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Small is Still Beautiful: Economics as if Families Mattered [Paperback]

By Joseph Pearce (Author)
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Item description for Small is Still Beautiful: Economics as if Families Mattered by Joseph Pearce...

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. Schumacher saw that we needed to relearn the beauty of smallness, of human-scale technology and environments. It was no coincidence that his book was subtitled Economics as if People Mattered. Joseph Pearce revisits Schumacher's arguments and examines the multifarious ways in which Schumacher's ideas themselves still matter. Faced though we are with fearful new technological possibilities and the continued centralization of power in large governmental and economic structures, there is still the possibility of pursuing a saner and more sustainable vision for humanity.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Small is Still Beautiful: Economics as if Families Mattered by Joseph Pearce has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Reference and Research Bk News - 05/01/2007 page 88

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Item Specifications...

Pages   336
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.02" Width: 5.36" Height: 0.85"
Weight:   0.8 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 12, 2006
Publisher   Intercollegiate Studies Institute
ISBN  1933859059  
ISBN13  9781933859057  

Availability  1 units.
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More About Joseph Pearce

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Joseph Pearce is Writer in Residence and Visiting Fellow at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, NH. He is a renowned biographer whose books include Candles in the Dark: The Authorized Biography of Fr. Ho Lung, Missionaries of the Poor (Saint Benedict Press, 2012); Through Shakespeare s Eyes: Seeing the Catholic Presence in the Plays (Ignatius Press, 2010); and Tolkien: Man and Myth, a Literary Life (HarperCollins, 1998). He is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Higher Education from Thomas More College for the Liberal Arts and the Pollock Award for Christian Biography. He is co-editor of the St. Austin Review, editor-in-Chief of Ignatius Press Critical Editions, and editor-in-Chief of Sapientia Press.

Joseph Pearce has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Ignatius Critical Edition
  2. Ignatius Critical Editions

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > Biographies & Primers > Policy & Current Events
2Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > Economics > Development & Growth
3Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > Economics > Economic Conditions
4Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > Economics > Economic Policy & Development
5Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > Economics > Microeconomics
6Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > Economics > Theory
7Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > General
8Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > Small Business & Entrepreneurship > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Roman Catholic

Reviews - What do customers think about Small is Still Beautiful: Economics as if Families Mattered?

"Finest Worksong"  Jul 13, 2008
"What we want, and what we need, has been confused, been confused."
--"Finest Worksong,"-R.E.M.

Joseph Pearce's "Small Is Still Beautiful" is a reflective book, drawing upon E. F. Schumacher's influential treatise "Small Is Beautiful". Touching upon many topics, Pearce provides several themes:

1.) Corporate greed and hording are leaving third world nations bereft and in a despairing cycle of debt.

2.) Both big business and big government are undermining each man's individual rights for fulfillment and prospering. Local concerns and small businesses should thrive because they provide greater distributive justice and more individual freedom(s).

3.) Given the ramifications of the first two prospects, greed is swallowing up our natural resources and destroying the earth's soil, while man continues to poison himself and his environment with too much pollution and pesticide.

Given the nature of dwindling resources, Pearce offers (but not exclusively) the following antidotes:

1.) Allowing small businesses to thrive creates variety and equanimity.

2.) Co-Ops are successful and create a rewarding environment for employees who are drawn to initiative and a part of the decision making process.

3.) Organic farming is a growing alternative that keeps soil thriving and people healthy.

Prime Examples of Persuasion (or to offer some PEP):

1.) Four British friends, discontent with the bland homogenization of their country's beer, decide during a holiday in Ireland to form their own tasty brew. From their efforts to form CAMRA (or The Campaign for Real Ale) in 1971, they not only launched a successful local brewery, but also started a microbrewery movement with ramifications on both sides of the Atlantic.

2.) Whatever merits and demerits can be said for the EU (European Union), Pearce gives startling examples of how their centralized power hurts local businesses. One account tells how the EU threatened to close West Country meat business because EU officials wanted everyone to wear new grey uniforms for "safety" reasons.

3.) Pearce documents the thriving organic food market and demonstrates how it rejuvenates the soil as well as people's spirits.

The problem, however, goes to the heart of darkness. Pearce faults a consumer society where it is hard to be satisfied by all the new goods and products. As long as the wealthy remain unsatisfied, there will be less resources for those who are most in need.

Sources: Besides persuasive arguments and ample examples, Pearce relies partly on...

1.) British author, G.K. Chesterton's "Distributivism"
2.) Soviet Nobel Prize winning author, Alexander Solzhenitsyn's "Peril of Progress"
3.) Catholic scholar Dorothy Sayer's reflections, including her "Seven Deadly Sins" of Consumption balanced by Schumacher's "Seven Life Giving Virtues".

Mostly a smooth and engaging read, Pearce makes a solid if not alarming case to "cooperate and prosper" for our future survival.

Personal Reflection (or PR): With oil prices up and alarming reports of food shortages (from rice to dwindling fishing resources), it isn't hard to find Pearce's book a practical and convincing argument for changing our world. I was recently delighted to watch Pixar's 'WALL-E' where all the major themes are illustrated so well in an animated movie.

And, finally, a quote from the book of G.K. Chesterton that succinctly solidifies our purpose: "That which is large enough for the rich to large enough for the poor to defend."
More Can Be Better!  Jul 23, 2007
Schumacher's Small Is Beautiful is a classic, a prophetic voice for today's generation. His socio-economic arguments are profound and written with a crisp language animated by wit and humor. Much of Pearce's update, Small Is Still Beautiful, maintains the integrity of the original in clear, consise language that passionately attacks the greed of multi-national corporations, the incompetence of governments, and the hedonistic demands of consumers.

Pearce has incorporated much of Schumacher's work as the fabric, then adorned it with current facts, figures and events. His chapter (Small Beer: A Case Study) on English micro-breweries provides a good example of trends favoring a small sustainable industry. He could have also included the upsurge of American micro-breweries and small, family owned wineries.

Unfortunately, Pearce has applied the "small is beautiful" principle to the contents of his 313 page book. Excluded are today's movements which are gaining momentum in sustainability, fair trade, micro-credit, slow food, recycling and conservation. Bigger is better when it contributes to a humane response against a culture of greed and avarice.
Good Background, but little new to offer over the original  Apr 26, 2007
I had hoped that this really filled in a lot of gaps from the original Schumacher book, "Small is Beautiful". Still, it is clearly written with enough basic economic information that you will still get Schumacher's main points with some updated references. I would definately recommend reading Schumacher's book first, then "Whatever happened to penny candy" or if you are more studious, you will be well rewarded for reading Griffin's "The creature from Jekyll Island" explaining the origins of our current lawless state of economics that has profited the wealthy bankers and put our nation into a perpetual state of indebtedness, which has now infected the congress, senate, and corporations to epidemic levels.
Great Thesis on Many Problems of Today's Economy  Mar 19, 2007
I can only give this book 4 stars due to an issue that I am on the polar opposite of the author. Other than that I agree with many of the tenets that the author discusses. The largeness of many aspects of today's economies from economies of scale to the large bureaucracies that controls them is not good for mankind. More needs to be written on this and disseminated.

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