‘I Can’t Just Stand on the Sidelines’: An Interview with Naomi Oreskes

Claudia Dreifus: I heard that you grew up in a political family. True?
Naomi Oreskes: I did. And for a long time, I didn’t want to be political. My parents were very involved in the civil rights movement. I always tell people, “When I grew up, the mall was a place you went to protest, not to shop.” As a child, I was proud of my parents, but there was something about their lives that was exhausting. Part of me just wanted the have the right to just play the piano or read poetry, and not to feel as though I was personally responsible for saving the world all the time. Do you know the novel Burger’s Daughter, by Nadine Gordimer? It was about the doubts of the child of two activists during the apartheid era in South Africa. I really related to the central character.

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