288 pages, 234 x 156 mm
Earthscan from Routledge
For most of human history, we have lived our daily lives in a close relationship with the land. Yet now, for the first time, more people are living in urban rather than rural areas, bringing about an estrangement. This book, by acclaimed author Jules Pretty, is fundamentally about our relationship with nature, animals and places.
A series of interlinked essays leads readers on a voyage that weaves through the themes of connection and estrangement between humans and nature. The journey shows how our modern lifestyles and economies would need six or eight Earths if the entire world’s population adopted our profligate ways. Pretty shows that we are rendering our own world inhospitable and so risk losing what it means to be human: unless we make substantial changes, Gaia threatens to become Grendel. Ultimately, however, the book offers glimpses of an optimistic future for humanity, in the very face of climate change and pending global environmental catastrophe.
"Each decade, a few books appear that combine good literary style with presentation of scientific facts and, more importantly, that integrate science with the challenges facing society. Among the authors who come to mind are Rachel Carson, palaeontologist Stephen Gould, environmentalist David Orr, and visionary researcher Wes Jackson. To this awesome list we must add Jules Pretty, whose book is an articulate and thoughtful perspective on agriculture, food, and the future of human society." Prof Charles Francis, Journal of Sustainable Agriculture
Jules Pretty OBE is Chief Editor of the International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability. His books include Sustainable Agriculture and Food, Environment, The Earthscan Reader in Sustainable Agriculture, The Pesticide Detox, Agri-Culture, The Living Land, Regenerating Agriculture and Unwelcome Harvest . In 2006 he received an OBE for services to sustainable agriculture in the UK and overseas.