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Building a Healthy Economy from the Bottom Up


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About the Author

Bill McKibben is the Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a founder of, the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement, and the author of more than a dozen books.


" Building a Health Economy from the Bottom Up is a timely book that fits well into the current political dialogue, offering a significant contribution to the field of rural community planning, and will have wide appeal among students and practitioners." -- Journal of Planning Education and Research

"A blessing of a book. It is rich in stories and detail for the curious or discouraged and those seeking a strategy to move toward a sustainable and equitable future. Flaccavento excels as a storyteller, reporting on successful "bottom-up" ventures and experiments in building new systems around food, energy, health services, worker ownership, community finance, and place-based arts and culture." -- YES! Weekly

" Building a Healthy Economy from the Bottom Up is an invaluable guidebook for those who seek to liberate their communities from colonial servitude to Wall Street and the money-seeking corporate robots that come only to take." -- David C. Korten, author of Change the Story, Change the Future: A Living Economy for a Living Earth

"Flaccavento brings a completely unique perspective to economics, which is to say that he is both entertaining and factual. Economists generally aren't concerned with either. I recommend this book to those who have come to realize our country is running on fumes and who desire to explore what's next." -- Kimber Lanning, founder and director of Local First Arizona

"Flaccavento deftly weaves a big-picture vision for building a better economy -- one that truly serves our needs and long-term well-being -- with down-to-earth stories and practical tips for how to set these changes in motion within your own household and community." -- Stacy Mitchell, codirector of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, and author of Big-Box Swindle

"No matter how many books on 'local economies' you have read, you will learn something new and eye-opening from Anthony Flaccavento. Starting with his own organizing efforts in Southwest Virginia, Flaccavento spins the colorful tales of successful grassroots economy-building in Appalachia and in small towns and low-income neighborhoods across the United States. There's so much inspiring material packed into these pages, I challenge anyone to read it and NOT want to buy from, invest in, or even start a local business in food, energy, or finance. This book will change readers' lives." -- Michael H. Shuman, author of The Local Economy Solution

"The main achievement here is in synthesizing a literature that has been emerging for twenty or thirty years and doing so in a manner that is clear, readable, and effective." -- Paul B. Thompson, author of The Agrarian Vision: Sustainability and Environmental Ethics

"There is a movement happening. The secret is that it is successful and has been going on for a long time--for American agriculture it started over 30 years ago with the 1980s farm crisis. All of us 'on the ground' owe Anthony a debt of gratitude, for he, as one of us, has paused for a moment from the work to capture the root causes, our community-led responses, and the path forward. In a world that is often full of despair, Anthony shares the growing hope that is more prevalent than acknowledged." -- Martin Richards, "recovering tobacco farmer" and Executive Director Community Farm Alliance

"This work will be considered current for a number of years, as the stories and examples are very up to date and seem to be on the cutting edge of knowledge and thinking in this area." -- John Ikerd, University of Missouri-Columbia

"Through a series of narratives and case studies, Flaccavento illustrates real stories of changes from the 'bottom up' that are initiated and led by community members. He weaves these stories into a cogent critique of how these economic policies have harmed middle- and lower-income Americans and further, how this large-scale economy has harmed community life." -- A. Whitney Sanford, author of Growing Stories from India: Religion and the Fate of Agriculture

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