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 Samuel Miller McDonald

I'm a geographer and author working on a book called PROGRESS about the history and future of progress, for William Collins and St. Martin's Press. My writing has appeared in The New Republic, The Guardian, Boston Review, The Baffler, Current Affairs, and elsewhere, and has been translated into Spanish, Persian, and Finnish. I have appeared in interviews and videos, including on BBC Ideas and Vice News on HBO. I am an editor at climate politics magazine The Trouble and Anthropocene literature journal Epilogue. I love trees.

Photo by Heather Milligan


No road or tracks led to this mouth in the mountainside, and though the cave looked man-made, it had no discernable reason to be there. I felt pulled in.”


Samuel started higher education at a community college in Northern Michigan. 


He went on to study human ecology at College of the Atlantic and holds a Master of Environmental Management degree from Yale's School of the Environment. He is currently writing up a PhD thesis at Oxford's School of Geography and the Environment.

Since becoming invested in climate and environmental justice activism around 2006, he has been involved in many marches, lobbying efforts, protests, Congressional campaigns, and has helped organize activities like conferences, divestment campaigns, and carbon neutrality pushes.​​

He co-founded a low-carbon agricultural technology venture and has worked shorter stints as, among other things, a researcher, shepherd, farmhand, and bin man.

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Photo by Heather Milligan
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Photo by Ray Leaning
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