The Simple Life: Plain Living and High Thinking in American Culture / Edition 1

The Simple Life: Plain Living and High Thinking in American Culture / Edition 1

by David E. Shi
     
 

ISBN-10: 0820329754

ISBN-13: 9780820329758

Pub. Date: 05/01/2007

Publisher: University of Georgia Press


Our current less-is-more impulse may have contemporary trappings, says David E. Shi, but the underlying ideal has been around for centuries. From Puritans and Quakers to Boy Scouts and hippies, our quest for the simple life is an enduring, complex tradition in American culture. Looking across more than three centuries of want and prosperity, war and peace, Shi…  See more details below

Overview


Our current less-is-more impulse may have contemporary trappings, says David E. Shi, but the underlying ideal has been around for centuries. From Puritans and Quakers to Boy Scouts and hippies, our quest for the simple life is an enduring, complex tradition in American culture. Looking across more than three centuries of want and prosperity, war and peace, Shi introduces a rich cast of practitioners and proponents of the simple life, among them Thomas Jefferson, Henry David Thoreau, Jane Addams, Scott and Helen Nearing, and Jimmy Carter.

In the diversity of their aspirations and failings, Shi finds that nothing is simple about our mercurial devotion to the ideal of plain living and high thinking. "Difficult choices are the price of simplicity," he writes in the book's revised epilogue. We may hedge a bit in the practice of simple living, and now and then we are driven by motives no deeper than nostalgia. Shi stresses, however, that the diverse efforts to avoid anxious social striving and compulsive materialism have been essential to the nation's spiritual health.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780820329758
Publisher:
University of Georgia Press
Publication date:
05/01/2007
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
344
Sales rank:
693,647
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.72(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword to the New Edition
Introduction3
1The Puritan Way8
2The Quaker Ethic28
3Republican Simplicity50
4Republicanism Transformed74
5Simplicity Domesticated100
6Transcendental Simplicity125
7Patrician Simplicity-At Bay154
8Progressive Simplicity175
9Prosperity, Depression, and Simplicity215
10Affluence and Anxiety248
Epilogue277
Notes283
Index325

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >