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The Last Whole Earth Catalog: Access To Tools Paperback – January 1, 1971

4.7 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1st edition (January 1, 1971)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394704592
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394704593
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 10.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #401,545 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

The first issue of The Whole Earth Catalog surfaced in the fall of 1968. Original copies of that issue are now next to impossible to find. The earliest issue that's not impossible to find is the Fall, 1969 issue. WEC was founded by Stewart Brand, who was associated with Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters, so you know what you're getting catered to the counterculture of the time. In 1971, thinking the Whole Earth Catalog legacy was coming to an end, Brand issued The Last Whole Earth Catalog. Since I bought the Fall, 1969 issue of the WEC first, I was in utter shock just how thick the LWEC is, with over 400 pages! I was born in 1972, so there was no way I could experience the late '60s/early '70s personally myself, but nothing stopped me from digging information from that era, be it books, movies, television, music, etc. which I did. Here in the Last Whole Earth Catalog you could find just about everything under the sun, from living out in the country, books on fringe literature, architecture, different magazines, underground publications, how to survive in the wilderness, etc. Tools, camping gear, woodstoves, water pumps, boots, how to fix cars, purchase used school buses and trucks, how to fix a Volkswagen, and on and on. I also like the fact The Last Whole Earth Catalog realized not everyone associated with the hippie/counterculture movement were vegetarians or vegans, so they even sold books on how to raise livestock and how to store meat and so much more. They even touched upon communal living, including the real Drop City which was in Colorado. They even sold Foxfire before it was ever a series of books, but a Georgia high school student project publication, which chronicled old-time Southern and Appalachian living.Read more ›
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Most of the tools and sources have given way to the churning forces of capitalism but the spirit and philosophy remain untouched.
Part tool catalog, part survival manual and part psychedelic novel, The Last Whole Earth Catalog is a snapshot of human psyche circa 1972.
There is much unmined treasure in this pulp catalog, especially for those interested in connectivity, systems design and sustainability.
448 pages, amply illustrated, generous editorial content includes everything from a organic recipes to lessons in economics and philosophy. Printed on newsprint.
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What everyone else about the Catalog is so true...it was earth shattering to have one, read it, and search out items one found it the Catalog (it's how I found a store in NYC that sold Earth shoes - and boots, too!) and why I went and bought a pair of each.

But, am I the only one to remember "Divine Right's Trip" with DR himself, his gf Estelle, and DR's microbus "Urge"? It co-starred "The Greek" whose mission in life was to forget his name. It also had a part where DR, Estelle, and Urge were camping and the guy next to them invited them to dinner and to watch tv. DR commented up watching "Wagon Train" on a tv with a 5 or 7 inch screen "I'm watching the world's smallest wagon train on the world's smallest prairie."

One time, in Cincinnati, DR was in a bathroom thinking (if you could call it that) about "Cincinnati" and how balanced it was. In his drug induced state he imagined himself wear some ex football coach's pants and shirt and wrote in the bathroom "Help, I am a balance freak wearing a dead football coach's pants." I must've written that a few hundred times in public bathrooms.

Now I just write "WORRYING" under the word STOP on stop signs.

Don't mourn, organize!
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I bought The Last Whole Earth catalog when it was first published and read and reread it many times and I loved the poetry and many articles pertained to a time when I was little and my Great Grandmoter was alive on a farm in Missouri. One day it disappeared and I never found it again.My son also liked it and said he didn't know what happened to it. We used to talk about that catalog many times. When I saw it for sale as a collectors item, I could hardly believe it. Thre was one original that I could not afford but still another in collectors condition. I took a chance and bought it and gave it to my son (48 years oold now). When he opened it he was absoluely amazed. I also found out what happened to the one I bought for $5, years ago. He told me he read it so much it finally fell apart. He really loved it then and now as a collectors edition he was elated. He could hardly believe it. It is now at his home awaiting a proper wood and glass frame. It gave me joy to see his joy. Thank you from Janice great grandma now.
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This is a classic and influential book that gives a fascinating look back into the 60's and early 70's. It grew out of a very creative and revolutionary period of our history. I feel fortunate to still own a copy.
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This is a unique, classic piece of literature that anyone interested in ecology and biodiversity will find fascinating. it is a real cutting edge piece from the late 60's/early 70's that gives great perspective to the modern efforts to save the planet.
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By PJHtech on October 16, 2012
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The Whole Earth Catalog is an amazing relic of an important cultural moment. Certainly the most interesting catalog ever produced.
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