Hard Times in Paradise: An American Family's Struggle to Carve Out a Homestead in California's Redwood

Overview

An account of one family's life in a redwood forest describes how the Colfax's lived without electricity, running water, or a phone, and how they educated their sons, three of whom were accepted to Harvard on full scholarships.

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Hard Times in Paradise: An American Family's Struggle to Carve Out a Homestead in California's Redwood

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Overview

An account of one family's life in a redwood forest describes how the Colfax's lived without electricity, running water, or a phone, and how they educated their sons, three of whom were accepted to Harvard on full scholarships.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When antiwar activism impeded David Colfax's university teaching career in the early 1970s, he, his wife, Micki, and their young sons moved from the midwest to Boonville, Calif., to start a new life. On 47 uncleared acres of a roadless mountaintop, without running water, phone service or electricity, they built a house and learned to live off the land. Their engaging story of modern pioneering is made all the more remarkable by the self-sufficiency and resourcefulness of the children (one raised sheep; another built up a successful dairy goat herd) who were educated at home. The eldest made national news when he was admitted to Harvard, where two brothers have also since attended, on full scholarships. Today, the homestead--called Shining Moon Ranch--includes gardens and pastures interspersed among its redwoods and firs, and the senior Colfaxes are respected local activists. (July)
Library Journal
In this account of their radical lifestyle change, the Colfaxes, authors of Homeschooling for Excellence (Mountain House Pr., 1988), describe how they became homesteaders in California during the early 1970s when their antiwar activism derailed David's academic career plans. Familiar with the rigors of farm life, the Colfaxes had no illusions about country life, and the experiences they recount here are strangely reminiscent of early pioneers: lacking electricity, hauling all water by hand, building a house, being dangerously distant from doctors. Because of their isolation, the Colfaxes began homeschooling their sons and were so successful the boys were snapped up by Ivy League schools. An underlying theme of the book is that there a happy ending is not guaranteed. Successful income sources are often fleeting, and reliance on physical labor is adversely affected by their sons' departures for college and David's developing heart trouble. A well-told tale of what it takes truly to live off the land.-- Cheryl Childress, Roanoke Cty. P.L., Va.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446514897
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/7/2008
  • Pages: 312
  • Sales rank: 1,115,540
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.81 (d)

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