Soil and Soul: People Versus Corporate Power Hardcover – 31 Oct 2001
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'This is a world-changing book, one of the most important I have ever read, which will transform our perception of ourselves, our history and our surroundings'
It is easy to feel helpless in the face of the torrent of information about environmental catastrophes taking place all over the world. In Soil and Soul, Scottish activist and academic Alastair McIntosh shows how it is still possible for individuals to take on the might of corporate power and emerge victorious. Alastair's beliefs are rooted in his upbringing on the Isle of Lewis. In the first part of his book he explores the ways in which the old way of life in the Hebrides was threatened with extinction by global capitalism; he does not advocate a return to some kind of preindustrial golden age, but balances the gains of modernity against what has been lost - in particular the disintegration of communities governed by a sense of mutual responsibility. The second part of the book demonstrates how Alastair's principles of community empowerment can be successfully put into practice. Working closely with the inhabitants of the Isle of Eigg, Alastair was partly responsible for the first-known case in which Scottish tenants cleared a laird from his own estate.
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In telling the story of the Isle of Eigg, interspersed with biographical reflections upon the nature of human community, McIntosh weaves a golden cloth of words and images. Using his academic studies, literary skill, Calvinist Hebridean background and vibrant Quaker faith, this of all McIntosh's books has a joyful and generous poesis. It gives hope in both humanity and community to forge new possibilities for a shared and 'earth-friendly' future.
I bought my first copy of this book, shortly after publication, and it was borrowed, re-lent and never returned. Ditto a second copy about ten years ago. I read my third copy, raved about it (then nearly died, taking a year to recover) and that copy had gone. Now I have annotated and highlighted a precious fourth copy and know that it is shaping my public speaking and teaching as well as the nature of ongoing professional writing projects.
As a published poet and community theologian, I know my green activism and advocacy has ensured this book is on my 'Desert Island' shelf to be re-read with annual frequency. Enjoy
I highly recommend this book, as well as his other titles.
Great customer service from this seller - fast shipping and a good quality book.