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Home » Books » Science » Nature » Environmental Conservation & Pro

Twelve by Twelve

A One-room Cabin Off the Grid and Beyond the American Dream

By William Powers

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Format: Paperback / softback, 296 pages
Published In: United States, 01 April 2010
Why would a successful American physician choose to live in a 12' x 12' cabin without running water or electricity? To find out, Powers visits Dr. Ashley Benton in rural North Carolina. No Name Creek gurgles through Benton's permaculture farm and she strokes honey bees' wings as she shares her 'wildcrafter' philosophy of living on a planet in crisis. Powers, just back from a decade of international aid work, house sits here for a season, befriends the eclectic neighbors, and discovers a way of life under threat in opposition to the globalized American dream. How can a family's free-range chickens compete with the genetically modified birds at the nearby factory farm? Part Annie Dillard, part Bill McKibben, this is riveting armchair travel through a landscape rich with clues to personal and global healing.

About the Author

For over a decade William Powers has led development aid and conservation initiatives in Latin America, Africa, and Washington, DC. He is the author of two critically acclaimed memoirs about his time in Africa and South America, Blue Clay People and Whispering in the Giant s Ear. His writings on global issues have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, Slate, and the Sun. A popular speaker and senior fellow at the World Policy Institute, he lives part-time in New York City."

Reviews

A penetrating account of what it s like to move to the margins in our particular time and place. It will make you think, hard. Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy and founder of 350.org An honest, courageous, and authentic tale of one gifted writer s attempt to find balance in a world in crisis. Reading this deeply human book has helped me to find a more genuine peace in the midst of the craziness. John Robbins, author of The New Good Life and Diet for a New America In this quiet, startling adventure, William Powers brings two worlds into focus simultaneously. He helps us see with fresh eyes the stultifying ugliness, homogeneity, and bankruptcy of a growth-addicted culture. And, at the same time, he helps us rediscover the beauty and liberation that radical simplicity can bring. In his engaging company, we look into the lives of sly, unobtrusive heroes who are building the new in the shell of the old. Joanna Macy, author of World as Lover, World as Self How much is enough? And what is really important? These are questions that William Powers runs into again and again in his time off the grid in the U.S. and overseas, but his humble and contemplative memoir handles them with freshness and honesty, recognizing that sometimes asking the questions is more important than finding the right answers. Lester R. Brown, president of Earth Policy Institute and author of Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization A true story of rediscovery of and reconnection with fundamental truths and values. Enchanting and heartwarming, Twelve by Twelve is a modern-day Walden. Dr. Thomas E. Lovejoy, president of the Heinz Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment Powers combines environmental writing in the vein of Thoreau with Zen, economics, warrior presence, and even a touch of dramas of the heart to present a holistic view of contemporary deliberate living. Readers interested in a simpler and more sustainable lifestyle will enjoy the flowing prose and concrete thoughts as they reflect on their own American dream. Library Journal For anyone who has considered that there must be an alternative to our busy, speedy, hungry, consuming world, this book shows us the way. William Powers s deeply personal journey reminds us that a return to basics and a simple life may help us to rediscover ourselves, our communities, and the natural world we live in. Michael Ableman, farmer and author of Fields of Plenty Powers speaks with the authority of one who has seen the ramifications of the flattening world....Students of environmental and globalization ethics will be just as interested in Mr. Powers journey as the activist or layperson exploring how to motivate self and the world to move towards sustainability. ForeWord"

EAN: 9781577318972
ISBN: 1577318978
Publisher: New World Library
Dimensions: 21.34 x 13.72 x 1.78 centimetres (0.38 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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Sara on
 
Highly recommend. A joy to read and even better than I expected.

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