Emily Mellow's Reviews > World Made by Hand

World Made by Hand by James Howard Kunstler
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's review
Nov 15, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: politics-history, story, read-again
Read in November, 2009

This was a fascinating journey into a very foreseeable future where each community has only what they can shape by hand. No internet, tv, or phone, and minimal electric power leave communities isolated in a way that allows each one to be unique--sometimes for the good of those living there and sometimes not. The protagonist is an upstanding, modest and capable person, a sweet relief from the other books I have been reading.
I love imagining this world, where no waste is ever intentionally produced because they have no way of manufacturing anything new. If only societies the world over could consciously choose to live this way, before it is ultimately necessary! They have nothing made from petroleum products except what they can dig out of the old landfills and scrounge from vacant buildings. Nothing is wasted, and the biggest industry is the town dump, where treasures are dug up and sold.
Every community shapes it's own laws which is sometimes horrible and scary, but in the case of the village in the central story the rules of conduct are simply practical and helpful. People have slow lives where they really get to know each other, they spend time helping their neighbors, and they figure out ways to make their simple existence more beautiful.

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