In Unbowed, Nobel Prize winner, the late Wangari Maathai recounts her extraordinary journey from her childhood in rural Kenya to the world stage. When Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement in 1977, she began a vital poor people’s environmental movement, focused on the empowerment of women that soon spread across Africa.
Persevering through run-ins with the Kenyan government and personal losses, and jailed and beaten on numerous occasions, Maathai continued to fight tirelessly to save Kenya’s forests and to restore democracy to her beloved country.
Infused with her unique luminosity of spirit, Wangari Maathai’s remarkable story of courage, faith, and the power of persistence is destined to inspire generations to come. Wangari Maathai is the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. She died of complications from ovarian cancer at the age of 71. The Green Belt Movement has planted some 45 million trees in the Kenya. She was also an outspoken advocate for women’s rights and democratic development. She won the Right Livelihood Award in 1984, Twenty years before she won the Nobel Peace Prize.
According to Jan Cottingham’s review of the book Green Peace, the memoir describes three acts in the ongoing drama of the great woman’s life: innocence and education, heartache and determination, and, ultimately, triumph, though like most triumphs, hers is not free of personal, everyday sorrows.
The review further shows how Maathai writes touchingly about her Edenic childhood in rural Africa, the pleasure she took in education, particularly sciences, and the lessons she gathered from her college sojourn in the United States during the civil and women’s rights movements.