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The Ecology of Freedom: The Emergence and Dissolution of Hierarchy Paperback – July 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: AK Press (July 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1904859267
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904859260
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #417,804 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Murray Bookchin is cofounder of the Institute for Social Ecology. An active voice in the ecology and anarchist movements for more than forty years, he has written numerous books and articles, including: Anarchism, Marxism and the Future of the Left, Social Anarchism or Lifestyle Anarchism, The Spanish Anarchists, The Ecology of Freedom, Urbanization Without Cities, and Re-enchanting Humanity. He lives in Burlington, Vermont.

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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By wildflowerboy on April 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
Combining radical political theory with anthropology and nature studies, "The Ecology of Freedom" is a profound exploration of the social causes behind our ecological crisis. Importantly, Bookchin argues for social activism rather than New Age mysticism as the answer to environmental problems. According to Bookchin and other social ecologists like Cindy Milstein and Brian Tokar, the domination of the planet is a mere reflection of the domination of humans caused by social systems like gerontocracy, patriarchy, capitalism, and the state. His solution: the building of a directly democratic, anti-authoritarian, participatory, egalitarian, green society. While critics of Bookchin's work may dislike the fact that he oftentimes prioritizes things like permaculture and appropriate technology over wilderness and wildlife, I nevertheless believe that his writings have enormous social value and I am deeply grateful for his ideas and legacy. Though I no doubt understand the urgency of preserving forest ecosystems and protecting endangered species, I also really empathize with Bookchin's ecotopian vision of sustainable cities. In truth, I feel that the urban ecology/forest ecology binary is a false one that should be challenged. While defending the Amazon rainforest is obviously important, fighting environmental racism is also imperative. Though I cherish the spotted owl, I also cherish working-class communities of color and equally value their struggles to access organic food, clean air, and safe drinking water. As such, I fully agree with the social ecologist libertarian municipalist position that social justice issues are environmental issues and vice versa. Murray Bookchin, who last year passed away, will be sorely missed by the many progressive activists whose lives have been enriched by his brilliant books. That said, I hope that AK Press continues to publish more of his important work.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By socialecologist85 on September 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
Bookchin's 'The Ecology of Freedom,' is a masterpiece pure and (not at all) simple. If you are interested in the real roots of the ecological and social crises we as a planet are submerged in, than this is a book whose ideas you will want to read and debate.

Combine this work with his other pivotal works and the invaluable commentary provided by Bookchin's long time colleague and companion Janet Biehl and you have what is very liklely the most important and comprehensive body of radical social theory since Marx -- fortunately with none of Marx's blindspots, shortsightedness, or problems. A real treasure and filled with fascinating and challenging ideas.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Doug Brunell on August 29, 2013
Format: Paperback
While on a trip to the ER, I handed this book to a friend to hold onto. She looked through it and said it sounded like a book for old men. She couldn't have been more wrong.

If you only read one Bookchin work, make it this one. It is a complex theory (though written in a very understandable way) about how freedom and hierarchy evolved into what they are and aren't today. It is an ecological (different than environmental) look at the natural world and what we call civilization. Controversial? Perhaps, but why? That is the most important question.

The Church, capitalism, war, farming, protest, the environment -- it is all covered here, and it is done in a way that will have you debating it with yourself and others for quite some time. Like Noam Chomsky's books, this will change the way you look at the world.
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