Book: ‘Hope’s work’

Hope’s work: Facing the future in an age of crises, published by Darton, Longman & Todd, 2021.

In societies like ours, optimism once bordered on a religion. The future seemed bright, and we took refuge from the challenges of the day in a fantasy of tomorrow. Now we face a complex of crises. As the future becomes harder to face, hope is harder to find, but perhaps we have been looking in the wrong places. Perhaps real hope lives not by optimism’s confidence in tomorrow at all, but by a feeling for what is worth living for today.

Hope’s Work’ is for anyone struggling to keep faith with hope in this disturbed age. Drawing on testimony, story, and myth, David Gee goes in search of what is worth working for and living towards, whatever the future may bring.

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About the publisher

Publishing, like much else, is increasingly dominated by big businesses. I like Darton, Longman and Todd as a small publisher producing small books on big subjects that big publishers are wary of. By buying their books you’re helping to keep the world of publishing a varied and surprising one.

I am especially grateful to DLT’s David Moloney and Helen Porter for their thoughtful editorial work, and to the designer, Judy Linard, for presenting the book so well.

About the artist

The cover shows Emily Johns’ engraving, Victory Palm, which responds to an episode in the Iraq War. I’m thankful indeed for Emily’s permission to reproduce her work on the book cover. Find out more at

Appreciations of ‘Hope’s work’

Prof Christopher Baker, Director, William Temple Foundation, said:

‘This book is an original and deeply compassionate example of poetic and spiritual theology that combines poetry, deep erudition and beautifully-rendered story-telling.

‘The intertwined fate of human and non-human is powerfully laid out in the narratives of ordinary people who find themselves at the margins of existence, but who nevertheless find a hard-won hope in the bleakest of contexts.  

‘The combined result reflects a prophetic call for spiritual and prophetic activism in the name of the Earth, and all her inhabitants – a call to loving and hopeful action before it is too late.’

Peggy Seeger, folk musician and activist, said:

‘We all have hope built in and now we need it more than ever, but in these troubled times it’s easy to lose. This thoughtful book, readable and not too lengthy, is a kind of users’ manual for the would-be (and already) hopeful among us. It encourages small acts of kindness, patience, and creativity to confront the world’s violence and bring the changes we long for.’

Some feedback from readers:

‘This is a powerful, important book. I read it to cover to cover without stopping and was engrossed all the way through.’

‘Extremely well-researched and well-founded.’

‘Very thought provoking and beautifully written. I think this is a really important piece of work.’