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Slow is Beautiful: New Visions of Community, Leisure and Joie de Vivre Paperback – October 1, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

Review

We're hammered, we're slammed, we're out of control. Happiness is on the decline in the most affluent country in the world and Americans are troubled by the destructiveness of a lifestyle devoted to money and status. Yet no-one seems to have a clue how to exit from the Fast Lane...

Slow Is Beautiful analyzes the subtle consumer, political and corporate forces stamping the joy from our existence and provides a vision of a more fulfilling life through the rediscovery of caring community, unhurried leisure, and life affirming joie de vivre. The book discusses:

  • the frantic time poverty plaguing everyone-a poverty that is being challenged by the growing Slow Life movement whose message is reverberating around the world
  • the need to build a culture of connection with both people and the planet by challenging the consumer society and recreating vibrant life in our local communities
  • the creation of a different experience of time where we live life in slower, more reflective ways, savoring our lives and recapturing exuberance and laughter.

Offering inspiration and concrete ideas, Slow Is Beautiful will appeal to a broad audience of Baby Boomers nearing retirement, harried professionals with a social conscience, the one-time .middle class,. and 20-30-somethings who are now facing the sobering realities of constricted choices.

(2006-04-18)

About the Author

Cecile Andrews is a community educator, author of Circle of Simplicity, and contributor to several books on living more simply and taking back our time. She has a doctorate from Stanford and teaches at Seattle University. She and her husband are founders of Seattle's Phinney Ecovillage, a neighborhood-based sustainable community.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: New Society Publishers; First Edition edition (October 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865715548
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865715547
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #511,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Nicholson on January 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book offers compelling and contemporary commentary on the ubiquitous, rampant, relentless drive to consume in America ...and the resulting time impoverishment in so many of our lives. Andrews shows how our life/work merry-go-rounds have spun out of control. Accelerated by the information age, spurred on by the corporate culture, many of us who are rushed, stressed, and separated from our true selves perceive no way to get off.

Through research and witty descriptions of her own experiences, Andrews reveals how an obsession with professional status and commercial/material success can be antithetical to joyful living. She peels back the shallow surface of these cherished "values" and exposes them as surface intoxications, spurred by corporate culture -- and ultimately unsustainable. This builds her compelling case for the often repeated (but hitherto unheeded) message: personal happiness is more likely to emerge via simplicity than via complexity.... more likely to emerge via community than via self promotion.

For most of us to slow down, we need to make priorities adjustments and philosophy shifts, and we need to acquire new habits. Fortunately, Andrews' vision offers numerous alternatives and antidotes to the greed trap and the speed trap, reminding us that, with sufficient creativity, the choice of how to live is really ours. And when we do slow down, Andrews convincingly concludes, we can be effective members of a "subversive" (slow) counterculture. This burgeoning community will, with sufficient time, wield powerful influences....and powerful delights.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John T. Urban Md on June 8, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was very disappointed in this book. Though it includes some useful summaries of related literature and research, the author's self-aggrandizing and bizarre, long-winded defense of quitting her job (I would have told her she would be fired under the circumstances as well) diminishes her credibility. As well, though I may agree with her, her editorializing on the Right Wing is boring and lacks analysis. I'm actually amazed that she found a publisher and that an editor actually scrutinized this book. Great topic- poorly addressed.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 19, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book confirmed all my reasons for leaving the big city and raising my family in the country. It is too bad the author has to thrust her political views on the reader. Views that have nothing to do with slow living. I even gave the book to friends and they said her political ranting ruined the book for them. This is too bad because it is a wonderful book full of life changing advice and insightful quotes. I would have given it 5 stars if she had left out her personal hatred (which conflicts with her version of slow living), of certain political ideas. I found it hard to believe in the beauty of the book when it was filled with such negativity.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Bill Jensen on January 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
I picked up this book because it sounded like something that EVERYONE should read. We definitely need to slow down, become involved in our communities and bring more happiness back into our lives. What I was subjected to in this book, however, was the author's political rants about how Conservatives have ruined this country! I'm an independent and I actually felt sorry for any conservative who might be reading this book - it was harsh. We are ALL a part of the problem, which makes us ALL a part of the solution. She does have some great quotes and some ideas that sound good no matter what your political party may be - hence the two stars. The joy is hidden in the vitriol in this book.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Treebyleaf Mccurdy on January 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
Reading this book was like eating a moist, rich cake with little rocks in it: the presence of the good stuff could not make up for never knowing if the next bite would be safe.

There is a famous quote incorrectly ascribed to Samuel Johnson, "Your manuscript is both good and original. But the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good." That quote fits this book like a glove. Absolutely everything that is positive and true in this book is pulled from better books. At its best, this works serves as a well-annotated sampling of a movement for better living.

Unfortunately, these samples are laced with the poison of the author's vain, ignorant judgments-- NOT only about strangers on the political spectrum, but also about class culture, the experience of modern poverty, medical facts about modern neurological and psychiatric disorders, and (of all things!) the creative process and the nature of reform. If anyone is looking for an example of how humans use judgment to distance ourselves from the unfortunate, this book is it in a nutshell.

The intent may be innocent, but the accumulation becomes vicious, to the point that a friend of mine blurted, "I'd burn this if it didn't belong to the library." May the reader's time and money be saved for the many books that deliver the same wholesomeness without the poison... and may the author's life and heart be opened to a far greater spectrum of people before she writes again.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jane on February 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book present good information on a important issue. Unfortunately, the author's tone makes the book hard to read. For example, she makes disparaging remarks about "right-wingers." I enjoyed reading the first five chapters and highlighted a few lines here and there and wrote comments in the margins. I found less pleasure and enlightenment as I read the rest of the book. The bibliography lists several books that I would like to read.
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