By Robert E. Lane

Starting with an informed and graphic account of the multiple threats to human habitats and to their inhabitants, Keith Farnish skilfully joins his natural science training to his gifts in narrative writing. If you want to know what ails us, the first two sections will tell you in a depressingly enjoyable manner. 

Another section develops the human stakes jeopardized by the erosion of our natural heritage: they are personal, social, and above all inter-generational.

Farnish has a subplot: the restoration of community and the return to human scale. As he develops his themes of dismantling civilization to make genuine community possible, that "Matter of Scale" comes into focus.

If "utopia" is an imaginative reconstruction of one of many preferable societies, the concluding part is utopian. On the cusp of the Apocalypse, enjoy it. 

Robert E. Lane
Professor of political science Emeritus, Yale University
President, National Senior Conservation Corps
July 22, 2008


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