Small is Beautiful

by Paula Apynys for Book Recommendations

Small is Beautiful

by E. F. Schumacher

Buy at Barnes & Noble

This classic book is over 30 years old but it is still relevant today. The tagline says it all: economics as if people mattered.

From Wikipedia: “Schumacher was a respected economist who worked with John Maynard Keynes and John Kenneth Galbraith, and for twenty years as the Chief Economic Advisor to the National Coal Board in the United Kingdom. He was opposed to the tenets of neo-classical economics, declaring that single-minded concentration on output and technology was dehumanizing. He held that one’s workplace should be dignified and meaningful first, efficient second, and that nature (like its natural resources) is priceless.

Schumacher proposed the idea of smallness within bigness: a specific form of decentralization. For a large organization to work, according to Schumacher, it must behave like a related group of small organizations. Schumacher’s work coincided with the growth of ecological concerns and with the birth of environmentalism and he became a hero to many in the environmental movement.”

I have linked to the 25th Anniversay edition that was published in 2000, as it includes commentary essays by writers who were influenced by Schumacher’s work.

From the Barnes & Noble page: Bill McKibben “Embracing what Schumacher stood for—above all the idea of sensible scale—is the task for our time. Small is Beautiful could not be more relevant. It was first published in 1973, but it was written for our time.”

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