read.
The autobiographical parts of the book were a little awkward -- I guess I didn't really read it to find out what the author ate or how long he went before buying a car. As I read, I was trying to figure out why those sections are in there at all, and I concluded that making it personal might help us to feel empowered to do something in our own lives, but I don't think it really worked. An account of how powerful letters to politicians are or how organizations can be most effective might have been more helpful. But these sections, although awkward, did not ruin the book for me at all. I learned a lot, updating my knowledge of good stuff going on in the world. And that was the whole point.
I got a free copy of this from the publisher through Net Galley.