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Counterculture Green: The Whole Earth…
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Counterculture Green: The Whole Earth Catalog and American…

by Andrew G. Kirk

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I came to this book thinking the author would shill for radical, left-wing environmentalism. There is a touch of that. This is a fairly even-handed look at a rather complex movement. It was not what we normally think of as the "counter-culture." Many of the folks had libertarian, small-government views. At the same time, LSD was freely flowing through the environmentalist movement, which led to many of the wacky ideas explored.

This book is well researched and quite readable. ( )
1 vote w_bishop | Dec 5, 2010 |
another wonderful book update history of the Great New Era we've been in for so long. The Great Sixties Era. The Era since 1938 when Albert Hofmann created LSD. We're now 70 years into this New Era. Stewart Brand backstory from the way early Trips Festivals, the first modern Raves, up thru the late Whole Earth Catalogs, CQ, and the Whole Earth Review. This is the third book on the From LSD to the Google G1 process in Kaliformulae. A recent development is the hyper-hip massive co-op of Coolness, the Long Now Foundation. Grabbing the next 10,000 years! Too much. I date the new great Long Now from 1938. see above. Also from 1943. 1938-1943 is the Great Cusp where the previous 50,000 years of Human History ends and this new Dash to the Stars and Center of this Galaxie finally begins the next 50,000 years!
  moshido | Oct 27, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0700615458, Hardcover)

For those who eagerly awaited its periodic appearance, it was more than a publication: it was a way of life. The Whole Earth Catalog billed itself as "Access to Tools," and it grew from a Bay Area blip to a national phenomenon catering to hippies, do-it-yourselfers, and anyone interested in self-sufficiency independent of mainstream America.

In recovering the history of the Catalog's unique brand of environmentalism, Andrew Kirk recounts how San Francisco's Stewart Brand and his counterculture cohorts in the Point Foundation promoted a philosophy of pragmatic environmentalism that celebrated technological achievement, human ingenuity, and sustainable living. By piecing together the social, cultural, material, environmental, and technological history of that philosophy's incarnation in the Catalog, Kirk reveals the driving forces behind it, tells the story of the appropriate technology movement it espoused, and assesses its fate.

This book takes a fresh look at the many individuals and organizations who worked in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s to construct this philosophy of pragmatic environmentalism. At a time when many of these ideas were seen as heretical to a predominantly wilderness-based movement, Whole Earth became a critical forum for environmental alternatives and a model for how complicated ecological ideas could be presented in a hopeful and even humorous way. It also enabled later environmental advocates like Al Gore to explain our current "inconvenient truth," and the actions of Brand's Point Foundation demonstrated that the epistemology of Whole Earth could be put into action in meaningful ways that might foster an environmental optimism distinctly different from the jeremiads that became the stock in trade of American environmentalism.

Kirk shows us that Whole Earth was more than a mere counterculture fad. In an era of political protest, it suggested that staying home and modifying your toilet or installing a solar collector could make a more significant contribution than taking to the streets to shout down establishment misdeeds. Given its visible legacy in the current views of Al Gore and others, the subtle environmental heresies of Whole Earth continue to resonate today, which makes Kirk's lucid and lively tale an extremely timely one as well.

This book is part of the CultureAmerica series.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:15 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

For many, it was more than a publication: it was a way of life. The Whole Earth Catalog billed itself as "Access to Tools," and it grew from a Bay Area blip to a national phenomenon catering to hippies, do-it-yourselfers, and anyone interested in self-sufficiency independent of mainstream America (now known as "living off the grid"). In recovering the history of the Catalog's unique brand of environmentalism, historian Kirk recounts how Stewart Brand and the Point Foundation promoted a philosophy of pragmatic environmentalism that celebrated technological achievement, human ingenuity, and sustainable living. Kirk shows us that Whole Earth was more than a mere counterculture fad. At a time when many of these ideas were seen as heretical to a predominantly wilderness-based movement, it became a critical forum for environmental alternatives and a model for how complicated ecological ideas could be presented in a hopeful and even humorous way.--From publisher description.… (more)

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