Helen and Scott Nearing

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Helen and Scott Nearing

Post  Mad Gnome on Thu Aug 07, 2008 11:07 am

A few years ago I read the book "Building and using our sun-heated greenhouse' written by Helen and Scott Nearing. This was a fascinating read. Not only to see how they built their greenhouse with stones, etc. But also the hard work they put in to extend their seasons.

Finally I got hold of another book. This time by Helen Nearing "Loving and leaving the good life". I started it last night, so can't tell you much about it yet.She wrote it after her partner's death. (He decided around his 100th birthday that it was time to go - and stopped eating.)
I am still waiting for another book I ordered which is a reprint of 2 of their books. 'The good life'.

Read up on their fascinating life on Wikipedia. Absolutely amazing people. I will definitely keep my eyes out for more of their books.

Has anybody read any of their other books?

Mad Gnome
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Re: Helen and Scott Nearing

Post  syrah on Fri Aug 08, 2008 7:15 am

Hello Mad Gnome

Ive read their book "the Good Life" It made sense to me to work 4 hours a day heavy work in the morning and the afternoons for pursuing your interests. I'd probably be still in the garden and cooking in the afternoon. Very Happy

I didnt realise that Scott Nearing starved himself, but then he was such a strong willed person.

syrah
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Re: Helen and Scott Nearing

Post  Fran on Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:43 am

Haven't read any of their books but sound like something I would enjoy - a remarkable couple - thanks Mad Gnome Smile

I'll apply to the local library first and see if they can dig one up for me.

Fran
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Re: Helen and Scott Nearing

Post  Belladonna on Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:25 am

I think I could be interested but can't get past the pure race thoughts he published.He and his wife lived a life of simplicity in an increasingly complicated world and while i respect his rights to his own opinion wonder how he would have dealt with his own children if they were "unfit" in his eyes.

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Re: Helen and Scott Nearing

Post  Fran on Thu Aug 14, 2008 3:31 am

A very interesting man - university professors don't usually become homesteaders but his politics wouldn't have made him popular in those circles. Appears he was a radical and a socialist - spoke out about child labour - but also a peace activist and active in the black civil rights campaign - called publicly for an end to lynchings. Charged with sedition in 1917 - acquitted - defended himself.

Seems he was estranged from his adopted son who criticized the Soviet Union - so more than a bit narrow-minded on that subject. Such a controversial public figure would not have made a good husband either - he separated from his first wife.

So the good life wasn't perfect - will be interested to find out more.

Fran
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Re: Helen and Scott Nearing

Post  Mad Gnome on Fri Aug 15, 2008 6:09 am

Belladonna wrote:I think I could be interested but can't get past the pure race thoughts he published.He and his wife lived a life of simplicity in an increasingly complicated world and while i respect his rights to his own opinion wonder how he would have dealt with his own children if they were "unfit" in his eyes.

This has been niggling at me ever since I read it first. Can you point me to any published works, etc. of his where he writes about this? I haven't found any reference yet concerning pure race thoughts, but that may be because I don't really want to find any. If that makes sense.

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Re: Helen and Scott Nearing

Post  Fran on Fri Aug 15, 2008 8:49 am

Found it on wiki - wrote "The Super Race: An American Problem" in 1912 - argued that "Through the establishment of negative eugenics the unfit will be restrained from mating and perpetuating their unfitness in the future."

So he was an eugenicist same as many intellectuals of his era. George Bernard Shaw was one and H. G Wells another but social workers, economists, biologists were all advocates - he was no lone voice. It was all to do with reproductive racism from what I can gather - social elitism - doubt any of them envisaged the holocaust.

And redeemed himself by writing "Black America".

Fran
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