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

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  71 Ratings  ·  11 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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May 23, 2013 Wealhtheow rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Stephen Heiner
This is an update of E.F. Schumacher's famous 1973 book "Small is Beautiful." While I don't think you need to have read that book in order to get a lot of good from this work, it's helpful to read it, because it was a seminal work in its time and its great to see the resonance of those ideas a generation or two removed.

Pearce makes a compelling case that we are truly screwing things up when it comes to economics, technology, our food supply, our environment, and how we treat our fellow humans, e
Jan 18, 2009 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eye opening approach to economics. Let's hear it for Distributism!
Jul 09, 2009 Faith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 30, 2011 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
I found this very helpful in thinking about out hunger for scale, efficiency and consumerism. This is a modern defence of distributism. Small, local and human are the themes.
Betsy Dion
May 26, 2012 Betsy Dion rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
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
Jul 09, 2014 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thought-provoking and approachable book on economics!
Sep 28, 2007 Lawrence rated it did not like it  ·  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.
Ruth Feathers
Well written, but doesn't hold up against the times as well as the original has.
Jan 02, 2014 Sylvia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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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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