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There Is a Garden in the Mind: A Memoir of Alan Chadwick and the Organic Movement in California Paperback – March 12, 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“[There is a Garden in the Mind] is part philosophy, part personal meditation, and part tribute to a man who was a transformational figure in the organic movement that began from small seeds in California and has now reached a global community.”
Publishers Weekly

“As a gardener, teacher, aesthete, and philosopher, Alan Chadwick was critically important to our understanding of organic and biodynamic farming in this country. No one can tell his story better than Paul Lee, who captures his spirit, and the birth of the California organic movement, with warmth, eloquence, and urgency.”
—Alice Waters, chef, restaurateur, owner of Chez Panisse, and founder of the Edible Schoolyard Project
 
 “There Is a Garden in the Mind is a masterpiece—a garden of rich soils, flowering plants, changing seasons. This is a powerful, compassionate story of Alan Chadwick’s and Paul Lee’s struggle to restore the integrity of organic nature into the hearts, minds, and hands of a culture that has forgotten that Garden Earth is the only home we have.”
—Sim Van der Ryn, professor emeritus, University of California, Berkeley; California State Architect emeritus; author of eight books, including Design for Life and Ecological Design
 
“If you think of Alan Chadwick as the man who taught us to double-dig our raised bed gardens, this remarkable account will take you back to the early days of what we now think of as the organic movement. A remarkable man, with a remarkable backstory!”
—Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet

“Paul Lee’s story of Alan Chadwick captures the wisdom and foibles of a genius. In Lee’s telling of the tremendous influence Chadwick had on the organic gardening and the environmental movement, he also lays out the profound philosophical implications of Chadwick’s work. Forty years in the making and well worth the wait.”
—Michael Stusser, Cowell College class of ’69, founder of Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary, Freestone, California

About the Author

PAUL LEE studied philosophy at St. Olaf College and received his divinity degree and PhD from Harvard. He has taught at Harvard, MIT, and UC Santa Cruz, where he founded the UCSC Chadwick Garden with Alan Chadwick in 1967. In 1985 he founded the organization that became Santa Cruz's Homeless Services Center. His works include a book on homelessness, The Quality of Mercy, and a play, A Lullaby for Wittgenstein. The author lives in Santa Cruz, CA.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: North Atlantic Books (March 12, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583945598
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583945599
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #718,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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A good book is like a good seed, it keeps on producing. This one is worth planting in the garden of any of our minds. This review will be a bit long, but the book makes me want to write a longer review. Forgive me, please.

Paul Lee's book is a good seed. -- Whether you have ever gardened before or studied philosophy, ancient or modern, or not. It is what others call "readable" and "relevant." The mind like the soil must be tilled to produce its best. This book is more than a kind of shovel or plow, though -- a simple tool to be set aside. It is a call to think, reflect and act for the betterment of all of us, our collective humanity.

It is like Gertrude Stein's autobiography (a story ostensibly about Alice B. Toklas, but telling Gertrude's story at the same time -- the difference is that, in this one, there is a "there there"). In that sense it is a passionate or com-passionate self-revelation -- a kind of Augustine's confessions or Montaigne's diaries. Unlike Gertrude Stein's work, the "there there" is the University of California at Santa Cruz in the middle of the Viet Nam War years, the 1960s, and the counter culture revolution - not Gertrude's otherwise boring or insignificant Oakland, CA, US at or before the turn of the 1900s. This world, that Paul Lee is writing about, was not an insignificant or otherwise boring place or time -- I was there and can testify to that, it is today.

For Paul Lee to work to make sense out of it all, like he has done in the Garden in the Mind, is a great relief. It took him some 30 years and more. He has articulated a paradigm for understanding the conflicts that we all feel -- the "physicalist" vs. the "vitalist." It is not anti-scientific. It is an urgent request that scientists or science (e.g.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The story, thoughts and ideas are quite interesting and tell an important story. Allen Chadwick's influence on the early days ( late 1960s) of the UCSC campus during the wars in Viet Naum, Cambodia and Laos ( and 24D) were significant and needed some one to tell that important story. Paul did that in an interesting, informative, and eloquent style.

The thing that I did not appreciate about the Kindel version of the book, purchased on Amazon, was that it did not have a table of contents that you could use to access individual chapters. You had to scroll through the entire manuscript to find what you were looking for.

Fred and Roberta Mc Pherson
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Format: Paperback
Although the subtitle of Paul Lee's new book is A Memoir of Alan Chadwick and the Organic Movement in California, this narrative is also "a memoir of my experience as the founder of the Chadwick Garden at the University of California, Santa Cruz and the part I played in the subsequent gardens developed by Alan Chadwick." This text is part chronicle of the California organic movement; part telling of the antecedents of the origins of the environmental movement and the philosophies of vitalism (via Rudolph Steiner and his hero Goethe) versus physicalism (Newton); and part memoir of these two lives that were lived in a dynamic, synergistic balance during the late sixties and through the seventies. This narrative had a genesis of forty years, and it is a wonderful book to read about the intimate accounts of these times. Lee does spend a considerable amount of this book describing the life of Alan Chadwick in the years he knew him, and how that life wove a fabric through so many other lives. However, it is also stated in the preface that this is not a biography per se; that task will be left to someone else.

Aside from the narrative events of Alan Chadwick's life, Lee's primary focus in this text is what he describes as the fundamental division in our culture, namely "industrial technocracy against organic nature, accounting for the current environmental crisis." The vitalist/physicalist divide, another dichotomy along the lines of the famous Two Cultures thesis of C.P. Snow, was responsible for the decline of vitalism as a philosophy with the discovery of urea in 1828. Lee argues here that this was the "moment when organic nature was collapsed into the inorganic, when everything was reduced to physical and chemical forces.
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