The Good Life: Helen and Scott Nearing's Sixty Years of Self-Sufficient Living
by Scott Nearing Author and Helen Nearing Author
I found this book at the library when I was a teenager and fell a little bit in love with the hard-working, difficult, different, iconoclastic Nearings. Scott was a radical economist, historian and activist who wrote many books (typed by Helen), but Helen is the one whose books and sharp, uncompromising visions have withstood the test of time. Her writing about their unusual life greatly inspired—and given intelligent, practical guidance and motivation to—the back to the land movement of the 60s and 70s. Her stories about leaving city life to build a rural New England homestead colorfully bring to life everything the Nearings built, from a stone house to a walled garden to a thriving maple syrup operation to healthy bodies that ensured long lives for both. Eventually, as word got out, they also ran an unofficial hospitality and teaching operation, as idealistic folks made the pilgrimage to see how they did it. Apparently they were difficult neighbors, but they were also super intelligent and inspiring, and still are today. This volume combines their two books that focused on setting up and maintaining their rural way of life.
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