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Quotations and poetry selected by a renowned ecologist from the likes of Henry James, Simone de Beauvoir, Isaac Asimov, Mohandas Gandhi, and Thomas Jefferson offer timeless reflections on life before and after death. IP.
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Helen Knothe Nearing (1904-1995) and Scott Nearing (1883-1983) were well known American back-to-the-landers who wrote extensively about their experience living what they termed "the good life".
The Nearings began their simple life on an old farm on the foot of Stratton Mountain near Jamaica, Vermont in 1932, in the pit of the Great Depression. In 1952 they moved to Maine, ultimately settling on their "Forest Farm" at Cape Rosier (in the village of Harborside, within the town of Brooksville), where they lived until their deaths. Scott remained a thinker, writer, and lecturer on economics and social issues for many years. Their best known books (those which they wrote together) are Living the Good Life (published 1954) and Continuing the Good Life (1979). The first of these is often credited with being a major spur to the U.S. Back-to-the-land movement that began in the late 1960s.
Helen and Scott were devoted to a lifestyle giving importance to work, on the one hand, and contemplation or play, on the other. Ideally, they aimed at a norm that would divide most of a day's waking hours into three blocks of four hours: "bread labor" (work directed toward meeting requirements of food, shelter, clothing, needed tools, and such); civic work (doing something of value for their community); and professional pursuits or recreation (for Scott this was frequently economics research, for Helen it was often music - but they both liked to ski, also). They clearly honored manual work, and viewed it as one aspect of the self-development process that they felt life should be.
The Nearings were experimenters and were also very widely read. They frequently quoted authors of centuries past in their own books. They found wisdom in some of the attitudes of the past, but did not feel tied to the life patterns or technologies of the past. Apart from the necessity that drove them to the land, when they sought a good life during the Depression, keys to their success in the lifestyle included intelligence, commitment, and self-discipline.
Their best-known books draw mainly on their personal experience on their homesteads. Secondary content is drawn from reflections on mainstream-American society (which they were critical of and basically rejected), their neighbors, and the positive values they believed in: self-responsibility, healthy exercise and diet, social cooperation, environmental consciousness, etc. The cycles and rhythms of nature were the Nearings' guide as they successfully provided for about 80% of their food needs.
Their approach to living, based largely on the reduction of wants and a mostly non-monetary return from their organic horticulture and other sorts of labor, appealed to many people. The Nearings offered an almost "open-house" situation on their land for several decades, so that visitors could experience this way of life and learn a bit from them.
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Book Description Tilbury House Pub. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0884481794. Seller Inventory # QD-2MS6-8BP7
Book Description Tilbury House Pub, 1995. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0884481794
Book Description Tilbury House Pub, 1995. Hardcover. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0884481794
Book Description Tilbury House Pub, 1995. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110884481794