Thursday, December 18, 2008

Book Review - Kirkpatrick Sale's Human Scale.

Having just reread Kirkpatrick Sale's Human Scale I feel compelled to review it as it is such as classic of decentralism. As has been said before it is ironically very large, over 500 pages, considering the title but this should not put off potential readers as it is crammed full of explanations, anecdotes, and a lot of information and statistics of great interest to any avid decentralist and most casual readers besides.

Sale splits the book up into several parts including one on the problems being inflicted on our centralised, large scale world and one each offering glimpses of decentralised solutions for the social, economic and political spheres. He covers areas such as decentralised government for various community levels, renewable, small scale energy production and workplace democracy.

The book is well written and enjoyable for a work so encyclopedic and packed full of information. The solutions offered are usually quite sensible and there is something for all stripes of libertarian and decentralist even is Sale tends to write from a broadly left of centre position.
One negative is that my copy was published in 1980 and hence many of the statistics and some of the information is getting somewhat dated, but that is more a call for new decentralist material and should not detract too much from the worth of Sale's book.

In summary it is an encyclopedic work of the Human Scale movement and despite being 30 years old is still a necessary read for all committed decentralists.


cornubian said...

Hello there,

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Take a look and let me know what you think.


Decentralist said...

I've be trying to lessen my forum use lately but I will certainly visit Cornwall24 soon.