Worms Eat My Garbage
By Mary Appelhof
The book that started a backyard worm revolution over three decades ago continues to be the definitive guide to vermicomposting--the process of using red worms to recycle human food waste into a nutrient-rich fertilizer for plants.
Originally written in 1982 and expanded into a second edition in 1997, Worms Eat My Garbage has sold over 200,000 copies. Author Mary Appelhof excelled at writing scientific information in a format easily understood by the layperson. The book provides complete illustrated instructions on setting up and maintaining a small-scale worm composting system.
This new third edition provides more detail on the anatomy of a red worm. The chapter on worm species updates the number of species identified to date as well as expands on the use of scientific names. Other topics covered are the worm bin ecosystem, the care and feeding of worms, setting up a worm bin, harvesting worm castings, and the benefits of castings to plants.
Appelhof also provides plans for building wooden worm bins and shows how to make a bin out of a plastic tub—along with information on the manufactured bins presently available in the marketplace.
Available in: Paperback
The New Farmer’s Almanac, Volume 3
Volume 3 of The New Farmer’s Almanac—360 pages of original agrarian content, essays, cartoons, imagery and historical snippets—harnesses the wisdom of over 120 contributors from our community of new farmers and ranchers. This volume explores the theme of The Commons, drawing from folklore, mathematical projections, empirical, emotional, and geographical observations of theory and praxis.
Farmers hold space in many interwoven commons, and possibilities for our shared future would seem to rest on how these intersecting commons are governed—particularly at the juncture of humanity and ecology where we make our workplace. In re-visiting the Almanac format, we assert our version of Americana and equip ourselves for the challenges of rebuilding the food system and restoring a more democratic, more diverse, and more resilient foundation for society.
We face a dystopian future, with guaranteed-unpredictable weather, the impending collapse of the fossil fuel economy, endlessly consolidating monopolies, and a country that is, for the first time in our history, majority urban. That’s why this Almanac is a utopian publication, one that reminds today’s farmers about the foundational concepts of an agrarian democracy—themselves utopian.
But we also reject the self-propelling logic of techno-utopia—dependent upon extraction economies and enclosure of common resources. We orient ourselves instead toward the words of Ursula Le Guin, who reminds us that our intent in utopian thinking should not be “reactionary, nor even conservative, but simply subversive. It seems that the utopian imagination is trapped, like capitalism and industrialism and the human population, in a one-way future consisting only of growth.”
This tidy volume holds a civil, lived testimony from people whose work, lifeworld, and behavior patterns beamingly subvert the normative values of the macro economy called America.
The MultiCapital Scorecard
By Martin P. Thomas and Mark W. McElroy
For decades a growing number of companies and other organizations have been asking how they can combine social and environmental responsibilities with their economic obligations. In other words, they want to create a triple bottom line (3BL), reflecting impact on people and planet as well as profit. Those interested in assessing 3BL have struggled with how to best measure the parts in meaningful ways.
An international standard framework for 3BL/integrated corporate reporting has emerged, bringing the parts together, but it fails to provide specific guidance on exactly how to meet the principles. Organizations have been left to figure that out on their own.
In this book, organizational sustainability performance experts Martin Thomas and Mark McElroy introduce the world’s most advanced triple-bottom-line (3BL) performance accounting method: The MultiCapital Scorecard. It is the first context-based integrated measurement, management, and reporting system that can help answer the questions all organizations should be asking themselves: How much is enough? And are we sustainable? The answers to these questions set internal performance standards.
This open-source scorecard provides an accessible, standardized methodology that complies with international standards for 3BL/integrated reporting. Whereas the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)address the external financial reporting needs of organizations, they apply only to the United States and are always complemented internally with relevant information for management’s decision-making. The MultiCapital Scorecard has been developed by the authors to help organizations around the world assess their impact on the vital natural, social, and economic capitals that together influence their 3BLs.
The authors describe how and why business is gradually shifting from a narrow focus on increasing the value of only one type of capital (economic) to managing its impacts on multiple types in an evenhanded way. They also offer detailed examples of how the MultiCapital Scorecard can be applied. And they discuss the issues that the scorecard raises for organizations truly exploring their overall impact.
The MultiCapital Scorecard is a comprehensive guidebook to this new and necessary performance measurement tool for the new economy.
Available in: Hardcover
Zen and the Art of Permaculture Design
By Stefan Geyer
How to use permaculture design as a catalyst for a shift of perception about our place in the world
Do you wish to creatively engage with the wickedly complex problems of today, while not adding to the mess? Do you want to consciously act with clarity and grace whilst living on a thriving planet? Do you want a fair society, where people care for each other, their children and grandchildren?
Stefan Geyer shows how permaculture, infused by insights from the Zen tradition, can be a modern means to liberation from our society’s present woes. Permaculture is a new regenerative culture, and permaculture design is the method to get there, offering emancipation and emboldening us to think in joyfully expansive, daringly experimental, and creatively caring new ways. Each page of this pocket-sized book of quiet lightning and gentle earthquakes presents a permaculture idea or theme as a catalyst for creative thought. Together they articulate a process of awakening that can help us become intimately aware of how nature works. As we become more sensitive to our place within the natural world, we see our own nature within it.
The Minimalist Gardener
By Patrick Whitefield
Low input, year-round “no-dig” gardening that provides your kitchen with fresh healthy food, without breaking your back
Written by an acknowledged expert, this friendly guide will help you grow food in whatever space you have – large or small, rural or urban – with minimal purchased inputs, and maximum satisfaction.
This is the first in a collection of Patrick Whitefield’s pioneering writings, celebrating his life. It explores a cutting edge of permaculture gardening that is eminently practical and visionary all at the same time. Patrick describes an evolving system that is totally chemical free, requiring little input from outside the garden gate. His minimalist approach uses techniques such as no-dig, raised beds, perennial vegetables and self-seeding salads as ground cover, and mulching when appropriate. This minimizes garden maintenance whilst growing an abundance of produce year round. Patrick describes how to select plants based on what you like to eat and how to combine them in polycultures that confound would-be pests. He mixes annual hybrids, heritage varieties and perennial vegetables and has a pragmatic approach to selecting seeds and seed saving. There are also tips on fruit growing, from berries to fruit trees, including how to choose rootstocks and varieties.
Wind Energy for the Rest of Us
By Paul Gipe
Wind Energy for the Rest of Us straddles two—or more—worlds. The book is about wind energy. It’s not just about small wind turbines. It’s not just about large wind turbines. It’s about the depth and breadth of wind energy, encompassing more than either type of wind turbine. It includes water-pumping windmills and sailing ships. It’s a sprawling book, one minute discussing how to install small wind turbines safely, the next explaining how farmers in Indiana can earn millions by installing their own multimegawatt wind turbines. If it’s a book hard to categorize, that suits its author, Paul Gipe, who likes to think he’s hard to categorize after four decades at the frontiers of renewable energy. His book tells the story of modern wind energy in all its complexity and introduces a North American audience to the trailblazing electricity rebels who have launched a renewable energy revolution in Europe.
The book debunks novel wind turbines their promoters claim will generate electricity “too cheap to meter,” and rebukes revisionist historians who falsely argue that it was the aerospace industry that delivered today’s modern wind turbines.
Gipe explains why new wind turbines are part of a silent revolution that is changing the way we use wind energy. This revolution doesn’t garner headlines, but is making wind turbines more cost-effective in more places than ever before, lessening the need for new transmission lines, obviating the need for storage, and fueling rapid growth.
Gipe refutes many common myths surrounding wind energy and argues persuasively that wind turbines are productive, effective, and environmentally sound. Gipe argues that wind energy is too important to be left to electric utilities and their subsidiaries alone. Wind energy is also for the rest of us, he says. It is our resource. We can develop it and we can own it—ourselves.
The Permaculture Book of DIY
By John Adams
Permaculture is a low cost, environmental and creative approach to living. The Permaculture Book of DIY presents over 20 practical projects that show you how to cleverly recycle materials into useful and unique objects at low financial and environmental cost. Some projects can even be completed for free.
Want to spend more time enjoying your home and garden? With this diverse range of projects you could be growing vegetables in your own geodesic growdome, relaxing on a recycled wooden pallet garden bench whilst enjoying a cider from your very own cider press, or generating your own power with a self-installed solar panel!
Each project has been carefully tried and tested and is clearly laid out with step–by–step instructions and supporting photography and diagrams. It is suitable for anyone who wants to learn DIY skills, have fun and involve their kids too.
Learn how to make your own:
Human Heart, Cosmic Heart
By Thomas Cowan
Thomas Cowan was a 20-year-old Duke grad—bright, skeptical, and already disillusioned with industrial capitalism—when he joined the Peace Corps in the mid-1970s for a two-year tour in Swaziland. There, he encountered the work of Rudolf Steiner and Weston A. Price—two men whose ideas would fascinate and challenge him for decades to come.
Both drawn to the art of healing and repelled by the way medicine was—and continues to be—practiced in the United States, Cowan returned from Swaziland, went to medical school, and established a practice in New Hampshire and, later, San Francisco. For years, as he raised his three children, suffered the setback of divorce, and struggled with a heart condition, he remained intrigued by the work of Price and Steiner and, in particular, with Steiner’s provocative claim that the heart is not a pump. Determined to practice medicine in a way that promoted healing rather than compounded ailments, Cowan dedicated himself to understanding whether Steiner’s claim could possibly be true. And if Steiner was correct, what, then, is the heart? What is its true role in the human body?
In this deeply personal, rigorous, and riveting account, Dr. Cowan offers up a daring claim: Not only was Steiner correct that the heart is not a pump, but our understanding of heart disease—with its origins in the blood vessels—is completely wrong. And this gross misunderstanding, with its attendant medications and risky surgeries, is the reason heart disease remains the most common cause of death worldwide.
In Human Heart, Cosmic Heart, Dr. Thomas Cowan presents a new way of understanding the body’s most central organ. He offers a new look at what it means to be human and how we can best care for ourselves—and one another.
Back in Control
By David Hanscom
Seattle spinal surgeon Dr. David Hanscom focuses on an aspect of chronic pain that the medical world has largely overlooked: you must calm your nervous system in order to get better. More than any other book about pain, Back in Control reveals how to quiet a turbocharged central nervous system and make a full recovery, with or without surgery. Dr. Hanscom shares the story of his own journey out of chronic pain and offers a treatment paradigm that has evolved from his personal experience, as well what he has learned from his patients, hundreds of whom have moved beyond managing pain to becoming pain free. This book will enable those suffering from chronic pain to regain control of their care and life.
This revised 2nd edition reflects the last few years of neuroscience research. It is becoming increasingly clear that the brain processes mental and physical pain in a similar manner. As anxiety drops, pain will diminish. Dr. Hanscom has observed that these principles apply to any chronic pain condition.
Farm to Table
By Darryl Benjamin and Lyndon Virkler
With information on purchasing, marketing, and employing farm-to-table principles in restaurants, schools, hospitals, and other institutions
Nearly a century ago, the idea of “local food” would have seemed perplexing, since virtually all food was local. Food for daily consumption—fruits, vegetables, grains, meat, and dairy products—was grown at home or sourced from local farms. Today, most of the food consumed in the United States and, increasingly, around the globe, is sourced from industrial farms and concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), which power a food system rife with environmental, economic, and health-related problems.
The tide, however, is slowly but steadily turning back in what has been broadly termed the “farm-to-table” movement. In Farm to Table, Darryl Benjamin and Chef Lyndon Virkler explore how the farm-to-table philosophy is pushing back modern, industrialized food production and moving beyond isolated “locavore” movements into a broad and far-reaching coalition of farmers, chefs, consumers, policy advocates, teachers, institutional buyers, and many more all working to restore healthful, sustainable, and affordable food for everyone.
Divided into two distinct but complementary halves, “Farm” and “Table,” Farm to Table first examines the roots of our contemporary industrial food system, from the technological advances that presaged the “Green Revolution” to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz’s infamous dictum to farmers to “Get big or get out” in the 1970s. Readers will explore the many threats to ecology and human health that our corporatized food system poses, but also the many alternatives—from permaculture to rotation-intensive grazing—that small farmers are now adopting to meet growing consumer demand. The second half of the book is dedicated to illuminating best practices and strategies for schools, restaurants, healthcare facilities, and other business and institutions to partner with local farmers and food producers, from purchasing to marketing.
No longer restricted to the elite segments of society, the farm-to-table movement now reaches a wide spectrum of Americans from all economic strata and in a number of settings, from hospital and office cafeterias, to elementary schools and fast-casual restaurants. Farm to Table is a one-of-a-kind resource on how to integrate sustainable principles into each of these settings and facilitate intelligent, healthful food choices at every juncture as our food system evolves. While borrowing from the best ideas of the past, the lessons herein are designed to help contribute to a healthier, more sustainable, and more equitable tomorrow.
By Evan Mallett
Featuring more than 250 innovative recipes that respect and transcend regional food traditions.
The basis of great cooking has always been the creative use of fresh, seasonal ingredients – whether the kitchen is at home or in a high-end restaurant.
At the renowned Black Trumpet restaurant, located in the historic seacoast city of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Chef Evan Mallett and his staff reflect the constantly changing seasons of New England, celebrating the unique flavors and traditions of fished, farmed, and foraged foods in their ever-changing menus that rotate roughly every six weeks throughout the course of the year.
From deep winter’s comfort dishes to the first run of maple syrup during Mud Season; from the first flush of greens in early spring to the embarrassment of high summer’s bounty and fall’s final harvest—Evan Mallett offers more than 250 innovative recipes that draw not only on classic regional foodways, but on the author’s personal experiences with Mexican, Mediterranean, and other classic world cuisines. Recipes include inspired and delicious dishes such as:
Black Trumpet not only tells the story of a great restaurant—how the Black Trumpet became nationally famous as a model for local food sourcing and community involvement—but it also traces the growth and evolution of the local food movement. In some ways, it can be viewed as a how-to manual for building a community around good food, featuring not only creative and delicious recipes, but autobiographical vignettes, and sidebars containing technical how-to information, profiles, anecdotes, and essays.
In this cookbook, the trappings of technology are eschewed, and the bare-bones essentials of extracting flavor and combining both commonplace and unusual ingredients take center stage. Genuine flavor and hospitality are what set Black Trumpet apart, and this cookbook will reflect those special qualities and inspire a new generation of adventurous American cooks.
The Art of Frugal Hedonism
By Annie Raser-Rowland and Adam Grubb
It sounds too good to be true. You can save money and the world, inoculate yourself against many of the ills of modern life, and enjoy everything more on both the sensual and profound levels? Preposterous!
Yet here is a toolkit to help you do just that. A tweak here, a twiddle there; every strategy in The Art Of Frugal Hedonism has been designed to help you target the most important habits of mind and action needed for living frugally but hedonistically. Apply a couple, and you’ll definitely have a few extra dollars in your pocket and enjoy more sunsets. Apply the lot, and you’ll wake up one day and realise that you’re happier, wealthier, fitter, and more in lust with life than you’d ever thought possible.
Born on Third Base
By Chuck Collins
As inequality grabs headlines, steals the show in presidential debates, and drives deep divides between the haves and have nots in America, class war brews. On one side, the wealthy wield power and advantage, wittingly or not, to keep the system operating in their favor—all while retreating into enclaves that separate them further and further from the poor and working class. On the other side, those who find it increasingly difficult to keep up or get ahead lash out—waging a rhetorical war against the rich and letting anger and resentment, however justifiable, keep us from seeing new potential solutions.
But can we suspend both class wars long enough to consider a new way forward? Is it really good for anyone that most of society’s wealth is pooling at the very top of the wealth ladder? Does anyone, including the one percent, really want to live in a society plagued by economic apartheid?
It is time to think differently, says longtime inequality expert and activist Chuck Collins. Born into the one percent, Collins gave away his inheritance at 26 and spent the next three decades mobilizing against inequality. He uses his perspective from both sides of the divide to deliver a new narrative.
Collins calls for a ceasefire and invites the wealthy to come back home, investing themselves and their wealth in struggling communities. And he asks the non-wealthy to build alliances with the one percent and others at the top of the wealth ladder.
Stories told along the way explore the roots of advantage, show how taxpayers subsidize the wealthy, and reveal how charity, used incorrectly, can actually reinforce extreme inequality. Readers meet pioneers who are crossing the divide to work together in new ways, including residents in the author’s own Boston-area neighborhood who have launched some of the most interesting community transition efforts in the nation.
In the end, Collins’s national and local solutions not only challenge inequality but also respond to climate change and offer an unexpected, fresh take on one of our most intransigent problems.
By Sandor Ellix Katz
The Book That Started the Fermentation Revolution
Sandor Ellix Katz, winner of a James Beard Award and New York Times bestselling author, whom Michael Pollan calls the “Johnny Appleseed of Fermentation” returns to the iconic book that started it all, but with a fresh perspective, renewed enthusiasm, and expanded wisdom from his travels around the world. This self-described fermentation revivalist is perhaps best known simply as Sandorkraut, which describes his joyful and demystifying approach to making and eating fermented foods, the health benefits of which have helped launch a nutrition-based food revolution.
Since its publication in 2003, and aided by Katz’s engaging and fervent workshop presentations, Wild Fermentation has inspired people to turn their kitchens into food labs: fermenting vegetables into sauerkraut, milk into cheese or yogurt, grains into sourdough bread, and much more. In turn, they’ve traded batches, shared recipes, and joined thousands of others on a journey of creating healthy food for themselves, their families, and their communities. Katz’s work earned him the Craig Clairborne lifetime achievement award from the Southern Foodways Alliance, and has been called “one of the unlikely rock stars of the American food scene” by The New York Times.
This updated and revised edition, now with full color photos throughout, is sure to introduce a whole new generation to the flavors and health benefits of fermented foods. It features many brand-new recipes—including Strawberry Kvass, African Sorghum Beer, and Infinite Buckwheat Bread—and updates and refines original recipes reflecting the author’s ever-deepening knowledge of global food traditions that has influenced four-star chefs and home cooks alike. For Katz, his gateway to fermentation was sauerkraut. So open this book to find yours, and start a little food revolution right in your own kitchen.
Praise for Sandor Ellix Katz and his books:
“The Art of Fermentation is an extraordinary book, and an impressive work of passion and scholarship.”—Deborah Madison, author of Local Flavors
“Sandor Katz has proven himself to be the king of fermentation.”—Sally Fallon Morell, President, The Weston A. Price Foundation
“Sandor Katz has already awakened more people to the diversity and deliciousness of fermented foods than any other single person has over the last century.”—Gary Paul Nabhan, author of Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land
“The fermenting bible.” — Newsweek
“In a country almost clinically obsessed with sterilization Katz reminds us of the forgotten benefits of living in harmony with our microbial relatives.” — Grist
The Independent Farmstead
By Beth Dougherty and Shawn Dougherty
With in-depth information on electric fencing, watering, and husbandry for ruminants, poultry, and pigs, plus butchering, dairying, and more
“If we work hard, we sleep well.”
Twenty years ago, when authors Shawn and Beth Dougherty purchased the land they would come to name the Sow’s Ear, the state of Ohio designated it “not suitable for agriculture.” Today, their family raises and grows 90% of their own food.
Such self-sufficiency is largely the result of basing their farming practices around intensive pasture management. Pioneered by such luminaries as Allan Savory, Greg Judy, and Joel Salatin, the tenets of holistic grazing—employed mostly by larger-scale commercial operations—have been adapted by the Doughertys to fit their family’s needs. In The Independent Farmstead, The Sow’s Ear model for regenerating the land and growing food—“the best you ever tasted”—is elucidated for others to use and build upon.
In witty and welcoming style, The Independent Farmstead covers everything from choosing a species of ruminant and incorporating it into a grass-based system to innovative electric fencing and watering systems, to what to do with all of the milk, meat, and, yes, manure that the self-sustaining farm produces. Within these pages, the Doughertys discuss how to:
As the Doughertys write, more and more people today are feeling “the desire for clean, affordable food, unmodified, unprocessed, and unmedicated and the security of local food sourcing for ourselves and our children.” The Independent Farmstead is a must-have resource for those who count themselves as part of this movement: both new and prospective farmers and homesteaders, and those who are interested in switching to grass-based systems. Best of all it’s the kind of rare how-to book that the authors themselves view not as a compendium of one-size-fits-all instructions but as “the beginning of a conversation,” one that is utterly informative, sincere, and inspiring.
The Ketogenic Kitchen
By Domini Kemp and Patricia Daly
What do you get when you take a chef with an interest in nutrition and a nutritional therapist with an interest in great food, both of whom have battled their way through cancer?
Domini and Patricia have discovered a life-changing way of eating and they share it with you in The Ketogenic Kitchen, along with the most up-to-date and exciting nutritional information which reveals that a diet low in carbohydrates and high in fat can offer new hope and protection against many chronic illnesses. This food philosophy also has the welcoming side effects of weight loss and management, higher energy levels and glowing good health.
‘The Low-carb Way’ contains lots of easy low-carb recipes bursting with flavor and nourishment that will guide you on your path to optimum wellness. ‘The Ketogenic Way’ contains meal plans, recipes and comprehensive scientific information about the benefits of a ketogenic diet, with warm, friendly and sensible advice to help you through periods of illness, recovery and treatment.
Whether you are facing treatment, going through recovery or simply want to choose food that helps to keep you healthy in the long term, Domini and Patricia’s fantastic new book will be your best friend in the kitchen.
By Michael Ableman
Street Farm is the inspirational account of residents in the notorious Low Track in Vancouver, British Columbia—one of the worst urban slums in North America—who joined together to create an urban farm as a means of addressing the chronic problems in their neighborhood. It is a story of recovery, of land and food, of people, and of the power of farming and nourishing others as a way to heal our world and ourselves.
During the past seven years, Sole Food Street Farms—now North America’s largest urban farm project—has transformed acres of vacant and contaminated urban land into street farms that grow artisan-quality fruits and vegetables. By providing jobs, agricultural training, and inclusion in a community of farmers and food lovers, the Sole Food project has empowered dozens of individuals with limited resources who are managing addiction and chronic mental health problems.
Sole Food’s mission is to encourage small farms in every urban neighborhood so that good food can be accessible to all, and to do so in a manner that allows everyone to participate in the process. In Street Farm, author-photographer-farmer Michael Ableman chronicles the challenges, growth, and success of this groundbreaking project and presents compelling portraits of the neighborhood residents-turned-farmers whose lives have been touched by it. Throughout, he also weaves his philosophy and insights about food and farming, as well as the fundamentals that are the underpinnings of success for both rural farms and urban farms. Street Farm will inspire individuals and communities everywhere by providing a clear vision for combining innovative farming methods with concrete social goals, all of which aim to create healthier and more resilient communities.
The Organic Gardener's Handbook
By Frank Tozer
The Organic Gardeners Handbook covers every aspect of creating, managing and working in the organic vegetable garden. There are chapters on climate, site selection, soil science, fertility, bed preparation, composting, cover crops, planning, raising seedlings, direct sowing, watering, harvesting, weeding, pests, seed saving, harvesting, storage, season extension, greenhouses and more! It covers both the art and science of gardening with sufficient depth to have been used as a textbook in college horticulture classes, yet it explains everything in an easily understood and even entertaining manner. Whether you are a complete novice, or a veteran gardener, you will want to keep this book out in the garden shed with your tools. It is intended to be used in conjunction with its companion book, The New Vegetable Growers Handbook, which covers the cultivation of individual crops.
This new edition has been extensively revised, updated and expanded to be even more complete and authoritative, and is likely to be the most complete and useful guide to organic vegetable gardening that you will find anywhere.
Parachuting Cats into Borneo
By Axel Klimek and Alan AtKisson
A toolkit of proven strategies and practices for building capacity and creating transformation
Recent years have seen a proliferation of information on how to make change—in business, in social and environmental movements, and on a more personal scale. But, even with all this attention, two out of three change efforts fail to achieve their desired result. How can you make your own effort buck this trend?
In Parachuting Cats into Borneo, change-management experts Axel Klimek and Alan AtKisson offer crisp, concise, and targeted advice for success. They expose the most significant impediments—helping readers recognize their habitual patterns of thinking and perceiving a situation, critique their own beliefs regarding change, and then move beyond these unhelpful patterns using improved systems thinking.
Named after a classic tale of unintended consequences, Parachuting Cats into Borneo delivers tools that help leaders and others keep their change initiatives on track. The advice imparted will help you move away from agonizing over immediate problems toward stoking action, identifying collaborators, focusing at the right level for your cause, and aiding others in pursuing their change.
Klimek and AtKisson draw from their decades of helping corporations, networks, governments, and NGOs reach their change goals to demonstrate how to use system-based change tools to their maximum advantage.
A closing section is devoted to change making in the realm of sustainability, where complexity abounds but the right tools, used well, can help us tackle some of the most significant challenges of our time.
Surviving the Future
By David Fleming and Shaun Chamberlin
Surviving the Future is a story drawn from the fertile ground of the late David Fleming’s extraordinary Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It. That hardback consists of four hundred and seventy-two interlinked dictionary entries, inviting readers to choose their own path through its radical vision.
Recognizing that Lean Logic’s sheer size and unusual structure can be daunting, Fleming’s long-time collaborator Shaun Chamberlin has selected and edited one of these potential narratives to create Surviving the Future. The content, rare insights, and uniquely enjoyably writing style remain Fleming’s, but are presented here at a more accessible paperback-length and in conventional read-it-front-to-back format.
The subtitle—Culture, Carnival and Capital in the Aftermath of the Market Economy—hints at Fleming’s vision. He believed that the market economy will not survive its inherent flaws beyond the early decades of this century, and that its failure will bring great challenges, but he did not dwell on this: “We know what we need to do. We need to build the sequel, to draw on inspiration which has lain dormant, like the seed beneath the snow.”
Surviving the Future lays out a compelling and powerfully different new economics for a post-growth world. One that relies not on taut competitiveness and eternally increasing productivity—“putting the grim into reality”—but on the play, humor, conversation, and reciprocal obligations of a rich culture. Building on a remarkable breadth of intellectual and cultural heritage—from Keynes to Kumar, Homer to Huxley, Mumford to MacIntyre, Scruton to Shiva, Shakespeare to Schumacher—Fleming describes a world in which, as he says, “there will be time for music.”
This is the world that many of us want to live in, yet we are told it is idealistic and unrealistic. With an evident mastery of both economic theory and historical precedent, Fleming shows that it is not only desirable, but actually the only system with a realistic claim to longevity. With friendliness, humor, and charm, Surviving the Future plucks this vision out of our daydreams and shows us how to make it real.
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