Press Secretary Of Greenpeace Russia Halimat Tekeyeva On Her Favorite Books

A life 2022

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Press Secretary Of Greenpeace Russia Halimat Tekeyeva On Her Favorite Books
Press Secretary Of Greenpeace Russia Halimat Tekeyeva On Her Favorite Books

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IN THE HEADING "BOOKSHELF" we ask journalists, writers, scientists, curators and other heroines about their literary preferences and publications, which occupy an important place in their bookcase. Today, the press secretary of Greenpeace Russia Halimat Tekeyeva shares her stories about her favorite books.


Halimat Tekeyeva

spokesman for Greenpeace Russia

Friends from the philology department come to visit to see my book collection

My grandmother's sister recalls how, in preschool age, I exclaimed that it was necessary to save the planet. I was small, and the very thought that some living creatures can survive at great depths, while others feel great somewhere high in the sky, fascinated. Until my teenage years, I thought that I would devote my life to birds: for some reason, it seemed to me that they were more fragile, therefore more defenseless. More than anything else, I adored retellings of the Iliad and Yuri Dmitriev's book Neighbors on the Planet. The first part of the books always talked about the misadventures of animals, which had to suffer due to human interference in familiar ecosystems, the second - about the wonderful diversity of species. While reading, I could forget about everything, including some boring algebra.

At some point, love for the word overpowered the desire to save the world, and I entered the journalism faculty of Moscow State University - all my youth I studied Kafka, Balzac, Ionesco and Brecht. Three years ago I was lucky and I got to Greenpeace - now I write about nature conservation. Less and less often I manage to carve out an evening for Bykov with his inimitable biographies or for a high-quality non-fiction in biology. But in the books now I notice things related to my work. Do you mention a burnt down and unrecovered national park in "Wild"? I keep the quote. Did Akhmatova find a line about how “dry peat burns in swamps for four weeks”? I ponder for a long time what happened in 1914, that not yet drained peat bogs suffered.

I read most often in Bookmate - it is more convenient to devote time to your favorite book on the subway, bus, on the way to a fire. I gave a whole crowd of friends a subscription to the application and have never been disappointed in several years of use. True, this slightly reduced my passion for purchasing paper editions, but there are still breakdowns - friends from the philology department come to visit to see my book collection.


Svetlana Alexievich

Chernobyl Prayer

I read this book on the wave of interest in the writer. With her, everything works like this. At first you think, “Seriously? Dots? Hysterics?". And at some point you realize that you literally breathe in time with her prose, that you are ready to sob with the wife of a firefighter thrown into a radioactive fire. That you feel bad - as if you yourself are the victim, you cannot believe the horror that happened in a seemingly peaceful place, and even in a beautiful quiet spring when everything is blooming. What happened is worse than the war, although it is with it that the accident is compared by many heroes. The "Chernobyl Prayer" contains various testimonies - from accomplices in the crime to civilians and journalists. Anyone who says how well the Soviet Union coped with the tragedy can simply give this book - turn away and not talk until they read it. Because it is impossible to forget this - it is criminal and inhuman.

Ishmael Bih

Tomorrow I'm going to kill

This is a first-hand study of war: the skinny hands of a hungry guy from Sierra Leone who was drugged and sent to fight. “Tomorrow I'm going to kill,” is the everyday and therefore even more terrible story of a 13-year-old boy. How does a ruthless killer grow in a teenager with an interest in American rap? The book partly explains how wars are organized in Africa and this crusade of children of the 20th century.

Jeremy Rifkin

The third industrial revolution

For me, this is a utopian but hopeful attempt to think about our future. Its author is a well-known promoter of the idea of ​​renewable energy. He claims that everyone will soon be able to make a small station for the production of electricity from the sun and water out of their home. The world will be rebuilt, and this will benefit everyone: if everyone has a resource, then it will be pointless to fight for coal and oil. It is difficult to believe in many of the things that Rifkin prophesies, but the fact that we are on the verge of great changes is obvious.

Joachim Radkau

Nature and Power

This book is about environmental history - a direction that studies how the struggle for resources and the interaction between the environment and humans influenced the course of events. Now it is not striking for us, but the need to create a normal sewage system for the townspeople may have changed our world no less than Napoleon. Radkau's book is a unique study that is definitely worth reading - given that there are not so many good books on this topic in Russian.

Hansjörg Küster

History of the forest

At one time, I brought a stack of these books to my fellow foresters. The "glue" of German society, if any, is the forest, which is clear from literature and visual culture: Germany is a country with one of the strongest romantic traditions. Kuester tells fascinatingly how the forest was formed on the European part of the continent and what role it played in the history of states. For example, the Greeks destroyed vegetation for pastures - and this did not lead to anything good. And Germany has always been considered the land of impenetrable, wild forests, even when they were not.

Henry Thoreau

Walden, or Life in the Woods

And this is a different look at the forest - an unscientific and fascinating first-person story. In the 19th century, the American Henry Thoreau decided that society did not suit him at all, so he built himself a hut in a thicket and remained there to live alone. The seasons replaced each other, and the forest around every day gave the lyrical hero inspiration and a new look at the world. Passages of this text can be read aloud in one breath: the result is better than any meditation.

Mohandas Gandhi

My life

I have read three books about the cult figure of nonviolent protest, including an autobiography. Mohandas (he is not yet quite correctly called "Mahatma", he himself does not like this address) talks about his childhood in a patriarchal family, his departure to England, where he wore a top hat, like the British around him, about the struggle for justice in court and resistance to the laws of the local government. Closer to the finale, sadness covers: Gandhi's non-violent struggle turned into bloody conflicts and civil wars along the borders of the empire, which for centuries retained the illusion of control.

Victor Dolnik

“Disobedient child of the biosphere. Conversations about human behavior in the company of birds, animals and children "

Ask anyone involved in environmental protection what book on the relationship between nature and humans is worth reading for anyone who is not even familiar with ecology. Most likely, the first will be called "The naughty child of the biosphere." It is about the natural foundations of our behavior. Its author easily and humorously explains from the standpoint of biology and evolution all the phenomena of private and public life: wars, totalitarian regimes, rituals and falling in love. We - smart, quick-witted, invented music, books and movies - but still animals. That our morality is still too simple for the world we have created is the most unexpected thought for me after reading this book.

Herman Melville

Moby Dick

A great book, very poetic - and yet one of the most meticulous non-fictions about whaling. It is read in one breath, I only had time to leave notes in the book. What is scarier: a giant leviathan who knows no pity or human stubbornness, pride and obsession on the verge of insanity? All accepting and honest ocean, cleansing the brains of the protagonist - and he will not give an answer.Like Ishmael himself. When I grew up and studied to be a boat driver on Lake Baikal myself, I remembered Moby Dick more than once.

Alexander Etkind

Internal colonization

Etkind undertakes a serious task - to describe how our country became so big, how it tried to comprehend itself, to settle and rule hundreds of peoples. Of course, for me one of the most curious motives was the story of the sable hunt. It was she who made the country grow in breadth, seize new territories and move barrels of skins abroad. Yes, barrels: the 17th century sable field had a lot in common with the modern oil economy. The bottom line is clear in both cases: we have destroyed the forests and now we are spilling oil.

Vladimir Arseniev

“Along the Ussuri region. Dersu Uzala "

Another story about the internal colonization of the country in one of the most mysterious, unexplored and beautiful parts of it - in the Far East, on the border with China. The lyrical hero, discoverer and experienced traveler, finds himself completely helpless in the Ussuri taiga in comparison with the old man-gold. Gold (as the local people were called) teaches him to respect the taiga and its inhabitants, calls birds, tigers, the sun and the moon "people". At the end of the book, the burden of the white man weighs on the hero: civilization, not the forest, finishes off old Dersu. Arsenyev gained fame as the Russian Fenimore Cooper, and Akira Kurosawa directed the film of the same name and received an Oscar for it.

Douglas Adams

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

A very funny, but also sad, if you think about it, book. Like any space sagas, it reminds us that our planet is not immune from trouble: the universe will not protect the Earth for us, and we should take care of it ourselves. The world will always be ruled by bureaucracy and stupidity. You can raise your hand and fly away to another planet in search of a better life, or sit down in the restaurant "At the End of the Universe" and watch how everything goes to hell. There are millions or even billions of intelligent beings in space, but this does not make it easier to find an interlocutor, and the Babylonian fish does not help to understand absolutely everyone.

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