Back from the Land: How Young Americans Went to Nature in the 1970s and Why They Came Back

Overview

When Eleanor Agnew, her husband, and two young children moved to the Maine woods in 1975, the back-to-the-land movement had already attracted untold numbers of converts who had grown increasingly estranged from mainstream American society. Visionaries by the millions were moving into woods, mountains, orchards, and farmlands in order to disconnect from the supposedly deleterious influences of modern life. Fed up with capitalism, TV, Washington politics, and 9-to-5 jobs, they took up residence in log cabins, ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (11) from $5.95   
  • New (7) from $9.87   
  • Used (4) from $5.95   
Sending request ...

Overview

When Eleanor Agnew, her husband, and two young children moved to the Maine woods in 1975, the back-to-the-land movement had already attracted untold numbers of converts who had grown increasingly estranged from mainstream American society. Visionaries by the millions were moving into woods, mountains, orchards, and farmlands in order to disconnect from the supposedly deleterious influences of modern life. Fed up with capitalism, TV, Washington politics, and 9-to-5 jobs, they took up residence in log cabins, A-frames, tents, old schoolhouses, and run-down farmhouses; grew their own crops; hauled water from wells; avoided doctors in favor of natural cures; and renounced energy-guzzling appliances. This is their story, in all its glories and agonies, its triumphs and disasters (many of them richly amusing), told by a woman who experienced the simple life firsthand but has also read widely and interviewed scores of people who went back to the land. Ms. Agnew tells how they found joy and camaraderie, studied their issues of Mother Earth News, coped with frozen laundry and grinding poverty, and persevered or gave up. Most of them, it turns out, came back from freedom and self-sufficiency, either by returning to urban life or by dressing up their primitive rural existence—but they held onto the values they gained during their back-to-the-land experience. Back from the Land is filled with juicy details and inspired with a naïve idealism, but the attraction of the life it describes is undeniable. Here is a book to delight those who remember how it was, those who still kick themselves for not taking the chance, and those of a new generation who are just now thinking about it.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times - Christopher Hitchens
Eleanor Agnew's lovely memoir of this movement of primal innocence is at once honest and hilarious. . . . She recaptures the period with unerring skill.
Dragonfly Review - Jim Motavalli
Agnew . . . understands these well-meaning people, and never patronizes them. . . . Charmingly told.
CHOICE - J. H. Smith
A valuable personal and historical pilgrimage through one of US society’s countercultures. . . . For nostalgic reading as well as for the scholarship of culture.
Berkshire Eagle - Leonard Quart
A balanced, perceptive portrait of the [back-to-the-land] movement.
Whole Life Review - Christine Mangan
Agnew has managed to recreate a compelling chapter of American history.
Jeffrey Jacob
In Back from the Land, Eleanor Agnew weaves together an intriguing mix of her own first-person experiences and those of like-minded idealists. . . . Its value resides in its insights into the painful struggles individuals and families are forced to go through as they attempt to break away from the materialism of a consumer society in order to leave a lighter, sustainable, footprint on this earth.
Tim Miller
Eleanor Agnew has captured the excitement and idealism of the back-to-the-landers of the 1970s and has followed their countercultural dream full cycle. . . . Agnew’s mixing of her personal history with the stories of others gives this book extraordinary warmth and vitality.
Midwest Book Review
Back from the Land . . . details these visionaries and their movement. . . . Provides an excellent survey.
E-The Environmental Magazine
If you’ve ever indulged fantasies of . . . living off the land, Agnew’s new book . . . might make you regain an appreciation for your Maytag.
Encyclopedia Of Chicago
Her work reflects her gift for storytelling . . . a compelling read.
Baltimore City Paper
Interesting for anyone who has fantasized about country life.
Booklist
Agnew offers a balanced, critical view that conveys both the profound rewards as well as the stresses that the 'simple life' brought.
Conscious Choice
Agnew has managed to recreate a compelling chapter of American history.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566636643
  • Publisher: Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
  • Publication date: 9/25/2005
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.66 (w) x 8.94 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Meet the Author

Eleanor Agnew received her Ph.D. from Louisiana State University. She has also written My Mama's Waltz, a book for which she appeared on Oprah. Ms. Agnew is literacy coordinator for the Savannah-Chatham County Public School system. She is married with three sons and lives in Savannah, Georgia.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 23, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Fascinating look at the Back to Land movement.

    I loved this book, I am a child of the early 70's, and although my parents weren't Back to Landers, I have always been fascinated by the concept of back to the land, and voluntary simplicity. I loved hearing the story through accounts of actual lives, rather than just a glorified description, this book told the good and the bad. Very real, very emotional. This book was very enjoyable to read, I would highly encourage anyone to read it, very relevent, and really interesting.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)