274 pages, figs & photos
For most of human history, we have lived our daily lives in a close relationship with the land. Yet now, for the first time, more people are living in urban rather than rural areas, bringing about an estrangement.
This book, by acclaimed author Jules Pretty, is fundamentally about our relationship with nature, animals and places. A series of interlinked essays leads readers on a journey that weaves through the themes of connection and estrangement between humans and nature. The journey shows how our modern lifestyles and economies are precisely those that would need six or eight Earths to contain them if the entire world's population adopted them.
A tragedy unfolds as Pretty shows how we are rendering our own world inhospitable and how, unless we make substantial changes, we risk losing what it means to be human. Ultimately, however, the book offers directions for an optimistic future in the very face of climate change and pending global environmental catastrophe.
* 'A blend of clear-eyed science and poetic eloquence. To say that this is essential reading is rather like saying that a compass is essential to navigation' David Orr, author of Design on the Edge and The Last Refuge * 'An exemplary blending of passion and rigour. Absolute where it needs to be, always subtle, and often beautiful, and ranging exceptionally widely within space, and deeply within time, it could only have been written by someone with Pretty's expertises, both of library and of the field' Robert Macfarlane, author of Mountains of the Mind * 'Beautifully written... both a celebration and a warning... with its lucid memory of hard facts and its showing how good it is to be alive among the creatures and plants' Ronald Blythe, author of The Age of Illusion and A Year at Bottengoms Farm * 'A very powerful and very compelling book' Bill McKibbon, author of The End of Nature
Preface: Green Places, Good Places
Part I: Green Places
Birch Bark and Blue Sky
A Room with a Green View
Part II: Animals and Us
Where the Wild Things Were
Hunters and the Hunted
Part III: Food and the Land
The Fatta the Lan'
Little Houses on the Prairie
The Shadow of the Rain
Part IV: People and the Land
Life and Land on the North Atlantic Fringe
Part V: The Future
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Jules Pretty OBE is Professor of Environment and Society and Head of the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Essex, UK, and Chief Editor of the International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability. His works include Sustainable Agriculture and Food (forthcoming 4-volume set for publication in 2007), The Earthscan Reader in Sustainable Agriculture (2005), The Pesticide Detox (2005), Agri-Culture (2002), The Living Land (1998), Regenerating Agriculture (1995), The Hidden Harvest (1992, co-authored), Unwelcome Harvest (1991, co-authored) and The Edge of Extinction: Travels with Enduring People in Vanishing Lands (2014).