Finally, a book that provides a straight-forward (and quite entertaining) perspective on a topic that affects us all. Steve's writing offers a very concise background of the overall sustainability and "green" issues. With a presentation that is both humble and enlightening, he explains how our forefathers lived and built with practicality and respect for their fellow man and for nature. His comments on the current commercial and political abuse of the "green movement" are direct and often humorous as he explains the difference between "original green" and "gizmo green."
Although the book concentrates on the effects of urban sprawl and poorly conceived architecture, he also presents an extremely thoughtful explanation of the difference between our society's obsession with increasing our "standard of living" while often disregarding the more important "quality of life."
As a residential designer and New Urbanist, I think Steve's book is perhaps the most relevant work to date regarding the issues of sustainability. However, each individual who has even the slightest concern for our environment and our way of life will be inspired by his writing and motivated to pursue his practical solutions. After all, as Steve so eloquently explains, for our civilization to really make a difference, it takes us all.