SMALL IS POSSIBLE by George McRobie

SMALL IS POSSIBLE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An able survey of the spread of E. F. Schumacher's ideas (Small Is Beautiful) by an economist who sat with him on England's Coal Board and helped found the Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG). Beginning with Schumacher's last paper on Third-World counter-economics--how to provide for jobs and human needs with simple, ecologically-sane technology--McRobie traces the founding of the ITDG in the mid-Sixites and its current work in the Third World. Then, arguing that the intermediate technology is as important in the developed as in the developing world, he sketches the labor co-op movement in the UK, and the work of ecological and social welfare groups in the US--many not widely written about before--and in Canada. The examples show that small is impressively possible: an animal-drawn weeding machine, now being tested in Nigeria, costs 1/60 as much as its tractor-drawn equivalent; a low-tech house produced by Cape Cod's New Alchemists heats itself, and produces food for four without chemical fertilizers or pesticides, year round. McRobie adds comprehensive appendices on British and Third-World intermediate technology groups--whose number and varied efforts suggests not only that small is possible, but also that it's catching.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1981
Publisher: Harper & Row