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The Turning Point: Science, Society, and the Rising Culture Paperback – August 1, 1984


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The Turning Point: Science, Society, and the Rising Culture + The Web of Life: A New Scientific Understanding of Living Systems + The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reissue edition (August 1, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553345729
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553345728
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #423,108 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Fritjof Capra, Ph.D., physicist and systems theorist, is a founding director of the Center for Ecoliteracy in Berkeley. Capra is the author of several international bestsellers, including The Tao of Physics (1975), The Web of Life (1996), The Hidden Connections (2002), The Science of Leonardo (2007), and Learning from Leonardo (2013). He is coauthor, with Pier Luigi Luisi, of the multidisciplinary textbook, The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision (Cambridge University Press, 2014).
www.fritjofcapra.net
author photo: Basso Cannarsa

Customer Reviews

I read this book after seeing the movie "MindWalk".
John K. Towery
These solutions will be different from those we had in the past because they will be integrated and sustainable, and this both in the fields of science and culture.
Dr. Peter Fritz Walter
I purchased this book just recently and I am happy to have it again and enjoy reading it and get back to Capra's perspectives.
Alexander Retana

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

120 of 127 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
It's all here. Everything we ever needed to know to begin to change our world and ourselves. Totally brilliant. Many years in the making, this book covers a very wide spectrum of knowledge and is fascinating all the way through. Like The Tao of Physics, this book looks toward a world view that encompasses a balance of science and spirit. Capra is also not shy about deconstructing or critisizing popular economic and political mythology, which may disturb some readers, but he has the benefit of input from some of the greatest minds of our time and his analysis is unassailable. Female readers will probably appreciate his sensitivity and balanced approach to feminist perspectives as he discusses what's wrong with our world and what we can do to change things.
My experience was that I read his other book "Uncommon Wisdom" first, which was in large part about Capra's experiences leading up to the writing of The Turning Point with the people and minds that inspired and enlightened him. Reading that first made all of The Turning Point flow even smoother. But Uncommon Wisdom is getting hard to find, so don't quibble. Read Turning Point no matter what! It is still 100% relevant to today and comes from a man who has been at the forefront of cutting edge thinking since the 1960s.
This book is filled with Capra's take on insights obtained over the years from people like Werner Heisenberg, E.F. Schumacher, J. Krishnamurti, Hazel Henderson, Gregory Bateson, Pitirim Sorokin, Stanislav Grof, Margaret Locke, R.D. Laing, David Bohm, Adrienne Rich, Lyn Margulis, and many others. With The Turning Point, you're getting into the thoughts of a whole lot of brilliant thinkers, both male and female, that Capra has known personally or studied thoroughly.
All of Capra's books are fascinating. Check out "The Web of Life" which is another 5 star book in my opinion.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By mmisra@mailcity.com on June 22, 1998
Format: Paperback
The book has an extremely broad sweep and tries to get to the very root of our crisis as a civilisation. Building his case from a very logical historical perspective that covers the very essence of our academic and intellectual foundations, Capra argues for a paradigm shift in order to bring about sustainable development. The book is not a mere superficial recipe for survival but provides a blueprint for excellence in the new era of globalisation and economic change. Written in a lucid and fluent manner, the arguments flow systematically and call for a radical change in our approach to both seeing and solving problems. The book is both philosophical and practical in its approach and therein lies Capra's greatness. He has been able to weave the enormous research into a comprehensive tome that is as useful for the expert as it is fascinating for the layman. Highly recommended. Mohit Misra, Asian Institute Of Management, Manila.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Tsvi Bisk on August 31, 2007
Format: Paperback
The back page of Capra's book contains the following: "We have reached a time of dramatic and potentially dangerous change, a turning point for the planet as a whole. We need a new vision of reality, one that allows the forces transforming our world to flow together as a positive movement for social change." The book was written before the fall of the Soviet Union and European Communism, before the advent of the Internet Revolution, and before the rise of international stateless terror. Much of what seemed exotic at the time - alternative wellness treatment, alternative energy, and environmental concern - have since become mainstream. Other problems he presents as potentially catastrophic have become obsolete because of the productivity potential of the Internet and the knowledge economy.
Yet the above quote is still relevant as an apt description of our present world and the book can still be read with benefit by the inquisitive and concerned world citizen. The title served as a useful metaphor for me when writing "The Optimistic Jew" -- it seems to me that Jewish civilization itself is at a "turning point" within the general "Turning Point".
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful By John K. Towery on March 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
I read this book after seeing the movie "MindWalk". That movie was so fascinating that I had to read the book that this movie is based on. This book really cover just about everything from religious/science/philosophy to politic/economy/social and then explain the relationship between all those. It did make me a better person by seeing the bigger picture of what we didn't recognize. It sure made me think more, question more, explore more, seek more..and so on... everybody seriously need to read this..
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39 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Paula Thornton on January 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a critical book in my collection of research; artifacts which contain clues for redefining the way we interact with each other and do business. I find it curious that many physicists I talk to denounce Capra's work. So be it. His message is not for them.
While preparing an industry presentation to help a bunch of left-brained technologists think in right-brained terms, I relied heavily on Capra's work along with some of the research I had already followed for Margaret Wheatley, the minds of the Santa Fe Institute (esp. Steward Kauffman) and Michael D. McMaster. I was fascinated, but yet not much surprised to find that many of the analogies and issues I had already woven into my presentation were key components of Capra's thoughts (the "failure" of Western medicine models, finding a balance like riding a bicycle).
His work continued to support my conclusions that the optimization of all conditions is to focus on the "middle"...not the exact middle, but an ever fluctuating point that optimizes the "poles". It's not about focusing on success while hiding failures, but on celebrating both to capture the optimal between: creativity. In organizational structures, it's not about creating structures for order to avoid chaos. It's about celebrating and supporting mechanisms to optimize the in-between: complexity. In technology, it's not about the objects or the data; it's about the relationships between which define dynamic assemblies of possibilities. Individually they have limited worth; collectively the possibilities are exponential. This has already been confirmed by the lessons we've learned from the behaviors of Internet economies.
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