Skip to main content
Cover for To Reach the Spring

To Reach the Spring

From Complicity to Consciousness in the Age of Eco-Crisis

Nathaniel Popkin


List Price: 15.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


An urgent and deeply felt call to face our complicity in the Earth’s destruction.

In the shadow of an escalating eco-crisis—a looming catastrophe that will dwarf the fallout from COVID-19—how can we explain our society’s failure to act? What will we tell future generations? Are we paralyzed because the problem is so vast in scope, or are there deeper reasons for the widespread passivity? Nathaniel Popkin explores the moral, social, and psychological dimensions of the crisis, outlining a path to a future spring.

Praise For To Reach the Spring: From Complicity to Consciousness in the Age of Eco-Crisis


"Nathaniel Popkin is a swordsmith. He hones words that cut deep through the lies and self-deceptions that license cruelty, revealing the brittle bones of an unjust, death-dealing culture. Everyone should read this book. It is clarifying, bracing, and ultimately transformative; truth-telling is essential for change, and change is essential." —Kathleen Dean Moore, author of Great Tide Rising

"To Reach the Spring is a tour de force, both an incisive reckoning with the full magnitude of the climate emergency along with a visionary understanding of how and why we have come to this place. I read this book with an unruly range of emotions and states of mind including shame, unspeakable grief, existential dread, curiosity, insight, admiration for the author but finally, most of all, hope. By illuminating how our reverence for earth is intrinsically connected to our capacity to hope and to heal leading to an inexorable yearning to act, Nathaniel Popkin has offered us a way forward. This book is essential reading for anyone who cares about our future." —Gail Straub, author of The Ashokan Way: Landscape’s Path Into Consciousness

"How can we go diligently about our business while the daily disasters of climate change are already visibly recasting natural processes, forcing migration and violence? 'We are the most slippery kind of criminal,' explains Nathaniel Popkin in his searching new book To Reach the Spring. And he's right, Americans (especially middle class and wealthy white Americans) have built up a resistance to the consciousness of their own complicity in the climate crisis. Exerting privilege without feeling privileged, we go about our quotidian consumption, and destruction, consumed by worry but never taking real action. Simultaneously told as a letter to a future descendant, a history of disaster, a personal confession, and a lie-stabbing op-ed, Popkin has crafted a read so melancholy and spiritual you won't lay it aside until you're done."
—Scott Gabriel Knowles, author of The Disaster Experts: Mastering Risk in Modern America

New Door Books, 9780999550168, 148pp.

Publication Date: December 1, 2020

About the Author

Novelist, essayist, editor, documentary writer, and critic, NATHANIEL POPKIN is the author of six previous books and co-editor of the anthology Who Will Speak for America?