Bigger has turned out not to be better. Servicing the global economy has exacted a heavy toll in the erosion of our communities and the destruction of our environment. Increasingly, we are coming to realize that the way forward looks a lot like the way back — back to strong local economies, back to resilient, tight-knit communities, back to the land and work that is real. As we chart our course through these uncertain times, we are hungry for inspiration. Robert Swann was a self-taught economist, a tireless champion of decentralism, and the father of the relocalization movement. A conscientious war resistor imprisoned for his beliefs, Bob Swann engaged in lifelong nonviolent direct action against war, racism, and economic inequity. His legacy is a vision of a life-affirming, alternative economy of peace founded on innovations in land and monetary reform.Swann's story is also the untold history of decentralism in the United States. He associated with a constellation of vital, intelligent independent authors and activists, and ultimately co-founded the Schumacher Society based on the philosophies of Small Is Beautiful author E. F. Schumacher.Swann forged tools to build productive, resilient local and regional economies. Now as global industrial civilization flails in the throes of ecological and economic crisis, Swann's working innovations are at the ready to help neighborhoods, local entrepreneurs, and willing communities to rebuild at appropriate scales.
"Stephanie Mills has described Bob Swan’s life with eloquence, elegance and profoundness and as a result the book is deeply engaging and enchanting. "On Gandhi’s Path" is a lucid narrative of the life of Bob Swann who was a living example of simplicity, humility and radicalism. This is a book which describes how a man offered himself to serve the people and the planet selflessly. This book is a good guide to all activists who are working to transform the world." (Satish Kumar, editor, Resurgence Magazine and Visiting Fellow at Schumacher College)
"Bob Swann was the unsung American Gandhi. He was a pioneer in intentional communities, local currencies, populist architecture, cooperatives, radical decentralization, land trusts, draft resistance, and antiwar activism. Stephanie Mills’s biography exquisitely fills the historical void, showing how much a humble but determined individual could transform American life and reminding us of many of our ideals are still possible. (Michael Shuman, author, The Small-Mart Revolution)
"One of the great unrecognized heroes of the 20th century decentralist movement, Bob Swann here gets the careful, serious, and may I say loving, treatment he deserves." (Kirkpatrick Sale, co-founder, E.F. Schumacher Society, and author, "Human Scale")
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