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The Good Life: Helen and Scott Nearing's Sixty Years of Self-Sufficient Living

Customer Reviews:

Essential reading

By Erika Mitchell - January 16, 2004

This book is a reprint of two classics "Living the good life" and "Continuing the good life". In these books, Scott and Helen Nearing describe how they chose to live deliberately, and built for themselves a sustainable life and lifestyle in Vermont and Maine. In "Living the good life", they explain some of the circumstances that led them to stage a strategic withdrawal from New York City and relocate to a run-down farm in Vermont during the 1930s. They describe how they acquired and developed their land, how they built their house, and their garden and diet. A major focus of the book is explaining their philosophy of non-exploitation, and how they wanted to implement their ideas of social justice into their lifestyle. The Nearings believed so strongly in avoiding exploitation of any kind that they avoided resorting to animal labor or products on their farm. They arranged their days so that they could spend 4 hours doing bread labor, 4 hours working with the community, and had 4... read more

Everyman's Bible for Living Simpler, High-Quality Lifestyles

By Barron Laycock "Labradorman" - April 15, 2000

I first became aware of the Nearings (Helen and Scott) as a university student in the late 1960s, when they were considered the elder statesmen of the Sixties counterculture's back-to-the-land movement. As such, they prefigure by decades all the current flood of authors counseling a return to basic human values, lives of simplicity and a turning away from lifestyles of mindless consumption. The thread of truth running through their decades of rural adventures and struggles to live their lives with quality, public service, and dignity is an American classic, and one the present generation could learn much from. Simply put, this is a classic volume that describes the Nearings' lifetime experiment at establishing and maintaining a more meaningful alternative lifestyle, one eschewing the waste, rampant materialism, and corporate subjugation so common in today's mainstream society. After reading this book, one will chuckle quietly at the pathos inherant in the sight of all these... read more

A truly inspirational book!

By A Customer - August 3, 1998

Since I was a little girl I've dreamt of living on a farm. Growing my own food. Gaining my daily exercise while I do my chores. Today I'm in my early 30's and still have a strong desire to live a life similar to Helen & Scott Nearing. This book was such an inspiration to me! "The Good Life" has made me yearn even more for a healthier, and fruitful lifestyle. I'm thankful that Helen & Scott were such generous people and willing to share their experiences and knoweldge. I only wish that I had the opportunity to meet these beautiful souls and share a few days labor, meal and conversation with them.

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