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The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature Paperback – October, 2002

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Editorial Reviews


"Suzuki gives concrete suggestions about how we can create a way of life that is ecologically sustainable, fulfilling, and just." -- Abstracts of Public Administration, Development and Environment --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

David Suzuki has written numerous books, including Genethics, Wisdom of the Elders, Metamorphosis and The Japan We Never Knew, and is the founder and chair of the David Suzuki Foundation. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. A writer for more than 100 documentary films, Amanda McConnell lives in Toronto, Ontario. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 259 pages
  • Publisher: Mountaineers Books; 2nd Rev edition (October 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898868971
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898868975
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,932,125 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Julian Kelsey ( on July 1, 1998
Format: Hardcover
An oddly structured book, a collage of information rather than a single thread (it would make a good basis for a hypertext/multi-media presentation). It covers a lot of ground and some readers may find it lacks depth, though it is very readable and has extensive bibliographical references.
The first chapters each contain a combination of traditional scientific information, artistic views, personnal anecdotes and views from various cultural perspectives of the value of and the human impact upon this planet. Each of the first five chapters uses a classical element (air, water, fire/energy, earth, spirit/life) as a theme.
He goes on to present an opinion of sensible human needs and values; personal liberty, community, diversity and similar ideas that can be attended to in ways that are both humanly satisfying and environmentally beneficial.
His last chapters bring in a profoundly personal note; we are in the midst of and party to the harm being caused to this planet, which can be a crushing realisation. He offers hope that small deeds are better than no deeds, and that moving on to more wholesome lifestyles, even if they're not perfect, is needed and acheivable now. He gives example stories and suggestions that make sense for city living people.
It doesn't require deep, complex thinking. It's not lost in a new age fairyland. It's pragmatic, and sound, engaging both intellect and emotions. For me it offered affirmation of my belief that finding a place in the world that is both emotionally right and rational with a lifetimes long pespective is achievable and important.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Lem Sportsinterviews on April 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
It is hard to say whether all Suzuki's facts are absolutely valid or not, especially when his discussion turns to what the Earth's true carrying capacity for humans is - but that is slightly beside the point here. The most important part of environmentalism is to wake people up and make them realize the effects that their everyday actions have on the world around them. Suzuki does this by explaining 1) how everything in this world is connected, 2) pollution of one area will invariably affect another area, and 3) we really do not understand all the elements needed for the proper functioning of the environment. This should make any person reflect on their own actions. The world's environmental problems (which in turn are deeply connected to human problems) will not be solved by governments' imposing regulations and all this Kyoto b.s. (not that Kyoto is bad... it's just a very small step and it is disgusting to see that both USA and Canada are stalling), change will only come when each individual makes sure their OWN actions do not make the situation worse. Buy organic when you can afford it, reduce or cut out meat entirely from your diet (I think 80% of farmland is used to keep livestock alive), buy local products, recycle, compost, reduce energy consumption. This isn't hippy crap - hippies never had that much self-restraint - this is about being a responsible person so that your grandchildren will be able to go outside and play without gas masks. Suzuki's book was what opened my eyes when I was 17... and it should do the same for most reasonable people.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
"The Sacred Balance" is the most significant book I've ever read. Before having read it I knew little about the environment and how it's being affected by humans. I'm now in an Environmental Studies major. It is very well written, not hard to read, covers a large area of environmental issues and also goes into human sprituality and human nature. It became disturbing at times because of my previous ignorance and relative indifference towards the environment, but I am all the more enlightened now. This is a life-changing book and I would strongly recommend it to everyone.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Myles Delta Freeman on March 24, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent and enlightening work about the general state of the planet, humanity as a species, where we belong on the planet and what it means to us in terms of sustaining us as a species for the long run. Well-written and divided into chapters which could be summarized as humanity, air, earth, water, fire, community, love, spirituality and balance, this book paints an accurate state of the world picture with facts as well as metaphors. It always presents its concern about the greater picture without losing sight of the details. A great balance of general science and spirituality, with just enough facts and personal stories of many to make the points convincing, this book also is threaded with impacting and eye-opening quotes and poetry from a variety of sources and people. A superb book, overall, from someone who has seen a lot of what he wrote about. This book should be on the curriculum for senior year high school so that the future generations can get a good grasp of the world as they become contributing adults in that world which they will own and determine, more impacting than ever, for future generations. No matter how much or how little they will get from it, every bit helps at a time when that is truer than ever in the past from every one of us living today. Don't get me wrong, though, it's not the book that's profound. It's what you do with what you learn from it which will be.
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