Small is Still Beautiful: Economics as if Families Mattered
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Small is Still Beautiful: Economics as if Families Mattered

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  52 ratings  ·  10 reviews
A Third of a century ago, E. F. Schumacher rang out a timely warning against the idolatry of giantism with his book Small Is Beautiful. Few books before or since have spoken so profoundly to urgent economic and social considerations. Humanity was lurching blindly in the wrong direction, argued Schumacher. Its obsessive pursuit of wealth would not, as so many believed, ulti...more
Hardcover, 350 pages
Published December 12th 2006 by Intercollegiate Studies Institute (first published 2000)
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The basic premise of this book is that there is no such thing as a purely economic problem because economics deals with human beings and a world with finite resources. Economic problems cannot be solved using purely economic methods. Material wealth cannot compensate humans for (in Tawney's words) "arrangements which insult their self-respect and impair their freedom," nor can it fix irreparable harm done to the world we need to sustain us. All good points!

That said, this is not well written. Th...more
Eye opening approach to economics. Let's hear it for Distributism!
This was a really interesting book. I haven't read the original Small is Beautiful and probably if I had, I'd have a better sense of how Mr. Pearce updated and expanded that book, though he does quote extensively from Schumacher's book, so I didn't feel at a disadvantage. I liked how Pearce went through and looked at how small is beautiful in all the different aspects of human society: in democracies, in business, in our relationship to the earth, etc. I loved that some of the examples that Pear...more
This book helps work through some practical attributes of distributism. Pearce does a good job of making the reader think. At first I was turned off by the amount of environmentalism seemingly portrayed by the author, but upon further thought the point of the environmental talk is not that the world is more important than people, but that people are stewards of the world and it is unjust for one group of people to consume and damage the world for others. Love thy neighbor includes not throwing g...more
Betsy Dion
I can't remember when exactly I read this book, and I should have written a review right away, because a lot of it has faded from my mind. This is a book that I will probably read again sometime. I like a lot of Pearce's ideas, and his commentary on the economic effects of the EU were interesting. I am not sure that I am on board with some of his environmental concerns, but that is more the case of a disagreement about the facts, not a disagreement about the principles. I am still struggling wit...more
Thought-provoking and approachable book on economics!
Joseph Pearce gives us a very helpful book that covers such topics as: philosophy of economics, critiques of capitalism, socialism and communism, the abuse of land and historical examples that both support the ideas he is proposing and affirm the criticisms he is making. The book, to its credit and as the title implies, leans very heavily on E.F. Schumacher's "Small is Beautiful." It has introduced me several new ideas and, I think Pearce would accept this, offers a very nice introduction to eco...more
Sep 28, 2007 Lawrence rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
As much as I wanted to like this book, I couldn't. I think it mostly had to do with Mr. Pierce not being a compelling writer. He incorporates too many statistics making it hard to read and the only thing I got out of the book is that everything causes cancer.

I'm currently reading the original Schumacher book. It's a lot more readable but I agree with it less - though I can see where he's coming from.
I'm glad to have been introduced to E.F. Schumacher - each quote of his embodied simple wisdom (and Pearce quoted him liberally). He laid bare the basic truths which have been ignored by the consumerist culture of the West, and for which we are paying and will pay dearly. I came away with a stronger conviction to work toward human-sized economy and a better idea of how it looks.
Suzanne Horton
a perception changing read that my very perception changing philosophy prof required in his class. It speaks of the need for conservation and the ass-backward way we exploit our resources without regard. Full of stats and a bit dry at times, but poignant none the less.
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Joseph Pearce (born 1961) is an English-born writer, and as of 2004 Writer in Residence and Professor of Literature at Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, Florida; previously he had a comparable position, from 2001, at Ave Maria College in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He is known for a number of literary biographies, many of Catholic figures. Formerly aligned with the National Front, a white nationalist po...more
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