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Planetwalker: 22 Years of Walking. 17 Years of Silence.
 
 

Planetwalker: 22 Years of Walking. 17 Years of Silence. [Kindle Edition]

John Francis Phd
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Review

"It's a remarkably insightful, poetic, and inspiring story, one that's sure to make readers think more carefully about their own styles of living." -- "Booklist"

Product Description

When the struggle to save oil-soaked birds and restore blackened beaches left him feeling frustrated and helpless, John Francis decided to take a more fundamental and personal stand—he stopped using all forms of motorized transportation. Soon after embarking on this quest that would span two decades and two continents, the young man took a vow of silence that endured for 17 years. It began as a silent environmental protest, but as a young African-American man, walking across the country in the early 1970s, his idea of "the environment" expanded beyond concern about pollution and loss of habitat to include how we humans treat each other and how we can better communicate and work together to benefit the earth.

Through his silence and walking, he learned to listen, and along the way, earned college and graduate degrees in science and environmental studies. The United Nations appointed him goodwill ambassador to the world’s grassroots communities and the U.S. government recruited him to help address the Exxon Valdez disaster.

Was he crazy? How did he live and earn all those degrees without talking? An amazing human-interest story, with a vital message, Planetwalker is also a deeply personal and engaging coming-of-age odyssey—the positive experiences, the challenging times, the characters encountered, and the learning gained along the way.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1144 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic (8 April 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0017L8N00
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #335,765 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not just a black man with a banjo 30 July 2010
Format:Paperback
This is a book and a man worth listening to. John Francis is, in many ways, a romantic hero (after Wordsworth and Keats, not Mills and Boons). He started walking everywhere, stopped talking in order to avoid arguments, learnt to play a banjo, and painted on a daily basis because this felt like the right response, when he thought about it, to the world he found himself in. In itself this is inspiring. But it is doubly inspiring because of the humility that grew out of his choice to not speak: he moved instead to listening and learning. This comes across in the book where any sense of the judgemental is replaced by an accepting curiosity. Triply inspiring is John's walk across the US whilst, in stages, undertaking formal education, culminating in a PhD and a post in the US government advising on policy to prevent oil spills: the very experience of which in San Francisco was catalyst to his unfolding journey. This story of possibilities is a great one. It is a real-life metaphor for the related journey of a life and a society (hence, very Forrest Gump!). The unusual nature of his choices highlights just how deeply entrenched are their expected opposites. Not riding in cars and not talking are also related: the second helped John survive the first by avoiding heated exchanges with those who took offence to his walking.

I didn't think I'd enjoy this book, but I did. I thought it might be too earnest, too intentional, too knowing, too detailed, too dull. But it is none of these. It is a well-told, personable yet simple tale of events and choices. It is insightful and reflective but refrains from overplaying great internal dramas or delving into too much philosophy or rationalisation. It seems honest to how things just kind of happened.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable book 30 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I did take a lot from this book. Sometimes it was a bit slow moving - but what did I expect!! He is a genuine soul walking for a cause and I was interested to read about him and his experiences and I am glad I did.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Shhh ... he's not speaking 5 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
For one who maintained his silence for 17 astonishing years, he is wonderfully eloquent and descriptive, leading by example. How could we not be inspired by his courage, determination and integrity. It is a reminder that so much of our communication is non-verbal. I'll think of this book often during my own walking pilgrimage.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A real journey - fo a real reason... 2 Oct 2014
By Chazz
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The author is so passionate about his journey that you can't help but feel fully engaged from the start.

Beautifully written, this book rams home a very real message!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring 20 Oct 2009
By Sungirl
Format:Paperback
This is a must read. We could all take a leaf from this guy, such an inspiration
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