62 of 63 people found the following review helpful
Excellent in all respects,
This review is from: The Good Life: Helen and Scott Nearing's Sixty Years of Self-Sufficient Living (Paperback)This book is about a couple who develop a self-sufficient life style. Originally I bought the book as a blue print for retirement so that I could pluck from it those things I wanted for my family - a very good guide for such a purpose. However, the Nearings had a very strong set of principles, which sets them aside from most people who want to get away from city life. An initial period of work in his grandfather's mine alongside immigrant workers turned Scott into an outspoken critic of the social system resulting in his being fired from his university post and made unemployable. Royalties on his textbooks, widely used in the educational system, ceased. Scott's wife, Helen, was also a very high-principled person. Perhaps this was the ultimate secret of their long-term success - they were completely uncompromising on whatever principles they adopted.
Helen Nearing tells us that they left the city with three objectives:
She goes on to tell us that after 20 years:
We are told that no family group of vigor, energy, purpose, imagination and determination need continue to wear the yoke of a competitive, acquisitive, and predatory culture. A family can live with nature, make a living, preserve and enhance efficiency, enjoy leisure, and do their part to make the world a better place. They maintain that a couple of any age 20-50 with minimum health, intelligence and capital can adapt to country living, learn its crafts, overcome its difficulties and build a rich pattern of life of simple values, being productive of personal and social good.
If you have wondered whether city life is for you, there is no better book to read than "The Good Life".