The Unsettlers

The Unsettlers

In Search of the Good Life in Today's America

Book - 2016
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In the dead of winter, a former marine biologist and his pregnant wife, a classically trained opera singer, disembark an Amtrak train in La Plata, Missouri, assemble two bikes, and pedal off into the night, bound for a homestead they've purchased, sight unseen. Meanwhile, in Detroit, a horticulturist, daughter of the city and descendant of Mississippi sharecroppers, and her husband, a disillusioned public school teacher, have turned to urban farming to revitalize the blighted city they both love. And in Missoula, Montana, a couple who have been at the forefront of organic farming for decades navigate what it means to live and raise a family ethically. More than ever, we seem to be yearning for othe simple life.o We want to reconnect with the land and the environment in a deeper way that can assuage modern ills. We seek a livelihood that exercises body and mind without taking a toll on the environment. We long to find ways to nurture spirit and community instead of distracting and isolating ourselves with electronics. We even dream utopian dreams of discovering ways of life that model for others answers to the question of how we can live more sustainably, peacefully, authentically. A work of immersive journalism steeped in a distinctively American social history and sparked by a personal quest, The Unsettlers traces the search for the simple life not only through the stories of those three very different couples, but through the visionaries, ascetics, and artists that inspired each of them to walk away from the life they knew in order to find (or create) a better existence. Captivating and clear-eyed, it dares us to imagine what a sustainable, ethical, authentic future might actually look like.
Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, ©2016.
ISBN: 9781594631580
Characteristics: 324 pages ;,24 cm.


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Mar 09, 2017

Is "radical simplicity" possible anymore? Sundeen writes of friends who have put their all into living off the land in integrity with their beliefs. The hard work and living with little is not for everyone. Readers can take from it the need to be more conscious in how we use resources, where our food comes from, what it takes to grow and transport our food. Individual stories take place in Detroit, Missoula, and areas that homesteaders and intentional communities have succeeded and failed.

Cynthia_N Mar 02, 2017

Sundeen seeks out the stories of people who believe in a simpler way of life. Well, sort of simpler, it is clear by the stories that simpler is a lot more hard work! As someone who longs for chickens and a garden I found these stories inspiring. I don't want a lifestyle as extreme as some of these but I did enjoy reading about them.

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