From Publishers Weekly
In this scattershot jeremiad, Mate takes on virtually all of modernity, concluding with a romantic paean to country life. A one-time city dweller who now lives in Tuscany, the author criticizes houses ("huge, unused barns"), "the myth of the steady job," corporate ownership, agricultural practices, cities and individualism--all in a shrill and hyperbolic prose style. He does have some worthy recommendations: why we should convert our lawns to gardens; how children should be taught defenses against advertising. But other ideas, like junking the television set ("Open an upstairs window . . . and throw the heinous sonovabitch as far as your arms let you!"), make him sound like a cranky Luddite. "Most of you might dismiss this as the raving of some idealist," acknowledges the author; indeed, he courts that assessment.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A Reasonable Life
is wonderful! This fast-paced book is just what we need to slow us down and think. I hope everyone--especially the young--gets to see a copy. -- Pete Seeger
A masterpiece. Ferenc Mate writes brilliantly with Runyonesque humor and poetic prose. He satirizes our modern society driven by greed and mindlessness, and in its place he recommends the ultimate sanity. I loved it. Highly recommended. -- Dr. Helen Caldicott, author of If You Love This Planet
An anti-materialist Philippic that's fun to read. I feel saner for having read it. -- John R. MacArthur, publisher, Harper's Magazine
Ferenc Mate presents a host of creative ideas in his trumpet call for new lifestyles on the part of each and every one of us. Read it, disagree as much as you like, but you can't help but be struck by his blazing enthusiasm and optimism--then read it again. -- Dr. Norman Myers, winner of the World Wildlife Fund Gold Medal and author of Gaia: An Atlas of Planet Management and The Primary Source: Tropical Forests and Our Future
Mate's book establishes him as the leader of the new counter-culture movement. A Reasonable Life
is more complex, comprehensive and much more funny than anything written in the sixties. -- CJFC Radio
Mate's book strikes straight to the heart with its passionate argument for safe country living, home gardens, family businesses, independence without isolation. A Reasonable Life
targets right on the decay which is destroying sound American values and lifestyles. -- Anne LaBastille, author of Woodswoman and Beyond Black Bear Lake
The most powerful, damning, inspiring and hopeful call for a fulfilled life you can imagine. Now if we would only just listen for the sake of our children. -- Country Journal
This book will look insane to a normal American. Which shows how crazy we have become. Read it--you might get a life. -- Charles Bowden, author of Desierto and Juarez : The Laboratory of Our Future