Title: The Essential Whole Earth Catalog
Subtitle: Access to Tools and Ideas
Author: Stewart Brand
Date: 1986
Notes: This text is a work in progress formatting and error correcting.
ISBN: 9780385236416
Publisher: Point Foundation

    How to contribute to future Whole Earth Catalogs







  Whole Systems

      Below From Above

      Powers of Ten



      The New Astronomy

      Echoes of the Ancient Skies

      Sunsets, twilights, and evening skies

      Sky Watching

      Buying a Telescope


      Entering Space

      Planetary Landscapes

      The Greening of Mars


      The Living Planet

      The Biosphere Catalogue

      The Living Planet

      The Biosphere Catalogue

      The Biosphere

      A Field Gyide to the Atmosphere

      The Coevolution of Climate and Life

      Weather Instruments


      Interpretation of Aerial Photographs

      Atlas of North America

      Access to Public Space Images

      Two-thirds of the Planet A Wall Map and Atlas

      The Times Atlas of World History

      National Geographic World Political Map

      Technics and Civilization

      Civilization and Capitalism

      Science and Civilisation in China

      The Tape-Recorded Interview

      The Savage Mind

      Cultural Survival

      The Source


      Archaeology Magazine

      The World Future Society

      Yesterday’s Tomorrows

      I and Thou

      The Amy Vanderbilt Complete Book of Etiquette



      The Recursive Universe • Life

      An Introduction to

      General Systems Thinking

      Mathematical Snapshots

      How to Solve It

      How to Lie with Statistics

      New Scientist

      Science News


      The Ecologist


      Scientific American

      Darwin and the Beagle

      Why Big Fierce Animals Are Rare


      Curious Naturalists

      The Expression of The Emotions in Man and Animals Charles Darwin 1873, 1965; 372 pp.

      King Solomon’s Ring

      Mountain Monarchs
• The Serengeti Lion]]


      Form, Function and Design

      On Growth and Form

      Terrain Analysis



      The Earth Manual

      Restoring Our Wetlands and Rivers • The Stream Conservation Handbook

      Restoring the Earth

      Geology Illustrated

      Roadside Geology • Rocks and Minerals

      Roadside Geology; Rocks and Minerals

      Roadside Geology Series

      Future Water

      Sensitive Chaos


      Soil Conservation Society of America

      Local Soils

      World Soils

      How to Identify Plants

      Western Flowers

      Eastern Flowers

      Desert and Southwest

      Fire in America

      A Field Guide to the Insects

      The Flufter-Bys Be Butterflies

      Field Guides to Reptiles and Amphibians


      Field Guide to North American Fishes, Whales and Dolphins

      So Excellent a Fishe

      The Book of Sharks

      Field Guide to the Birds of North America • A Field Guide to the Birds East of the Rockies

      More Than Names

      The Peterson Guides


      Whales and Dolphins

      Mammalian Celebration


      Going, Going, Gone ...

      Our Magnificent Wildlife

      Environmental Conservation

      A Sand County Almanac


      Conservation Journal


      Arctic Dreams

      Natural History

      Cultural Celebration: South

      Cultural Celebration: North

      Natural History

      Cultural Celebration


      Natural and Cultural

      A Fluent Celebration

      Natural History

      Handbooks of

      North American Indians

      Black Elk Speaks

      Ishi In Two Worlds


      High Country News

      Raise the Stakes

      Planet Drum Foundation

      Ridge Review

      Siskiyou Country

      Akwesasne Notes


      Arid Lands • The Mountain People

      The Future of the Oceans

  Land Use

      Soil and Civilization

      Soil Erosion

      Ecology of Compost

      The One-Straw Revolution

      Meeting the Expectations of the Land

      Seaweed in Agriculture and Horticulture

      Hugh Johnson’s Encyclopedia of Trees

      Woodland Ecology

      A Planter’s Guide to the Urban Forest

      Permaculture Institute of North America

      Friends of the Trees 1986 Yearbook



      North American

      Fruit Explorers (NAFEX)

      Ecological Fruit Production in the North


      Good Seed

      Nicols Garden Nursery

      Plants of the Southwest

      Southern Exposure Seed Exchange

      A World

      Seed Service

      The Garden Seed Inventory • Seed Savers Exchange

      Growing and Saving Vegetable Seeds r

      Native Seeds/SEARCH

      Biotechnology and

      Genetic Diversity

      Herbal Bounty

      The Herb Gardener’s

      Resource Guide

      Herb Suppliers

      Park’s Success With Seeds • Park’s Success With Bulbs

      Plant Propagation

      White Flower Farm

      Wayside Gardens

      Garden Way’s Joy of Gardening

      How to Grow More Vegetables

      Your Edible Landscape Naturally


      Country Wisdom Bulletins

      Reader’s Digest Illustrated Guide to Gardening

      Sunset New Western

      Garden Book

      Living with Plants

      Simon and Schuster’s Complete Guide to Plants and Flowers

      Gardening by Mail

      Brooklyn Botanic Garden

      Color In Your Garden

      Right Plant, Right Place

      V. Sackville-West’s Garden Book

      The Complete Shade Gardener

      The Granite Garden

      Nature’s Design

      The Food and Heat Producing Solar Greenhouse

      The Bountiful Solar Greenhouse

      Success with House Plants

      Sinsemilla Tips

      • Indoor Marijuana Horticulture


      The Youth Gardening Book

      The Community Garden Book

      American Community Gardening Association

      The National Gardening Association

      Gardener’s Supply Co.

      Green River Tools

      Smith & Hawken

      Drip Irrigation

      Troy-Bilt Tillers

      Garden Way Carts

      Mainline Rotary Tillers

      Rodale’s Color Handbook of Garden Insects

      Identifying Diseases of Vegetables

      Insecticidal Soap

      Natural Pest Controls

      Introduction to Integrated Pest Management

      Common Sense Pest Control Quarterly • The IPM Practitioner

      Rincon-Vitova Insectaries

      The Hive and the Honey Bee

      Gleanings in Bee Culture

      Mail Order Bees

      The Freshwater Aquaculture Book

      Raising Small Meat Aminals

      Garden Way Livestock Books

      Stromberg’s Chicks & Pets Unlimited

      Murray McMurray Hatchery

      Earthworm Buyer’s Guide • Worms Eat My Garbage


      Practical Horseman

      The Farming Game

      Peaceful Valley Farm Supply

      New Roots for Agriculture • The Land Institute

      Environmental Impact Assessment • The Environmental Impact Statement Process


      Conservation Directory



      The World Game

      Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)

      The Regeneration Project

      Peace Corps

      Appropriate Technology Microfiche Reference Library


      Covert Action

      Information Bulletin

      The Puzzle Palace


      The New State of the World Atlas

      Worldwatch Institute

      Amnesty International

      NACLA Report on the Americas • MERIP Middle East Report

      Whole Earth Security: A Geopolitics of Peace

      Gandhi on Non-Violence

      The Evolution of Cooperation

      Soldier of Fortune

      The War Atlas

      How to Make War

      Getting to Yes

      The Community Conflict Resolution Training Manual

      The Mediation Process

      Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality

      Jack the Modernist

      Another Mother Tongue

      A Legal Guide for Lesbian and Gay Couples

      The Lesbian Path

      Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions


      Sisterhood is Global

      The Second Stage


      Rules for Radicals

      Lobbying on a Shoestring

      National Center for Policy Alternatives (NCPA}

      The Almanac of American Politics

      How Can I Help?

      How to Make Meetings Work

      Women Winning

      The Reporter’s Handbook

      Profit from Pollution Prevention

      Garbage Reincarnation

      High-Grade Magazines

      To Burn or Not to Burn

      Hazardous Waste in America

      Citizen’s Clearinghouse for Hazardous Waste

      Biohazards: Concerned Groups

      Animal Liberation

      The Animals’ Agenda

      Here’s where the action is:

      Community Referral Service

      Builders of the Dawn



      Institute for Community Economics (ICE)

      Going Co-op

      Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR)

      The Small Community

      Small Town

      The Barter Network Handbook


      How the Other Half Builds

      Historic Preservation • Preservation News

      Sustainable Communities

      Livable Cities

      Livable Streets

      Redesigning the American Dream

      The Plan of St. Gall in Brief

      Paolo Soleri and the Arcosanti Project

      Architecture Without Architects ■ • The Prodigious Builders

      Traditional Islamic Craft in Moroccan Architecture

      Finland: Living Design

      Japanese Homes and Their Surroundings

      The Linz Cafe

      Right Where You Live


      Designing Houses

      Design Works Kits

      The Owner-Builder and the Code

      The Owner Built Home

      The Owner Builder Center

      The Complete Guide to Factory-Made Houses

      Fine Homebuilding

      Carpentry • Interior Finish

      Practical Homeowner


      Do-It-Yourself Plumbing

      Wiring Simplified

      Builders Booksource

      Earth Sheltered Housing Design

      Passive Annual Heat Storage

      Moss Fabric


      The Yurt Foundation

      Building the Alaska Log Home

      Timber Frame Construction

      Practical Pole Building Construction

      Chainsaw Lumbermaking


      Ortho’s Home

      Improvement Encyclopedia

      Reader’s Digest Fix-lt-Yourself Manual

      The Straight Poop

      The Passive Solar Energy Book

      Solar Home Design

      Progressive Builder

      The Superinsulated Home Book

      Climatic Design

      Solar Software: SUNPAS/SUNOP, F-CHART 5.2

      Solar Catalog


      Solar Card

      The Spec Guide

      Photovoltaic Suppliers

      The PV Network News

      Solid Fuels Encyclopedia

      Wood Heat Safety

      Shelton Research, Inc.


      Be Your Own Chimney Sweep

      Drying Wood with the Sun

      The August West System

      Finnish Fireplace Construction Manual 1984

      How To Get Parts

      Cast For Your Antique Stove


      Solar Lobby and the Center for Renewable Resources

      The Residential Hydro Power Book

      Common Sense Wind Energy

      Planning for an Individual Water System

      Troubled Water

      Septic Tank Practices

      How to Inspect a House


      The Simple Life

      Country Store Catalogs

      U.S. Cavalry


      Loompanics Unlimited

      SI Outdoor Food and Equipment

      How to Be Your Dog’s Best Friend

      Dog Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook

      Caring for Your Pet Bird


      The Natural Cat

      Gohn Brothers

      Wear-Guard Work Clothes

      Filson Outdoor Clothes


      Folkwear Patterns

      The American Historical Supply Catalogue

      The 2nd Underground Shopper


      The Nature Company


      Archie McPhee & Company

      Amazing Reprints

      Lefthander’s Catalog

      A. Brill’s Bible of Building Plans

      Buyer’s Market

      Satisfaction Guaranteed


      The Burglar Alarm Book

      Mountain West Security Catalog and Reference Manual



      Ryobi 10” Planer


      Gerstner Tool Chests

      Pyramid Foundry Sets

      Fox Maple Tools

      U.S. General

      Sears Power and Hand Tools





      Moving Heavy Things

      Handyman Jack

      Come-Along Hoist/Winch/Puller



      Mail-Order Discount Tools and Supplies

      Why Gov’t Surplus is Cheap

      Livos Organic Wood Finishes


      Classic Hardware

      C&H Buyer’s Guide

      Allen Specialty Hardware

      Knock-Down Fittings (K-D Hardware)



      The Razor Edge

      Book of Sharpening

      Wood Finisher’s Handbook

      Welder’s Handbook

      Stationary Power Tool Techniques

      Tools and How to Use Them

      Shop Tactics

      Japanese Woodworking Tools


      The Japan Woodworker

      Garrett Wade




      Country Blacksmithing

      The Making of Tools

      Lindsay’s Technical Books

      The Complete Metalsmith

      Dixon Precision Tools and Equipment • Allcraft

      Jewelry Concepts and Technology

      Stained Glass Primer 1 and 2

      The Art of Painting on Glass

      Glassworking Periodicals

      Glass Fusing

      Glassblowing: A Search for Form

      Glass Art Society Journal

      New Work

      Neues Glas

      Where to Learn the

      Glass Arts

      Hands in Clay

      The Ceramic Spectrum

      Studio Potter • Ceramics Monthly



      • Modern Leather Design

      My World of Bibliophile Binding

      Tandy Leather

      The Practical Guide to Craft Bookbinding

      The Nature of Basketry

      The News Basket

      Basketry Suppliers


      The Key to Weaving


      Specialized Weaving Books

      Spinning and Weaving with Wool

      Synthetic Dyes for Natural Fibers

      The Weaving, Spinning, and Dyeing Book

      The Fiberworks Source Book

      Reader’s Digest

      Complete Guide to Sewing

      Power Sewing

      Sew Sane

      The Complete

      Book of Machine Quilting

      Sewing Supplies

      Patchwork Patterns




      Small is Beautiful

      The Zero-Sum Society

      The Next Economy

      Innovation and Entrepreneurship


      What Color Is Your Parachute?

      The Damn Good Resume Guide

      The American Almanac of Jobs and Salaries

      The Rights of Employees

      The 100 Best Companies To Work For In America


      Games Mother Never Taught You

      Further Up the Organization

      The Grass Roots Fundraising Book • Grassroots Fundraising Journal

      The Foundation Directory • National Directory of Corporate Charity

      How to Read a Financial Report

      Starting on a Shoestring

      The Partnership Book

      Franchise Investigation and Contract Negotiation

      The Effective Executive

      Successful Small

      Business Management

      Guerrilla Marketing


      Office Supplies


      Small Business Software

      How to Start and Operate A Mail-Order Business

      The Secrets of Consulting


      Freelance Foodcrafting

      We Own It

      Making Money Making Music

      How to Make and Sell Your Own Record

      Making Music

      Goodfellow Catalogs of Wonderful Things

      The Crafts Business Encyclopedia

      Health Hazards Manual for Artists

      Patent It Yourself

      A Handbook for Inventors

      Working From Home

      Entrepreneurial Mothers

      Sideline Business

      Home Office

      The Seven Laws of Money

      Sylvia Porter’s New Money Book for the 80s

      Managing Your Money

      The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need




      Everybody’s Guide to Small Claims Court

      Nolo Press

      ACLU Handbooks

      Legal Research

      Media Law

      Redress for Success

      The Medical Self-Care Catalog

      Sears Home Health Care Catalog

      Planetree Health

      Resource Center

      A Guide to Physical Examination

      Current Medical

      Diagnosis & Treatment

      Worker’s Trust

      The People’s Medical Society

      Complete Home Medical Guide

      National Self-Help Clearinghouse (NSHC)

      The New Our Bodies, Ourselves

      My Body, My Health

      Menopause, Naturally

      How A Mon Ages

      Age and Memoiy

      The Seasons of a Man’s Life

      Men’s Reproductive Health

      A Handbook for the Disabled

      The Wheelchair Child

      Other Product Sources

      Mountaineering First Aid • Medicine For Mountaineering

      First Aid Kits

      Where There Is No Dentist

      Dental Emergency Kit

      The Astrodent

      The Senior

      Citizen Handbook

      Sourcebook for Older Americans

      Anatomy of an Illness

      Take This Book to the Hospital With You

      The Home Alternative to Hospitals and Nursing Homes

      Dying at Home with Hospice



      Who Dies?

      Recovering From the Loss of a Child

      A Manual of Death Education and Simple Burial

      On Death and Dying


      Plants of the Gods • Medicines from the Earth

      Wizard of the Upper Amazon

      Are You An Alcoholic?

      Kicking It

      Out of the Shadows

      Narcotics Anonymous


      Let Me Die Before I Wake

      After Suicide


      Don’t Shoot the Dog!

      How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life

      The Relaxation &

      Stress Reduction Workbook

      The Road Less Traveled

      Women and Psychotherapy

      Whole Self-Help Directory

      Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You?

      Madness Network News


      The Evolving Self

      Children of Alcoholism

      When the Mental

      Patient Comes Home

      The Love Tapes

      Advanced Techniques of Hypnosis and Therapy

      The Joy of Sex

      Sexual Mail Order

      My Secret Garden • Forbidden Flowers


      American Social

      Health Association (ASHA)

      The Truth About Herpes

      The Herpes Resource Center (HRC)

      AIDS Alert

      Contraceptive Technology

      The New No-Pill, No-Risk Birth Control

      The Rubber Tree

      How It Feels to be Adopted

      The Adoption Resource Book

      The Adoption Triangle

      You Can Have a Baby

      New Conceptions

      Test-Tube Women

      A Good Birth, A Safe Birth

      The Whole Birth Catalog


      Childbirth Resources


      The Aerobics Program for Total Well-Being

      Listen to Your Pain

      Galloway’s Book on Running

      Getting Stronger


      Runner’s World • The Runner

      Swim for Fitness

      United States

      Masters Swimming


      Cross-Training • Triathlon Training


      Nutrition and

      Physical Degeneration


      Nutrition in Clinical Practice

      On Food and Cooking

      Unmentionable Cuisine

      Nutritive Value of Foods

      Joy of Cooking

      Easy Basics for Good Cooking

      The New Laurel’s Kitchen


      Catalog for Cooks


      Food Finds

      Whole Earth Access

      Jessica’s Biscuit

      Cookbook Catalog

      Amateur Brewer • Zymurgy

      The Way to Make Wine From Fruit • The Way to Make Beer


      Garden Way’s Guide to Food Drying

      Dry It — You’ll Like It

      How to Be Your Own Butcher

      The Simpler Life Food Reserves


      Walnut Acres

      Ozark Cooperative Warehouse

      Mountain Ark Trading Company

      Coffee Bean International

      Meat on the Table

      Getting the Most From Your Game and Fish

      The Beginning Bowhunter


      Beeman Precision Airguns

      Fly-Fisherman’s Primer


      Dan Bailey’s Fly Shop • Cabela’s

      The Compleat Angler’s Catalog

      Mushrooms of North America

      Regional Guides

      The Mushroom Feast


      Field Guide to North American Edible Wild Plants

      Regional Guides: Western

      Regional Guides: Eastern


      Lonely Planet Newsletter

      Practical Traveler


      Easy Going • Nomadic Books

      World Status Map


      The Tropical Traveller

      The South American Handbook

      A Guide to Trekking in Nepal

      South Pacific Handbook • Indonesia Handbook

      The People’s Guide to Mexico

      Let’s Go: Europe

      Earthwatch Research Expeditions

      The Adventurous Traveler’s Guide • Mountain Travel

      The Freighthopper’s Manual for North America

the homilies]]

      Hot Springs Gazette

      • New Improved Good Book of Hot Springs

      International Youth Hostels

      International Home Exchanges

      International Workcamp Directory

      Work Your Way Around the World

      International Employment Hotline

      How to Be an Importer and Pay for Your World Travel

      Transitions Abroad


      Living in the U.S.A.


      Bicycle Guide

      Bikes by Mail

      Bike Nashbar • Performance Bicycle Shop

      Pt. Reyes Bikes

      Human Power

      Bike Tech


      Bicycling Science

      Bicycle Rider



      Anybody’s Bike Book

      • The Bike Bag Book


      Alex Moulton Bicycles

      Berkeley Wheel Works

      Worksman Cycles

      Drive It ‘Till It Drops

      The Car Buyer’s Art

      Classic Motorbooks

      John Muir Publications

      Highway Driving Schools

      Fredson RV, Van, Truck & Boat Supplies


      Campground Directory

      Don Wright’s Guide to Free Campgrounds USA

      The Complete Walker III

      Starting Small In the Wilderness

      Land Navigation

      The Well-Fed Backpacker

      Wilderness Search and Rescue

      Supermarket Backpacker


      The North Face


      Stephenson’s Warmlite

      L. L. Bean

      Moss Tents



      The Longest Cave

      National Speleological Society


      Mountain Skiing

      Cross-Country Skiing


      Ramer/Alpine Research, Inc.

      Sherpa Snow-Claw Snowshoes

      Sherpa Snow-Claw Snowshoes $107-$144

      Avalanche Safety

      The Entry-Level Guide to Canoeing & Kayaking





      Nimbus Seafarer Take-Aparts

      Sea Kayaking • Sea Kayaking

      Take me to your dealer



      Rowing Boats

      Canoe Poling

      Open Water Sport Diver Manual



      The Essential Knot Boole

      The Handbook of Sailing

      Chapman Piloting


      Living Aboard

      Build the New Instant Boats

      Practical Yacht Joinery

      Building Classic Small Craft


      Defender industries

      • Goldbergs’ Marine

      Gien-L Boat Plans • Luger Boat Kits

      Celestial Navigation Step By Step

      One Day Celestial Navigation

      Weather for the Mariner

      Aircraft Spruce & Specialty



      Godel, Escher, Bach • The Mind’s I

      Grammatical Man

      The Infinite World of M. C. Escher

      Art and Illusion

      The Image

      Number Words and Number Symbols

      Anguish Languish



      Writing Without Teachers

      On Writing Well

      The Art of Fiction

      Electronic Typewriters

      Dedicated Word

      Processing Computers

      Personal Computers

      With Word Processing Programs

      Books on Tope

      Listen for Pleasure

      Recorded Books


      On Cassette

      The Mind’s Eye

      Norwood XLP Cassette Recorder

      The Reader’s Adviser

      The Pushcart Prize

      Lord of the Rings, etc.

      The Once and Future King
which I will not utter here. But this in the Common Tongue is what is said, close enough:


      The Sun

      Fantagraphics Books

      Love and Rockets

      Neat Stuff


      First Comics


      The Comics Journal


      American Flagg!

      Kitchen Sink Comix

      Eclipse Comics

      Last Gasp Comics

      Seduction of the Innocent

      Weirdo Magazine

      Steve Canyon Magazine


      Alien Encounters • Tales of Terror

      The Spirit

      Lonely Nights

      Anarchy Comics

      Russ Cochran

      American Splendor

      The World Almanac

      Finding Facts Fast

      Answers Online

      Library Journal

      Science Books & Films

      • Current Contents

      Magazine Index (on Microfilm)

      Yellow Pciges

      Statistical Abstract of the United States

      Statesman’s Yearbook

      Chase’s Annual Events

      Current Biography Yearbook

      The Art Index

      Whole Again Resource Guide

      National Five-Digit Zip Code and Post Office Directory

      Science Citation Index

      • Social Science Citation Index

      Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups

      American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language

      The Oxford-Duden Pictorial English Dictionary

      Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable

      Scott, Foresman

      Beginning Dictionary

      Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations

      The Synonym Finder



      Wall Street Journal

      Utne Reader

      Whole Earth Review

      Understanding Media

      Culture Is Our Business

      No Sense of Place

      Small Press

      The Self-Publishing Manual

      How to Do Leaflets, Newsletters and Newspapers

      How to Produce a Small Newspaper

      Pocket Pal


      Personal Publishing

      AutoCAD • Generic CADD • EASY3D

      Microcomputer Graphics

      Forget All the Rules ...

      Writing & Illuminating & Lettering

      Step-by-Step Graphics • How ...

      Dot Pasteup Supplies

      Competitive Camera

      American Photographer

      The Photographer’s Handbook

      The New Zone System Manual

      Drawing on the Right

      Side of the Brain

      • Drawing on the Artist Within

      Thinking with a Pencil *4

      Daniel Smith Inc.

      The Artist’s Handbook of Materials and Techniques



      Exhibits for the Small Museum


      A Conference and Workshop Planner’s Manual

      Organizing and Operating Profitable Workshop Classes

      An Actor Prepares

      Respect for Acting


      Norcosto • Mutual Hardware

      The Small Theatre Handbook

      Stage Makeup

      When the Shooting Stops... the Cutting Begins

      American Cinematographer • Millimeter

      The Dark Side of Genius:

      The Life of Alfred Hitchcock

      Directing for Film and Television

      The Video Production Guide

      Video Times

      The Video Schoolhouse

      Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television

      Leonard Maltin’s TV Movies

      The World of Satellite Television

      Home Satellite TV

      Satellite TV Week


      International Folk Dancing U.S.AA*^

      The Complete

      Book of Square Dancing

      Folkraft Records


      On the Count of One

      Musics of Many Cultures

      Basic Concepts in Music

      Composing Music

      Traditional American Folk Songs

      Sound Designs • Vibrations

      Musical Instruments of the World

      Experimental Musical Instruments

      Computer Music Journal



      Wide Range

      Off Centaur Publications

      Folk-Legacy Records

      Giorno Poetry Systems Institute

      Folkways Records

      Music of the World

      Maximum Rock’n’Roll

      Rock and Roll Confidential


      Living Blues


      The Craft of Interviewing

      The ARRL 1986 Handbook


      Short-Wave Receivers


      Equipment Suppliers

      Using Your Meter

      The Art of Electronics

      Don Lancaster’s

      Cookbook Library

      Electronic Buyers Club (EBC)

      IEEE Spectrum


      Mouser Electronics



      J & R Music World

      • Wisconsin Discount Stereo

      = Guide to Electronics in The Home

      Basic Robotic Concepts


      Installing Your Own Telephones

      Teleconnect • Which Phone System Should I Buy?


      Whole Earth Software Catalog


      How to Get Free Software

      The Amazing Newborn

      The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding

      Crying Baby, Sleepless Nights


      Baby Supplies

      Cotton Coverups.

      The Affordable Baby

      The Family Bed

      Whole Child, Whole Parent

      Birth & Life Bookstore

      Creative Parenting

      How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk

      Taking Care of Your Child


      Festivals, Family and Food • The Alternate

      Celebrations Catalogue


      Parents Without

      Partners Sourcebook

      Child Life Play Specialties

      Community Playthings

      Constructive Playthings

      Educational Teaching Aids


      Children’s Games in Street and Playground

      According to Hoyle


      New Games



      The Johnson Smith Catalog

      World Wide Games

      Mail-Order Fireworks

      The Modelmaker’s Handbook

      The Complete Dollmaker

      The Penguin Book of Kites • Kitelines

      Paper Flight


      Cherry Tree Toys

      Making Things

      The Read-Aloud Handbook

      Educational Record Center

      The Use and Training of the Human Voice

      Language Acquisition Made Practical

      The Overnight Guide to Public Speaking



      Tai Chi — Ten Minutes to Health

      Directory of Sail Training Ships and Programs

      Kibbutz Aliya Desk

      The National Outdoor Leadership School

      Experiment in International Living

      Helping Out in the Outdoors

      Getting Skilled • Handbook of Trade and Technical Careers

      WoodenBoat School

      Directory of Instruction for the Performing Arts

      Ringling Bros, and Barnum & Bailey Clown College

      Naropa Institute

      Apprenticeship in Craft

      The Tracker School

      Tutorial Study Program

      The Lifetime Reading Plan

      The Independent Scholars Handbook


      Non-Traditional College Degrees

      Deschooling Society

      The Paideia Proposal

      The Big Book of Home Learning

      Growing Without Schooling • John Holt’s Book and Music Store

      Better Than School


      The Memory Book

      Rules of Thumb

      The Brown Paper School Books

      Brain/Mind Bulletin

      Brain & Psyche

      The Teachings of Don Juan • A Separate Reality

      Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

      Against Method • The Structure of

      Scientific Revolutions

      Sharing Nature with Children

      Ranger Rick • Zoobooks

      Man In Nature

      Care of the Wild

      Feathered and Furred

      The Exploratorium

      Edmund Scientific • Nasco Science
while Harry, the worst golfer, never does. Use deductive reasoning to figure out who is who and explain how you know.

      The Science Book

      A butcher’s
view of you]]

      Mysteries of the Unexplained

      The Sourcebook Project

      Science and the Paranormal

      Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science

      The Skeptical Inquirer

      Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library

      The Vanishing Hitchhiker • The Choking Doberman


      Primal Myths

      The Way of the Animal Powers


      How to Know God

      Yoga Journal

      Integral Yoga Hatha • Light on Yoga

      Books on Buddhism

      Back to the Sources

      Holy Qur’an

      • The Koran Interpreted

      Ideals and Realities of Islam

      Good News Bible

      Mere Christianity


      The Living Testament

      The Other Bible

      The Classics of

      Western Spiritualty




      Drawing Down the Moon • Circle Network News

      The Hero With A Thousand Faces

      Life After Life

      The I Ching


    [Back Cover]

    [Unsorted text]

How to contribute to future Whole Earth Catalogs

IN SOME CASES, THE evaluations in this Catalog are probably inadequate. All will

become dated at some point. If you’re sure that something you know is better than what we’ve reviewed, have at us, so that the next Catalog will be more accurate at pointing at excellence.

Our standard advice for writing a review goes like this:

• Give the kind of information you would like to get. This should include what the item is good for, how it compares with others, and some clue as to how competent you are to judge. Avoid comments like “This is a good book.” Prove it.

• Think of yourself as writing a letter to an intelligent, uninformed friend about something that is interesting/important to you. Be succinct. A paragraph is frequently enough. Introduce the item and get out of the way. You don’t have to analyze it, just tell us why you love it and why we should run it.

• Suppliers are invited to suggest their own goods. Samples or review copies are welcomed; response is not predictable. We ask for no payment and will accept none. We serve as an information exchange and owe only accuracy to suppliers.

• We pay for everything we print, including complaint letters. You get $20 for a review and $20 for first suggestion ($40 if you provide both). Cartoons and photographs earn $30 and up. Payment for an article typically ranges from $100 to $500, depending on wonderfulness, clarity, ease of handling, and provision of illustrations. The Review prints all lengths, from a few paragraphs to many pages.

• Keep a copy for yourself. We are careful but not perfect. Be patient. We are busy but want to spend time with each submission. Send legible, typed, doublespaced manuscripts.

• Avoid inquiry letters. We are less interested in the subject of your attention than in what you do with it. If possible, send the finished article. Enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope.

Whole Earth

Send submissions to:

Whole Earth Catalog 27 Gate Five Road Sausalito, California 94965.

Whole Earth Review

The research that makes this Catalog possible is an ongoing project (since 1975) that manifests itself four times a year as a 144-page journal called Whole Earth Review (formerly CoEvolution Quarterly). We think of it as a quarterly update to the Whole Earth Catalog. About a third of each issue is devoted to reviewing items that have turned up since the last Catalog was completed. The rest is essays, unorthodox technical/ scientific/sociological articles, first-hand reports of intriguing experiments, art, cartoons, and anything else that might qualify as conceptual news.

A startling proportion of this Catalog first appeared in the Review long before other publications picked up the ideas. For example, the first fifth of the Catalog features Gaia (p. 10); SPOT space imagery (p. 12); bioregionalism (p. 15); Gregory Bateson on cybernetics (p. 22); Cellular Automata (p. 24); watersheds (p. 32); permaculture (p. 62): each once a visionary article. We often print things that even the author thought were too odd to be printed elsewhere.

That oddness has kept us going.

Except for small “unclassified” ads available only to subscribers, we accept no advertising. This allows us a freedom to pursue unusual issues that a more commercial magazine would have difficulty persuading advertisers to support. Nor do we accept government or academic grants. We seem to be the only general-interest magazine in America supported solely by its readers.

We are reader-supported in another, equally important way. About half of the material in each issue is reader-written. The un-famous contributors say that it’s easier for an unknown to get in print here than elsewhere. Famous contributors say that they often prefer writing for Whole Earth Review because their material is handled with more respect by us th$n by other magazines.

As a nonprofit educational o-ganization, we price the magazine at slightly below our production costs. (Sales of Catalogs like this one make up the difference.) Four issues (one year’s worth) of ad-less wonderment and intellectual challenge cost $18

Send your payment by check, money order, or VISA/Mastercard (include card number, expiration date, and signature) to:

Whole Earth Review Subscriptions, Dept. A 27 Gate Five Road Sausalito, CA 94965

Subscriptions: $l8/year (4 issues) for U.S. surface mail; $25 for U.S./Canadian 1st Class; $22 Canadian/foreign surface mail; $34 for foreign air.

Certain back issues of Whole Earth Review and CoEvolution are available from Whole Earth Access (p. 3).



How to Order From This Catalog



Whole Systems


Sky Watching

Exploring Space



Earth Imaging

World Maps








I and Thou



Science Magazines

Evolutionary Biology


Natural History

Structure and Design


Local Maps

Watershed Care







Reptiles and Fishes



Endangered Species



Boreal Forests

Western Forests

Eastern Forests



Inland Waters

Coastal Edge

Native America


World Biomes

Land Use

Farming Philosophy




Seed Saving



Vegetable Gardening Edible Landscaping Horticulture


74 Greenhouses

75 Indoor Gardening

76 Gardening Magazines

77 Community Gardening

78 Garden Tools

80 Pests

82 Bees

83 Livestock

84 Horses

85 Farming

86 Community

87 Environmental Politics

89 Sustainable Technology

90 Appropriate Technology

91 Covert Politics

92 World Politics

94 Peace

95 War

96 Mediation

97 Gay Politics

98 Women’s Politics

100 Left

101 Right

102 Local Politics

103 National Politics

104 Tactics

105 Media Tactics

106 Recycling

107 Biohazards

108 Animal Rights

109 Communities

110 Local Self-Reliance

111 Towns

112 Cities

113 Liveable Cities

114 Household

115 Architecture

117 Christopher Alexander

118 House Design

120 Owner-Built

122 Building Skills

124 Earth Building

125 Tensile Structures

126 Big-Wood Building

127 Logwork

128 Renovation

129 Repair

130 Solar Design

132 Solar Supplies

133 Photovoltaics

134 Wood Heat

136 Energy

138 Water Use

140 Realty

141 Living Space

142 Living Simple

143 Survival

144 Pets

146 Clothing by Mail

147 Clothing

148 Catalogs

150 Consumer Protection

151 Home Security

152 Craft

152 One Highly Evolved Toolbox

156 Tools

158 Tool Catalogs

160 Tool Rental

161 Surplus

162 Suppliers

164 Wholesale Tools

165 Tool Technique

167 Japanese Tools

168 Woodworking

170 Blacksmithing

171 Jewelry

172 Glass

174 Ceramics

175 Leather, Bookbinding

176 Basketry

177 Fiber Arts

178 Weaving

179 Weaving, Spinning, Dyeing

180 Needlework

181 Fiber Arts Sources

182 Sewing

184 Livelihood

185 Economics

186 Money

187 Careers

188 Jobs

189 Corporations

190 Funding

191 Small Business

194 Marketing

195 Business Tools

196 Specific Businesses

198 Music Business

199 Craft Business

200 Patents

201 Working at Home

202 Personal Finance

204 Legal Self-Care

206 Health

207 Medical Self-Care

210 Women’s Health

211 Men’s Health

212 Disabled

214 First Aid

215 Dental Self-Care

216 Growing Old

217 Patient Care

218 Hospice

219 Dying and Death

220 Drugs: Plant Power

221 Drugs: Pharmacy

222 Ending Addictions

224 Suicide

225 Self-Management

226 Psychological Self-Care

230 Sex

232 Sexually Transmitted Diseases

233 Birth Control

234 Adoption

235 Fertility

236 Childbirth

238 Fitness

241 Triathlons

242 Nutrition

243 Food

244 Cooking

246 Beer-and Winemaking

247 Cheesemaking

248 Preserving Food

249 Food by Mail

250 Hunting

251 Fishing

252 Mushrooms

253 Wild Edibles


255 Travel

256 Good Guides

258 Adventure Travel

259 Hitching

260 Vagabonding

261 Youth Hostels

262 Paying Your Way

263 Cultural Awareness

264 Bicycles

266 Bicycle Touring

267 Portable Bikes

268 Cars

270 Two-Wheeling

271 Road Life

272 Backpacking

274 Camping Gear

276 Climbing

277 Caving

278 Snow Sports

280 Canoeing, Kayaking

281 Portable Boats

282 Sea Kayaking

283 Canoes & Rowing

284 Scuba

285 Boardsailing

286 Sailing

288 Boat Building

289 Marine Supplies

290 Navigation

291 General Aviation

292 Ultralights

293 Homebuilts

294 Flight

296 Communications

297 Symbols

298 Language

300 Writing

302 Writing with Computers

303 Books on Cassette

304 Good Reading

306 Comics

308 Libraries

309 Great Reference Books

310 Reference

312 Trends

313 Media Culture

314 Small Publishing

316 Desktop Publishing

317 Computer Graphics

318 Graphic Design

320 Photography

322 Art

324 Art Reference

325 Exhibits and Conferences

326 Theater

328 Film

330 Video

332 Interactive Video

333 Satellites

334 Folk Dancing

335 Dance

336 Music

338 Musical Instruments

340 Electronic Music

341 Experimental Music

342 Muse by Mail

344 Radio

345 Short Wave

346 Electronics

348 Consumer Electronics

349 Robots

350 Telephones

351 Computer Networking

352 Buying a Computer

354 Software

355 Computer Hardware

356 Learning

357 Babies

358 Parenting

360 Single Parenting

361 Playthings

362 Games

364 Toys

366 Flying Objects

367 Making Toys

368 Storytelling

370 Speech

371 Computers

372 Body Arts

374 Adventure

376 Skill Schools

377 Classes and Apprenticeships

378 Lifelong Learning

380 Teaching

381 Home Schooling

382 Knowledge

384 Mind

385 Philosophy

386 Nature

388 Science

390 Paranormal

391 Skepticism

392 Folktales

393 Myth

394 Yoga

395 Buddhism

396 Judaism/lslam

397 Christianity

398 Western Spirituality

399 Mysticism

400 Enough

401 For Now

402 Gate Five Road

402 Genesis

403 Business





WE ARE AS GODS and might as well get good at it. So far remotely done power and glory — as via government, big business, formal education, church — has succeeded to the point where gross defects obscure actual gains. In response to this dilemma and to these gains, a realm of intimate, personal power is developing — the power of individuals to conduct their own education, find their own inspiration, shape their own environment, and share the adventure with whoever is interested. Tools that aid this process are sought and promoted by the Essentia/ Whole Earth Catalog.


The Essential Whole Earth Catalog is an evaluation and access device. It can help a user discover what is worth getting and how to get it. We’re here to point, not to sell. We have no financial obligation or connection to any of the suppliers listed. We only review stuff we think is great. Why waste your time with anything else?

An item is listed in this Catalog if it is deemed:

  1. Useful as a tool,

  2. Relevant to independent education,

  3. High quality or low cost,

  4. Easily available by mail.

The listings are continually revised and updated according to the experience and suggestions of Catalog users and staff. Latest news can be found in our magazine, Whole Earth Review (see inside front cover).


Order items in this Catalog directly from the supplier or publisher. Books can also be ordered from the Whole Earth Access Company if the access is marked “or Whole Earth Access.”


Consider these points of mail order etiquette essential. They’ll make shopping by mail more pleasant for you and the companies you’re dealing with. This advice is distilled from the requests of hundreds of the firms listed in this Catalog, plus our own experience over the past 18 years.

Include payment with your order.

Use a money order or personal check. Cash or stamps won’t do. If you’re buying an expensive product like a music synthesizer, their catalog will usually describe credit terms, if any. Don’t send U.S. money orders or personal checks overseas.


Editor Emeritus
Stewart Brand



POINT Foundation Board

The Essential

Kathleen O’Neill

David Burnor

Paul Hawken

Whole Earth Catalog

Ted Schultz

Huey Johnson


Production Manager

Doug Carlston

Copyright © 1986 by POINT

J. Baldwin

Susan Erkel Ryan


Stewart Brand

Foundation. All rights reserved.

Managing Editor


Christina Sponseller

Kevin Kelly

Printed in the United States of America. First Edition. Published

Jeanne Carstensen

Donald Ryan


Stats and Halftones

by Doubleday & Company, Inc.,

Cliff Figallo


Garden City, New York.

Assistant Editors


Mill Valley, CA

Library of Congress Cataloging

Art Kleiner

James Donnelly


in-Publication Data.

Richard Nilsen Peter Warshall Jay Kinney

Joan Gill M. Alan Born

(Whole Earth ‘Lectronic Link) Matthew McClure

John Coate

Color Separations

Pro Graphics Clearwater, FL

The Essential Whole earth catalog.

Tom Ferguson, M.D.


Includes index.

Hank Roberts



1. Manufacturers — Catalogs.


Jonathan Evelegh

Liz Fial

Progressive Graphics

2. Handicraft — Equipment and

Kevin Kelly

William Ryan

Oregon, IL

supplies — Catalogs.

Office Beasts

1. Whole earth catalog.

Research Manager



Literary Agent

TSI99.E77 1986 338.47’6029

Cindy Craig


Jerri Linn

Borderline collie/McNab


Border collie/Australian shepherd

John Brockman Associates

86–16630 ISBN 0-385-23641-7



Irish Black rat (R.I.P.)


David Finacom

Steve Lipke

Les Pockell

Dorothy Houser

“Captain” Bruce Walker

Jason and Amelia

Karen Johnston

Don Baker

Rebecca Wilson

Goldfish (R.I.P.)

Michael Hoekstra

Catherine Courtenaye


Ken Conner

Alex Gubanov

Approximately 15,000 honey bees (Apis melliferae)


Far-Ranging Factotum

Lori Woolpert

Dick Fugett


2. Include sales tax if the supplier is in • the state you are ordering from.

3. Expect prices to rise. The prices shown in this catalog are accurate as of August 1986. Most firms will write you back if you don’t send enough money. Some will bill you for the extra amount.

4. Use International Money Orders (IMOs) to send money abroad. They’re available from your post office. To send money to the U.S. from abroad, use IMOs or a bank draft in U.S. dollars.

5. Expect prices to be higher if you live outside the U.S. It’s best to write for the price and shipping costs by enclosing an International Reply Coupon (available at your post office). Be sure to ask about the price and time difference between shipment by sea (months sometimes, with high possibility of damage and theft) and by air (secure and quick, but very expensive for heavy items).

6. Write legibly. If you do much mail ordering, it’s worthwhile to get address labels and stick them on everything. If your writing can’t be read, at least folks will know where it came from.

7. Say what you want on the outside of the envelope. Writing “mail order” or “catalog request” or “subscription order” under the address will help prevent the loss of your order.

8. Use stock numbers where we’ve listed • them, especially if ordering from the U.S. Government Printing Office.

9. Some companies have an 800 number for ordering. Call I-800-555-1212 to find out. Some of these companies will accept credit card orders. You may be charged extra for credit card service.

10. Don’t order from the excerpts of catalogs we’ve reviewed. Send for their brochure or catalog to get latest specifications and prices, and order from that.

11 Be patient. It takes at least two lie weeks for your goods to arrive; four to six weeks’ wait is normal, especially if you’ve paid by personal check. Don’t worry unless it’s taken more than two months. Keep a record of date of purchase, and a photocopy or other record of your check, so if your order is lost you can give them specific details. Include your full name and address (with zip code) every time you write.

12. Be gentle. When complaining, re- IA • member that your goal is resolution, not revenge. If you are polite, calm, and specific, the person you’re talking with will likely be more cooperative.

13. Be considerate. Don’t send away Ue for catalogs just to keep your mailbox full. Some businesses we’ve listed in past Catalogs have been so swamped by frivolous inquiries that they had to shut down. If you write for free information, send a stamped, self-addressed envelope (SASE).


| Most libraries can get you most any book if you’re willing to wait for the interlibrary loan network to work its magic. If it’s a book, you probably don’t have to buy it.

And don’t forget your local bookstore. You can order most of the books in this Catalog through them, thus supporting a local business, and probably saving you postage and handling charges.


The phrase “or Whole Earth Access” that appears under most book access information in this Catalog means that you can order the book from the Whole Earth Access Company, an outfit inspired by the <em>Whole Earth Catalog</em> but not connected with us in any way. They offer this service as a convenience to our readers, especially for multiple book orders from various publishers.

Whole Earth Access Company has a catalog of their own (see p. 245) plus stores in San Francisco, Berkeley, and San Rafael, California. They keep thousands of titles in stock and can get many others. In addition to books, they carry a selection of tools, hardware, housewares, clothing, electronics, and computers, often at bargain prices.

Here’s how to order from Whole Earth

Access (be sure to send the order to THEM and not to us, or hellish confusion will result).

Print the name, telephone number, and address to which you want the order shipped.

Print the titles and quantity of the books you want, the page number they appear on in this Catalog, and the list prices. When only a postpaid price is given, that IS the list price. (Some companies don’t charge for postage and handling.)

Total the prices of the books you are ordering.

For delivery in California, add 6 percent tax (6!6 percent in BART counties).

Add $3 to each order of up to five books, and 50‘ for each additional book for postage and handling. Orders of over 20 books will be charged actual UPS shipping rate.

Orders are shipped UPS unless you indicate otherwise.

For rush orders, specify UPS Blue Label (2nd Day Air). This costs $6.50 for up to five books (instead of the $3 mentioned above).

For foreign orders, shipping is $4 for the first two books and 50’ for each additional book. For orders to developing countries, International Registry Insurance is recommended. That costs an extra $3.60 per order. Please remit bank draft in U.S. dollars.

Enclose payment in full with check or money order. VISA/MasterCharge customers print name from card, account number, expiration date, and sign your name.

VISA/MasterCharge cardholders can order by phone. Call toll-free 800/845-2000 (or locally, 415/845-3000) between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Pacific time.

Send orders to:

Whole Earth Access 2990 Seventh Street Berkeley, CA 94710 800/845-2000 • 415/845-3000

Whole Earth Access Statement:

“We will do our best to get your books to you as soon as we can. If for any reason you are dissatisfied with our products or service, please return the books to us and we will promptly refund your money.

“Publishers’ prices are subject to change. We will adjust your order accordingly, issuing a refund if necessary. Current booklists and prices are available on request.”


On page 152 of The Essential Whole Earth Catalog is an essay by editor J. Baldwin titled “One Highly-Evolved Toolbox.” It could have been the title of the whole book. In an earlier printing of the essay (it itself has evolved through four editions), J. wrote:

“Our portable shop has been evolving for about twenty years now. There’s nothing very special about it except that a continuing process of removing obsolete or inadequate tools and replacing them with more suitable ones has resulted in a collection that has become a thing-making system rather than a pile of hardware. ”

Just so with the Whole Earth Catalog. Though the book has been made wholly new five times now since I started the process in 1968, it was the constant daily research for our magazine Whole Earth Review (formerly CoEvolution Quarterly) that kept and keeps us current. What started as a kind of precocious-kid operation has had maturity thrust upon it — partly through the hard knocks of business survival, partly through the maturing of its audience and its makers, partly through the refining of the fields it reports on. pushed self-publishing; now we can push desktop publishing (p. 316). Right up to the 1981 Whole Earth Catalog, all the how-to books we reviewed were books. Now there are 1,000 how-to video cassettes on the market (see p. 331). The original Whole Earth Catalog got a somewhat inaccurate reputation as a back-to-the-land bible. All this edition has to offer rural life is primarily urban tools. The prevalence of satellite dishes on the countryside suggests that urbanity has less and less to do with clusters of tall buildings and ever more to do with global perspective.

My name is on the cover mainly as an indication of continuity. I had a hand in selecting items to repeat from previous Catalogs and participated in renaming the sections, but my role with Whole Earth these days is one of richly enjoyed emeritus. Kevin Kelly runs the place with a far more capable hand than mine, and J. Baldwin made production on this Catalog sing like none before. You can see the ever-growing skill of old hands like naturalist/ reviewer Peter Warshall and designer Kathleen O’Neill. You can also see the fresh perspective brought by a generation of newcomers. The production and research crews are about half and half of each.

The original core idea is intact. Instead of trying to review everything that exists, the Whole Earth Catalog only recommends what it finds to be the best available across the widest spectrum of usefulness it can discover. The reviews are written and excerpts selected as if they were advertising written by customers, the way you tell a friend about something you found that you’ve come to love. We know we haven’t identified everything wonderful, but since excellence leads to excellence we can trust the reader to keep up the search beyond these pages.

The “Whole Earth” in the title refers to planetary perspective, not to the range of our coverage. Some day maybe, but I hope not — the world might gain by seeing itself whole, but it should forever elude coverage by anybody.

Of the 1962 items recommended here, 1086 are books, 297 are magazines, 579 are mail order suppliers. Each is an opportunity to learn a skill. In times even more in transition than the times that were a-changin’ in the ’60s, there is no safer and more rewarding strategy than the routine acquiring and use of new skills.

“Live and learn” is a redundancy. Live is learn. ■


By J. Baldwin

Our office looks like a kicked-over anthill. Always. A succotash of books, catalogs, letters and strange hardware litters the place — some of it sent to us at our request, some sent by readers who think we’ve missed something. (We greatly encourage you to join the fray; see inside front cover for how.) We never know when we’re going to meet someone or something we’ve never heard of before.

With such diverse input, it’s no surprise that just about anyone can find things in this Catalog that’ll make them mutter something like, ‘Hm, I’d better read up on this,” “I always wondered where you got those, ” or (as we often do ourselves), “Hey, check this!” Much of the information we’ve gathered is difficult or annoying to find, let alone with an opinion from an experienced reviewer. We’ll look at most anything, old or new, wild or straight. We’re the only publication we know of where such a melange is gathered into one place so you can mix and match your way into uncharted territory.

Of the 1,086 books recommended here, 652 are dated 1982 or newer. (The most recent Catalog came out in 1981.) Yet we acknowledge that newest is not necessarily best. You’ll find classics whose excellence has let them endure despite a lack of current review or popularity. On the other hand, many of our favorite oldies are missing — out of print. Some have been replaced by books we think are inferior.

Out-of-prints were a bother in the production of previous Catalogs, but they were a pestilence in this one. Over and over, we’d get a page built around a famous and wonderful book, only to have one of our researchers sigh, “It’s OOPed. ” selling classics. A recent spate of publishers taking over publishers hasn’t helped; in a typical takeover, heads roll, taking enthusiasm for certain books with them. In 1981, the IRS made things worse by instituting a tax on unsold inventory (IRS vs. Thor Power Tools). 1 hal ruling gave publishers incentive to dump warehoused books rather than pay the inventory tax on them, which means disaster to books that find their niche slowly and settle to steady but unspectacular sales. To the IRS, books are mere products like electric drills. To us, books are sources of information. It’s dumb to make information harder to find.

Even reference books aren’t immune: the massive and authoritative Rodale’s Encyclopedia of Indoor Gardening is gone. We mourn the passing of gems like Sir John Russell’s The World of Soil. Our policy is to only present things that can be obtained by mail, but sometimes we recommend out-of-print books anyway

because they’re irreplaceable. Thus we feature the influential and disturbing Architecture Without Architects (p. 115) and the peerless How to Find and Buy Your Place in the Country (p. 140). You might be able to make a modest living reprinting books like these.

Of course, hehheh, Whole Earth Catalogs go out of print, too. But we do replace ’em with new ones now and then. Old friends can see that we’ve shrunk a bit physically — down from an unwieldy 5’/2-pound megabook that wouldn’t fit shelves (especially bathroom shelves) to a relatively svelte and handy 2/2 pounds. The table of contents remains about the same length, but the number of items reviewed has been limited to those our editors and consulting specialists deem to be the best introduction to a subject: the essential in our new title.

Metaphorically, previous Catalogs were like jungles. This edition is more like a garden, the result of 18 years of cultivation by us and our millions of readers. But it’s not a formal garden; we encourage hybrids. Always have. Reviewers of our If Catalogs have often missed the point by calling us a “wishbook.” Not at all. You can grab ahold of nearly anything in here and make it a part of your life. Use the book like a huge key ring — select a key from one of our pages and use it to open the door to something new to you. Access to tools and ideas, just like it says on the cover. We use it ourselves.

Whole Systems

UNDERSTANDING WHOLE SYSTEMS means looking both larger and smaller than where our daily habits live and seeing clear through our cycles. The result is responsibility, but the process is filled with the constant delight of surprise. Neither the Earth nor our lives are flat. What happened in the 20th century? The idea of self — the thing to be kept alive — expanded from the individual human to the whole Earth.
—Stewart Brand

Below From Above

Georg Gerster 1986; 133 plates $35
($37 postpaid) from: Abbeville Press
505 Park Avenue New York, NY 10022 or Whole Earth Access

The best book of aerial photographs ever (133 — in color). What is unique is the captioning — Gerster knows what he is floating over, or he studies it until he does. He knows the history of places, and why the farmers do odd things, and what the tribe is after, and how to keep sand dunes from covering the oasis. The book is a tour de force of form and content.

The range is so worldwide and culturally rich that no reader-flier can escape wanting to try things differently. That’s the yield of perspective. I’ve seen no other book — not even the space satellite ones — with perspective like this.

—Stewart Brand


Battling wind erosion on a field near Wichita, Kansas. A sudden May wind spurred the farmer into action. He roughened up the soil with a spring-tooth harrow by driving haphazardly over the field. He simply wanted to secure the largest possible amount of land against the wind in the shortest possible time and with the least fuel consumption. Uncultivated fields lack sufficient protective surface cover of crop residue. The dry, whitish crust indicates just how vulnerable they are when bare. In Kansas every year the wind blows away an average of three tons of soil per acre — only about four-fifths of a ton less than what is lost through water erosion.

The village of Labbezanga, on an island in the Niger River, Mali. The granaries wind through the village like strings of beads. In them, millet and rice keep for up to three years, though in the recent past, during the seemingly endless droughts, the harvest has rarely been sufficient to maintain full capacity. The amphora-shaped mud containers, some as high as the houses, are filled and emptied through an opening at the top. Stone slabs and fragments, jutting out from the body of the granaries like spikes, make them easier to climb. The villagers, settled, non-nomadic members of the Songhai tribe, live mainly in the traditional round mud huts with domed thatched roofs. In Labbezanga, however, terrace-roofed square houses of Islamic-Arabic origin are on the increase. Owning one boosts a family’s social standing.

I have explained in the introduction why I felt like Columbus when I found Labbezanga. Beyond being “the most beautiful village in Africa,” it is also, according to the cyberneticist Frederic Vester, a shining example of an inter-connected system. For the unassuming Labbezangans almost too much praise.

Powers of Ten

Like the famous film of the same name by Ray and Charles Eames,</em> Powers of Ten <em>takes you on a photographic journey from quasars to quarks — 102S to IO”’6 — in 42 incremental steps, each one ten times the next. The changes in scale are provocative and truly mind-expanding, because you can’t comprehend such matters without the aid of sensitive instrumentation (and some imagination). It’s both jarring and inspiring to see how much of what is really going on is invisible to our five senses.


Powers of Ten

Philip and Phylis Morrison and The Office of Charles and Ray Eames 1982; 150 pp.


($21.45 postpaid) from: W. H. Freeman & Co. 4419 West 1980 South Salt Lake City, UT 84104 or Whole Earth Access


THERE IS NOTHING like astronomy to pull the stuff out of man. His stupid dreams and red-rooster importance: let him count the star-swirls. ”

—‘Star Swirls” by Robinson Jeffers


Human knowledge used to be divided info: 1) our people; 2) everything else. In the last decade or so, it’s started to divide differently: 1) Earth; 2) everything else. This new book is now the best introduction to understanding everything in the context of Earth, and Earth in the context of everything else.

It’s a personal view — Carl Sagan’s — derived from his public television series of the same name. I liked those programs far less than this book, but clearly the necessarily graphic research for video yielded a rich inventory of images for the book. (They are mostly new and mostly highly illuminating and knowledgeably captioned. That’s rare in the field of popular astronomy, where half-decent images are recycled forever.) Carl is opinionated as well as insightful; both characteristics give the book its life. Both are invigorating. You might well wind up on another planet just to refute his preference for robots in space.

—Stewart Brand

Neutron star matter weighs about the same as an ordinary mountain per teaspoonful — so much that if you had a piece of it and let it go (you could hardly do otherwise), it might pass effortlessly through the Earth like a falling stone through air, carving a hole for itself completely through our planet and emerging out the other side — perhaps in China. People there might be out for a stroll, minding their own business, when a tiny lump of neutron star plummets out of the ground, hovers for a moment, and then returns beneath the Earth, providing at least a diversion from the routine of the day. If a piece of neutron star matter were dropped from nearby space, it would plunge repeatedly through the rotating Earth, punching hundreds of thousands of holes before friction with the interior of our planet stopped the motion.

The New Astronomy

Astronomers don’t look through telescopes. (The eye isn’t very good at star-watching.) Moreover, a lot of what is going on out there is happening “invisibly.” Infrared, ultraviolet, x-ray, radio and gamma radiation can be detected and the images captured on film. This book explains how it’s done and shows what has been found in startling color images of cosmic activity. The author fortunately speaks normal English and makes the phenomena comprehensible without recourse to intricate math. The book gives new meaning to the word fascinating. —JB

Echoes of the Ancient Skies

A great work of connection is done here. The Earth’s sky is connected to the Earth’s dwellings, temples, and cities. The present, in this perspective sadly impoverished, is connected to our deepest past at its most perceptive and intelligent. Here are the sun daggers striking to the middle of labyrinths on certain days, the horizon points that connect the whole world to the whole year to the whole life, the lines drawn on the land to match the lines found between the sky and the passage of time. Richly told, richly illustrated.


Carl Sagan 1980; 365 pp.


($16.95 postpaid) from: Random House

Order Dept.

400 Hahn Road Westminster, MD 21157 or Whole Earth Access

How have our modern architects remained so blissfully ignorant of these findings? All we seem to know in our constructions these days is the crudities of north, east, south, west. The solar energy crowd also appears devoid of art, subtlety, or science compared to our primitive ancestors. —Stewart Brand

Like other supernova remnants, the Vela remnant is far more striking when observed at radio and X-ray wavelengths. At radio wavelengths it is one of the brightest sources in the sky, as strong as the Crab Nebula. The radio picture (right) covers the same area of sky as the optical photograph (left), and is color coded so that the faintest outer regions are pink, with successively brighter parts in shades of blue, green, orange and red. (The pulsar is too weak to show up here; its position is shown by the black spot.) The radio picture shows the total extent of the gases and shockwaves from the explosion much more clearly. The radio-emitting remnant is 4° (about 100 light years) across.

The New Astronomy Nigel Henbest and Michael Marten 1983; 240 pp.

$29.95 postpaid from: Cambridge University Press 510 North Avenue New Rochelle, NY 10801 or Whole Earth Access

Echoes of the Ancient Skies

Dr. E. C. Krupp 1983; 380 pp.


($20.95 postpaid) from:

Harper & Row

2350 Virginia Avenue Hagerstown, MD 21740 or Whole Earth Access

Sunsets, twilights, and evening skies

Is it intimations of a gorgeous death, or revelling in the seamless gradation of blazing horizon to a starry dark, or the lifelong scout for the green flash that keeps us going and gazing on sunsets? Part of the attraction surely is the spectacular variety. This book’s color photos and clear explanations can serve as a sort of field guide of twilight special effects — green flashes, noctilucent clouds, zodiacal light, volcanic dust leading to Bishop’s rings and blue suns, and the Earth’s own shadow climbing the fading eastern sky. Is there a more universal ceremony of planethood than watching the sun set and, by profound implication, rise? —Stewart Brand

Sky Watching

Learning the identity of those uncountable twinkling points in the night sky can be a daunting task without a guide. Books are a good place to start. That’s where you’ll find out the names of the constellations (and how they got them), where and when to look, and what you’re really looking at (e.g., that “star” is actually an enormous galaxy comprising billions of stars). Skyguide is a good one, done in the usual Golden Field Guide manner. It’s concentrated in northern midlatitudes but is useable south of the equator, too. The charts are big enough to see at night by flashlight.

Guidebooks are a bit awkward when you’re actually outdoors looking; there are a number of adjustable charts that can help. The Night Sky Star Dial has won praise from astronomy buffs because its two-sided design manages to reduce distortion and look more like the real sky. Sky Challenger is a star finder with six interchangeable dials designed to interest children: an introduction, “Binocular Treasure Hunt,” “Where Are The Planets?,” “Native American Constellations,” and “Star Clock.” Night Star is an eight-inch flexible plastic dome that can be set to your exact location anywhere on earth. Minimal distortion and the accompanying booklet make it exceptionally easy to use.

If you’d like a zoo-guide voice in your Walkman telling you what you’re looking at, try Tapes Of The Night Sky. The two tapes give four 25-minute tours of the sky — one for each season — with pauses built in to give you a chance to follow the instructions. Comes with maps.

And there is software. Tell Star II is the most popular one. It gives you a planetarium view without having to look at the real thing — an advantage if the weather is bad or you wish to investigate the skies over where you aren’t. Good for beginners. You can get a four-page annotated list of astronomy software for the most popular home computers from Astronomical Society of the Pacific.

So what’s happening in the sky this month? The constellations change seasonally, but there are events such as meteor showers and comets that aren’t shown on charts. A good way to keep current is with the Abrams Planetarium Sky Calendar or with the calendar published monthly in the excellent Sky and Telescope magazine.

Stunning slides and posters of celestial objects are available from Hansen Planetarium and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. —JB

[All the above suggested by Andrew Fraknoi, Executive Officer of the Astonomical Society of the Pacific]

Skyguide: Mark R. Chartrand III, 1982; 280 pp. $7.95 ($8.95 postpaid) from Western Publishing Company/ Dept. M, P. O. Box 700, Racine, Wl 53401.

The Night Sky Star Dial: $3.25 (information free) from David Chandler Company, P. O. Box 309, LaVerne, CA 91750.

Sky Challenger: $8.95 postpaid from Discovery Corner/ Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720.

Night Star: $47.50 (information free) from Night Star Company, 1334 Brommer St., Santa Cruz, CA 95062.

Tapes Of The Night Sky: $15.45 (information free) from Astronomical Society of the Pacific/Catalogue Dept., 1290 24th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94122

Tell Star II: $79.95 (information free) from Spectrum Holobyte, 1050 Walnut Street, #325, Boulder, CO 80302.

Abrams Planetarium Sky Calendar: $5/year (4 issues) from

Sky Calendar / Abrams Planetarium, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Ml 48824.

Sky and Telescope: Leif J. Robinson, Editor. $20/year (12 issues) from Sky and Telescope, 49 Bay State Road, Cambridge, MA 02238–1290.

Hansen Planetarium: Catalog free from 1098 South 200 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84104.

Astronomical Society of the Pacific: Astronomy Software

Annotated List $1 (information free); both from A.S.P., 1290 24th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94122.

Buying a Telescope

Buying a good telescope is similar to buying a good camera or car: it’s worth doing some research. There are many different types of telescopes and even within the same type, quality and price can vary widely. The November 1985 issue of Consumer Reports had an excellent evaluation of amateur telescopes, giving specific brand names (check your library).

Another helpful source with more information about what each type of telescope does best is the nontechnical pamphlet Selecting Your First Telescope: Sherwood Harrington, 1982; 12 pp., $2 donation from A.S.P./Info Packets Dept., 1290 24th Ave., San Francisco, CA 94122.

—Andrew Fraknoi



Entering Space

This book is quite simply the best and most attractive introduction to manned space exploration that I have seen. Written by one of the Space Shuttle astronauts (before the Challenger tragedy), it is an upbeat, behind- the-scenes look at the U.S. space program. Over 215 dramatic color illustrations, many unique to the book, provide a visual feast for the space enthusiast. —Andrew Fraknoi


While I idly watched a trail of ash and smoke spread out over the Pacific from the cone of a Nicaraguan volcano. Dale began to secure the A-frame.

Entering Space

Joseph P. Allen

Planetary Landscapes

<em>Access to planets! Pictures and text show and explain radically different geological processes in a way that makes other planetary bodies more familiar and our own more fantastic. This is exciting stuff. It’s a lot like anthropological archaeology, where a mix of careful observation and creative detective work is needed. What’s presented is both the what (discovered) and the how (it was discovered). Greeley is contagiously fascinated with his subject. Everything is explained with an attention to a type of detail necessary for scientists but often neglected for laymen — such as an explanation of “things that go wrong with pictures sent from space.” The mountains of Mars to the moons of Jupiter — come alive.</em>

—David Finacom

Oblique Viking orbiter view across Gangls Chasma in the canyonlands of Mars. The landslide on the far wall extends as far as 50 km from the canyon wall and is one of several landslides that have enlarged the canyon. Visible in the lower right is a dark deposit which consists of sand dunes, demonstrating aeolian activity.

with Russell Martin 1985; 240 pp.


($18.10 postpaid) from: Workman Publishing Co. Stop Order Dept.

1 West 39th Street New York, NY 10018 or Whole Earth Access

The Greening of Mars

British scientist James Lovelock, the co-author of the Gaia Hypothesis — which suggests how Earth’s life uses the atmosphere to regulate the planet — has co-authored a novel on how to do something similar with Mars. Lovelock’s credentials to devise such a scheme are impressive. Back before the Viking probe of Mars’ surface, he was hired by NASA to analyze the chances for life on Mars by studying the Martian atmosphere. His conclusion — no life on Mars because its atmosphere is so chemically stable it shows nothing is fiddling with it — was hushed up by NASA, but there was a nice byproduct: because Earth’s atmosphere is so chemically unstable that the presence of life is required to explain it, Lovelock’s Mars research led directly to the Gaia Hypothesis (see next page).

What is particularly appealing about his plan to green Mars is its low-cost, nongovernmental, realistic, unromantic, even somewhat tawdry approach. He would gather up the world’s obsolete solid-fuel missile rockets (available to anyone who can reasonably dispose of them), lash them together, and fire them in the general direction of Mars. For payload they carry the world’s warehoused and outlawed chlorofluorocarbons (remember when spray deodorant threatened our

precious ozone?), which are released on collision with Mars. As a greenhouse gas the chlorofluorocarbons are 100 times more potent than the CO2 that worries us on Earth — frozen Mars starts rapidly warming toward livability. Throw in a few Antarctic lichens to multiply and darken Mars’ albedo (reflectivity). Within 11 years humans can begin to arrive in semi-comfort and accelerate the process.

I find the book mildly interesting as a novel but riveting as a proposal. A number of young scientists have been intrigued enough by the British edition of this book to call a meeting in Canada to discuss the implications of its ideas. One term that came out of that meeting I just love — “ecopoieses” — “the process of a system making a home for itself.” —Stewart Brand

• Folks interested in furthering the cause of space exploration and space colonies get together to chat in the L5 Society. Membership includes their magazine, 15 News (not available separately).

L5 Society: Membership $30/year from 1060 Elm Street, Tucson, AZ 85719.

On Earth, the weight of the organisms living in the top few centimetres of a field of grass is much greater than the weight of the cows feeding on that grass. You might stock five cows, weighing say 2.5 tonnes, on one hectare of very good pasture. Depending on the soil, the population in the top few centimetres may weigh between 11 and about 22 tonnes per hectare, or around 1.6 kg per cubic metre, and of that total, more than 1.4 kg consists of nothing but bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. On Earth, the total weight of all the organisms that are too small to be seen by the unaided human eye exceeds by a huge margin the weight of those you can see.

When you add together the effect on the environment of each of these tiny organisms it amounts to a major alteration in the chemistry of the entire planet. It is this alteration that allows us to distinguish between a planet that supports life and one that does not.

Planetary Landscapes

Ronald Greeley 1985; 265 pp.


($46.95 postpaid) from: Allen & Unwin, Inc.

8 Winchester Place Winchester, MA 01890 or Whole Earth Access

The Greening of Mars

James Lovelock and Michael Allaby 1984; 215 pp.


($4.50 postpaid) from:

Random House Order Dept.

400 Hahn Road Westminster, MD 21157 or Whole Earth Access




This may turn out to be one of the epochal insights of this century: that the entire life of Earth, through its atmosphere and ocean, functions effectively as one self-regulated organism: Gaia (alter the Greek Earth goddess).

Free-lance British scientist James Lovelock writes a winning prose. This is a brief, personal, convincing performance. It even overcomes my lifelong aversion to chemistry, making fascinating sense of the difference between the chemical equilibrium of a dead planet and the chemical steady state of a live one.

The Living Planet

David Attenborough 1985; 320 pp.


($19.45 postpaid) from: Little, Brown & Co.

200 West Street Waltham, MA 02254 or Whole Earth Access

Along the way, he notes that from Gaian perspective we are over-concerned with industrial pollution and underconcerned with protecting the integrity of the all-important tropical jungles and continental shelves of the sea.

As science and as poetry, Gaia (pronounced “guy — a”) is a major planetary self-discovery. It’s likely that all our thinking will be reoriented to accommodate the goddess.

—Stewart Brand


J. E. Lovelock 1979; 157 pp.

$6.95 postpaid from: Oxford University Press 16–00 Pollitt Drive

Fair Lawn, NJ 07410 or Whole Earth Access

If we are a part of Gaia it becomes interesting to ask: “To what extent is our collective intelligence also a part of Gaia? Do we as a species constitute a Gaian nervous system and a brain which can consciously anticipate environmental changes?”

The Biosphere Catalogue

Tango Parrish Snyder.


1985; 240 pp.


postpaid from: Synergetic Press

P. O. Box 689

Oracle, AZ 85623 or Whole Earth Access

By now a planet-sized entity, albeit hypothetical, had been born, with properties which could not be predicted from the sum of its parts. It needed a name. Fortunately the author William Golding was a fellowvillager. Without hesitation he recommended that this creature be called Gaia, after the Greek Earth goddess also known as Ge, from which root the sciences of geography and geology derive their names. In spite of my ignorance of the classics, the suitability of this choice was obvious. It was a real four-lettered word and would thus forestall the creation of barbarous acronyms, such as

The Living Planet

In the Attenborough style of a long anecdote and a short but pithy summary conclusion. The Living Planet introduces the larger biological communities (biomes or biogeographical regions): tundra, jungles, grasslands, oceans, deserts, sweet waters, etc. A breezy book with gripping color photographs that will entice the reader into more appreciation of how this little spinning sphere got to have so much happening. —Peter Warshall

So the wounds inflicted on the land by volcanoes eventually heal. Although volcanoes may seem, on the short scale by which man experiences time, the most terrifyingly destructive aspect of the natural world, in the longer view they are the great creators.

Biocybernetic Universal System Tendency/Homeostasis. I felt also that in the days of Ancient Greece the concept itself was probably a familiar aspect of life, even if not formally expressed. Scientists are usually condemned to lead urban lives, but I find that country people still living close to the earth often seem puzzled that anyone should need to make a formal proposition of anything as obvious as the Gaia hypothesis. For them it is true and always has been.

The Biosphere Catalogue

A wide-ranging book of adventurous intellect. You can find everything from the best botanical gardens to shields against cosmic particles. From the Gaian point of view, this is the only publication to consider all aspects of materially closed, energetically opened systems — from hermetically sealed test tubes to “bio-regenerative life support systems” that might be used for space colonization. The cutting edge of the world as it is.

—Peter Warshall

The Biosphere

“The earth’s thin film of living matter is sustained by grand-scale cycles of energy and chemical elements.” Learning the long term rules and delicate equilibriums of life as this book can teach them explains why man’s activities of the past 150 years are having such an effect on the planet. —David Finacom

The Biosphere

Scientific American Editors 1970; 134 pp.


($11.95 postpaid) from:

W. H. Freeman

4419 West 1980 South

Salt Lake City, UT 84104 or Whole Earth Access

An “Ecosphere” is a materially dosed, energetically open ecosystem. This one includes microbes, algae and shrimp. Some simpler systems have lived, totally closed, for 17 years. They are being used to understand the Earth’s biosphere and how to build a living space on Mars.


A Field Gyide to the Atmosphere

“It was a dark and stormy night.” Most fiction seems to begin with a weather report. For good reason — nothing so quickly establishes a locale and mood. Also nothing so connects a place with everywhere else on Earth, and with the grand procession of the year and years, as the daily weather. Observe it and you observe them.

This lovely guide is the most detailed of all weather books. The captions not only tell you what clouds those are but how they got that way, and pretty quickly you catch on how they fit in the grand scheme of things — jet streams, various crystal effects, and such. Any window becomes a cure for boredom.

A Field Guide to the Atmosphere Vincent J. Schaefer and John A. Day 1981; 359 pp.


($11.70 postpaid) from: Houghton Mifflin Co. • Mail Order Dept.

Wayside Road Burlington, MA 01803 or Whole Earth Access

The ordinary soap bubble is a valuable tool for measuring certain features of the atmosphere.

A most interesting phenomenon can be observed when large bubbles are made in temperatures colder than -10°C (14°F). Shortly after a large bubble starts floating in the cold air, one or more ice crystals are likely to start growing on its surface; this is caused by the presence of ice nuclei or tiny ice crystals in the air. The crystals in the bubble film grow rapidly until the bubble either breaks or becomes completely frozen. Quite often, when a number of crystals form and the bubble breaks, the crystals fall separately, and by counting them it is possible to ascertain roughly the number of ice nuclei in a given volume of air. Large differences are often encountered.

The Coevolution of Climate and Life

Ah weather. It can irritate us so ... being beyond our control. Yet, in one lifetime, we get so little feel for its true extremes — little Ice Ages, Greenhouse Effects, el Nino. These are but the passing children of biospheric evolution or rather a coevolution in which life itself helps steer the fickle unknown forces of climate. This tome analyzes the speculations of “new primitive” scientists trying to understand the sun god’s spots or the heavens’ and oceans’ affinity for dancing carbon molecules. It covers four billion years and focuses on the l’m-going-to-scare-you issues of aerosols, nuclear winter, overheating, acid rains and droughts. It is, at times, tainted by a humorless, clawing “humanism” and a college-sophomore attitude toward topics it cannot fully comprehend (history, Marxism, capitalism, the Gaia hypothesis). But there is no other book so readable and complete. You leave it linked — by each breath, each eddy current created by your waving arm, each belch of your automobile — to the huge involvement of atmosphere, planet spin, and life.

—Peter Warshall

The climatic system of the earth consists of many interacting subsystems: the atmosphere, the oceans, the cryosphere (ice and snow), the biosphere (biota and their environment plus humans and their activities), the bottoms of the oceans, and some of the solid material below land and oceans. The interacting components of these subsystems are called the internal climate system, whereas those forces that drive the climate system, but are not an internal part of that system, are known as external forcing or boundary conditions.

For many years people have attempted to correlate events on earth with variations in sunspot numbers. The variation of the Dow Jones stock market averages or the quality of wine vintages are just two such examples.... Although no reliable mechanism has ever been identified to connect sunspot activity with such earthly behavior, more careful research has been undertaken in recent years to examine the possibility that such fundamental changes on the sun could be related to events at the earth’s surface.

Weather Instruments

“For many years I was self-appointed inspector of snowstorms and rainstorms, and did my duty faithfully, though

• Best mag for world weather watchers.

Weatherwise: Linda Dove, Editor. $20/year (6 issues) from Heldref Publications, 4000 Albemarle Street NW, Washington, DC 20016.

• See Weather tor Mariners (p. 290) for best predictions.

I never received one cent for it.” --Thoreau

Browse this catalog. Choose what you need or can afford. Do it. –Peter Warshall

Certified relative humidity and temperature indicator.

Garden rain gauge.


In 1984, the U.S. Congress decided to turn the Landsat program over to the private sector. The still-functioning Landsat 4 and 5 satellites, and the huge archive of data accumulated since 1972, have been transferred to the Earth Observation Satellite Company (EOSAT).

Prices range from $50 for a black and white photo on paper with 80-meter ground resolution (image size 7.3 inches on an edge, showing approximately 115 miles square), up to $3,300 for a computer-compatible tape of a scene from the Thematic Mapper (TM) on Landsat 5. TM scenes have a ground resolution of 30 meters — less than SPOT (see review next page) provides, but the TM’s primary sensor has seven spectral filters, compared with SPOT’s three. This finer spectral discrimination makes it possible to identify different plant species or types of rock by detecting subtle differences in the color of the sunlight they reflect, even when they’re not identifiable by shape or texture.

—Robert Horvitz

Interpretation of Aerial Photographs Thomas E. Avery and Graydon L. Berlin 1985; 554 pp.


($38.85 postpaid) from: Burgess Publishing Co. 7108 Ohms Lane Minneapolis, MN 55435 or Whole Earth Access

Interpretation of Aerial Photographs

Learn how to read aerial and satellite photos for tree species, geological trends, camouflaged missile sites, industrial pollution, and the peculiar configuration of your yard. The best book.

—Stewart Brand

Characteristics and Availability of Data from Earth imaging Satellites C. Scott Southworth 1985; 102 pp.

$6.50 postpaid from: Public Inquiries U. S. Geological Survey 169 Federal Building Denver, CO 80294

Characteristics and Availability of Data from Earth Imaging Satellites

This handsome booklet is a useful guide to five research collections managed by federal agencies (including Seasat, Nimbus-7, and the Shuttle Imaging Radar-A).

—Robert Horvitz

General coverage of Soasat synthetic aperture radar over the North American continent from the June 26,1978, launch until the October 10, 1978, termination of the mission. United States coverage portrays ascending (southeast to north* west) and descending (northeast to southwest) satellite tracks.


SPOT 1________________________

On February 21, 1986, the French space agency launched the first satellite specifically designed for remote sensing on a commercial basis: SPOT 1. Its high-resolution images are marketed through an international network of subsidiaries and affiliates. Because of SPOT’s sidelooking capability, it can view a site without passing directly overhead. Thus, it can re-view ground areas more often than Landsat — every few days, if necessary.

Prices for a scene showing 60 x 60–85 km of surface range from $370 for a 19” x 19” color transparency (20 meters ground resolution), to $2550 for a computercompatible tape with geometric corrections. “Panchromatic” images can attain a ground resolution of ten meters — three times finer than Landsat’s best — with prices starting at $400 for a photoprint on paper. But the boost in clarity comes with a loss of color: panchromatic images are only available in black and white.

Thus, the two systems have different strengths that make them suited to somewhat different purposes. SPOT’s sharper images make it more useful for investigations where human activity and constructions are the focus, while Landsat’s superior spectral filtering gives it advantages in resource identification and surveys.

—Robert Horvitz

Atlas of North America

With a level of quality readers have come to expect from National Geographic, this book is a wondrous display of what must be the quintessence of space-based photography. Set in a context of text, maps, and illustrations, it is the color photographs — from satellites, shuttle crews, and aircraft — that make this atlas unique. Though nominally North American, the coverage slights Canada to the benefit of Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. This book may be the forerunner of a more mature exploitation of space imagery at work.

—Don Ryan [Suggested by David BurnorJ


Information free from: SPOT Image Corporation 1897 Preston White Drive Reston, VA 22091

Valley* and ridges northwest of Roanoke, Virginia, stand out In sharp relief in this enhanced false-color Landsat Image. To sharpen the relief, a computer has exaggerated tonal contrasts between eastern. Illuminated slopes and the shaded western sides.

Access to Public Space Images

For now at least, oceanographic and meteorological satellites continue to be operated by the U.S. Government

• Satellite photographs are one of the best tools for developing reliable data on worldwide problems such as drought and deforestation. Data of this sort is critical to organizations attempting large-scale corrections of human folly.

os a public service. The Satellite Data Services Division of NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite Service maintains an archive of over 8 million images from some 30 satellites going back more than 20 years, and their prices are much lower than their commercial cousins’. Prices start at $9 for a black and white print from a negative (plus $4 handling per order), and range up to $100.

—Robert Horvitz

Satellite Data Services Division: Information free from SDSD, World Weather Building, Room 100, Washington, DC 20233.

Atlas of North America Wilbur E. Garrett 1985; 264 pp.


($34.20 postpaid) from: National Geographic Society Washington, DC 20036 or Whole Earth Access

Per buck, this atlas has the most and best — 372 pages of locational maps (from continent right down to city), landforms, climate, weather, vegetation, soil, population, agriculture, trade, language, resources, ocean floor, topped off with a fine pronouncing index. When something in the newspaper puzzles you, check here. Well, well: about ten languages are spoken in different regions of the Soviet Union.

—Stewart Brand [Suggested by David Brooks]

(Top) Africa — Political Change/Peoples/Natural Hazards/landforms.

(Right) China and Japan. (Left) North America — Energy/Water Resources/ Natural Hazards/Landforms.

Two-thirds of the Planet A Wall Map and Atlas

The great explorers of the twentieth century have been the oceanographers. Their maps have confirmed the theory of floating continents, exposed mountain ranges taller than the Himalayas, located the deepest communities of living creatures, opened the last great caches of Earth’s resources, and made me feel, once again, reverent toward our birthplace. The World Ocean Floor Panorama wall map cheaply and beautifully displays the earth surface of the planet for the first time in history. —Peter Warshall

The Times Atlas of the Oceans is a pure joy to behold. A comprehensive understanding of the ocean environment has become critical as we learn more about the limits of the once-boundless sea. The Times Atlas is well-written, graphically pleasing, and logically organized — it includes weather patterns, fisheries and resource exploitation, ship-borne commerce, shoreline development, pollution sources, military strategy; sea law, etc. —David Burner

Iron or* \ i I

Iron ore is the most important dry cargo in world seaborne trade. In 1980 about 314 million tonnes were transported, representing around 35 per cent of world production.

—The Times Atlas of the Oceans

The Times Atlas of World History

Most engrossing new reference book in decades. Six hundred color maps ingeniously present historical periods from the perspective of the time and people involved. Praise be, the volume corrects generations of Europecentered versions of history —Stewart Brand

The Times Atlas cf World History: (Revised Edition) Geoffry Barraclough, 1985; 360 pp. $75 ($78 postpaid) from Hammond, Inc./Sales Dept., 515 Valley Street, Maplewood, NJ 07040 (or Whole Earth Access).

This map is the gem of 15 years of thought and work on the Whole Earth Catalog. It is the map of how the Earth itself has simultaneously produced variety and parallels during its long evolution ... how water, soils, plants, animals, and locations near or far from the oceans create provinces of similar life. Besides its beauty, it’s being used to insure that every biogeographic region of the planet will have at least one representative ecological community preserved. If is a meditative map.

By scanning similar provinces I understand why Australian eucalyptus do so well in California; why the “Mediterranean” regions have similar heritages and can look to each other for advice on wine, sunlight in art, fire, grasses, and

National Geographic World Political Map

Like it or not, this is how the Earth has been subdivided. From Burkina Faso to Tasmania, each political bloc is displayed in full color on heavy paper. A best buy. Index available for an extra buck and a half. —Peter Warshall

• For excellent maps and atlases of particular regions: National Geographic maps and atlases: catalog free from National Geographic Society, 17th and M Streets NW, Washington, D.C. 20036.

Maps, posters and charts: catalog free from Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.

Technics and Civilization

I first read this book in 1957, and twice since then.

Here are the first lines of the book.

During the last thousand years the material basis and the cultural forms of Western Civilization have been profoundly modified by the development of the machine. How did this come about? Where did it take place?

Lewis Mumford is an unusual man. He is not an engineer or a scientist, he isn’t an historian or sociologist, you can’t identify him as a business man or a literary man or an academic. He seems beyond all those roles. This made him especially attractive to me when I was 19 because his style smelled of the place I wanted to go. He is profound, poetic, knowledgeable. He takes care of the large and small things in his books.

Technics and Civilization is a good book to start with; if you like it, there are many others of his to turn to. Myth of the Machine, Arts and Technics, The City in History, Transformation of Man, The Pentagon of Power, etc.

How I have used him; all through my twenties I used him as my guide. —Steve Baer


Most of the important inventions and discoveries that served as the nucleus for further mechanical development did not arise, as Spengler would have it, out of some mystical inner drive of the Faustian soul: they were wind-blown seeds from other cultures.... Taking root in

Civilization and Capitalism

The first book in this three volume set, The Structures of everyday Life, is divided into sections: rice, corn, beer, furniture, alcohol, iron and many many others. I found that I paid close attention to Braudel; most history books make my mind wander. He turns the usual history upside down — many details of everyday life but perhaps no mention of the King. All his discussions are filled with quotes from first hand.

There are no chapters of theories concerning why this or that happened. Instead piece by piece you hear about furniture in China and Europe, alcohol in France, England and America. The details pour out of the book. One of the nicest qualities of the book is that it can be

Science and Civilisation in China

Joseph Needham is a renowned biologist who travelled into unexplored regions of Chinese technological history and became a yet more renowned historian and interpreter of what is for most of us the back of the planet. His series is awesome in size and depth; he’s done the mining, but you’ve got to refine the ore to suit your own purposes. One purpose might be learning about Taoism and how its influence helped the Chinese discover and utilize some technology long before the West and also overlook or never utilize other stuff that the West seized on. Another purpose might be taking some of the mechanical inventions of old China — from man-kites to waterwheels — and applying them to your own hand technology of intentional communities. There’s no source like the source in these matters. If you’re timid, you should try The Shorter Science and Civilisation In China in two abridged volumes. Or you could blow $1,100, get all nine full volumes, and then wait anxiously for the next one to rumble down the chute from Cambridge.

Awesome books. —Stewart Brand

medieval culture, in a different climate and soil, these seeds of the machine sported and took on new forms: perhaps, precisely because they had not originated in Western Europe and had no natural enemies there, they grew as rapidly and gigantically as the Canada thistle when it made its way onto the South American pampas.

Technics and Civilization Lewis Mumford 1934; 1963; 495 pp.


($9.95 postpaid) from: Harcourt Brace Jovanovitch 1250 6th Ave., 4th Floor San Diego, CA 92101 or Whole Earth Access opened anywhere and read for 20 minutes. Braudel has enough respect for life and the past to be immensely puzzled by if — so he never imposes some kind of false structure that you have to pay attention to.

—Steve Baer

Braudel’s cleverness is to pay attention to the “weight of numbers” in history: the price of eggs, the amount of wine a family consumed, the number of times goods changed hands during trade. The measurements add up to understanding. These observations are explored in full by the further two volumes, The Wheels of Commerce and The Perspective of the World. You won’t find the breadth of civilization fit into a smaller bundle.

—Kevin Kelly

Segregation Table of the symbols of the Book of Changes .... Yin and Yang separate, but each contains half of its opposite in a ‘recessive’ state, as is seen when the second division occurs. There is no logical end to the process but here It is not followed beyond the stage of the 64 hexagrams.



Living History Sourcebook

Practicing History

<strong>The Living History Sourcebook</strong>

Living history is a curious blend of grassroots obsessiveness and radical academia. It started out with history buffs getting dressed up to act out bygone battles. They discovered no one really knew very much about what happened back then because when they tried things the way the professors said they were, it didn’t work. The buffs kept

To get to any depth in a complex story, secondary sources — other people’s histories — aren’t good enough; you have to go to primary sources: letters, diaries, maps, journals, newspaper accounts, photographs, and memoirs. Nothing will help introduce you to the craft of history-writing as well as this book of essays by Barbara Tuchman. (She wrote the Pulitzer Prize winning history of the fourteenth century, A Distant Mirror.) Ms. Tuchman’s methods: discard the unnecessary, write like a storyteller, invent nothing, and use mainly primary sources.

You could be a historian with nothing more than this book of advice and examples, access to a good research library (with interlibrary loan), a little travel, and the devotion of a year or two. —Art Kleiner

The Living History Sourcebook

Jay Anderson 1985; 469 pp.


($21.45 postpaid) from: American Association for State and Local

History Press 172 2nd Avenue North Suite 102

Nashville, TN 37201 or Whole Earth Access

getting dressed up, having fun and living out the roles, rediscovering new things as a pastime, and finally the experts got interested. Eventually when some museums found out that the only way you could get TV-numbed Americans to visit a museum was to have people dress up in costume and demonstrate old-timey ways, a veritable movement got rolling. There are now several magazines, hundreds of active sites, festivals, mock battles, rendezvous, and a whole new science. This sourcebook will lead you to them all. —Kevin Kelly

Selection is what determines the ultimate product, and that is why I use material from primary sources only. My feeling about secondary sources is that they are helpful but pernicious. I use them as guides at the start of a project to find out the general scheme of what happened, but I do not take notes from them because I do not want to end up simply rewriting someone else’s book. Furthermore, the facts in a secondary source have already been pre-selected, so that in using them one misses the opportunity of selecting one’s own.

Old Glory

Your town has origins. So does your family. This is a splendid book about how to find and preserve and parade them. There is such a thing as cultural good ecology. Savor your own peculiar community’s weirdness. Savor some other people’s. —Stewart Brand

Every town should have at least one great old building to show off to visitors, and there certainly ought to be at least one amazing story that goes along with it.

There probably isn’t another project we know of that is at one time as useful and as much fun as doing a history survey.

What information does a town history survey include? A successful town history survey should (1) provide a comprehensive list of all historically-significant properties in or near the town; (2) give an explanation for each property — plus a sketch of its history; (3) provide information as to who owns each property; and (4) mention the owner’s plans for the future of the property.

Old Glory

James Robertson, Editor 1973; 191 pp.


($5.95 postpaid) from: Warner Books, Inc.

666 5th Avenue New Yoik, NY 10103 or Whole Earth Access

The Tape-Recorded Interview

Some of your local history is in records, but a lot more of it is in minds. Here’s how to ensure it’s in both. When

you’re an old geezer, wouldn’t you like to be asked what really happened back in 1985? —Stewart Brand

• A free catalog of books about how to find, appreciate and show other people artifacts and history.

American Association for State and Local History Press: AASLH, Catalog Order Dept., 172 5th Avenue North, Suite 102, Nashville, TN 37201.

• See also The Times Atlas of World History (p. 14).

I remember one young girl, interviewing an old woodsman, who asked what they cut down the trees with. “Well, girlie,” he said with a kind of amused contempt, “we used an ax, that’s what we used!” Girlie looked him right in the eye: “Poll or double-bit?” she said. You could feel his attitude change. “Well, mostly poll axes, but later on ....” It comes down to this: The more you know about your informant’s life, work, and times, the better equipped you will be to carry on the interviews — and the more you will enjoy your work!

Practicing History

Barbara W. Tuchman

1959; 306 pp.


($8.95 postpaid) from:

Random House Order Dept.

400 Hahn Road Westminster, MD 21157 or Whole Earth Access

The Tape-Recorded Interview

Edward D. Ives

1980; 130 pp.


($7 postpaid) from: University of Tennessee Press Attn.: Order Dept. 740 Cascadilla Street Ithaca, NY 14850 or Whole Earth Access

<strong>Patterns of Culture</strong> Ruth Benedict 1934, 1959; 291 pp.$8.70 ($9.70 postpaid) from: Houghton Mifflin Co. Mail Order Dept. Wayside Road Burlington, MA 01803 or Whole Earth Access

Patterns of Culture

Years go by and still no book replaces Patterns of Culture. The graceful contrasts of human life. The reminder to reflect on our cultural prejudices before judging another tribe. Unique anthropology by a unique woman.

—Peter Warshall


Later, traditionally when the boy is about fourteen and old enough to be responsible, he is whipped again by even stronger masked gods. It is at this initiation that the kachina mask is put upon his head, and it is revealed to him that the dancers, instead of being the supernaturals

from the Sacred Lake, are in reality his neighbours and his relatives. After the final whipping, the four tallest boys are made to stand face to face with the scare ka- chinas who have whipped them. The priests lift the masks from their heads and place them upon the heads of the boys. It is the great revelation. The boys are terrified. The yucca whips are taken from the hands of the scare kachinas and put in the hands of the boys who face them, now with the masks upon their heads. They are commanded to whip the kachinas. It is their first object lesson in the truth that they, as mortals, must exercise all the functions which the uninitiated ascribe to the supernaturals themselves.

The Savage Mind

The formidable Levi-Strauss parses the logic of totemism — native science based on deepest familiarity with fellow species and ritual celebration of mutual dependency. He gestures in detail at the dramatic life awaiting souls willing to bear totemic relation to the life around them.

—Stewart Brand

The Savage Mind is uncanny: revealing our primitive thought as much as tribal peoples’. You end up wondering who’s the dunce. —Peter Warshall


A native thinker makes the penetrating comment that “All sacred things must have their place.” (Fletcher) It could even be said that being in their place is what makes them sacred for if they were taken out of their place, even in thought, the entire order of the universe would be destroyed. Sacred objects therefore contribute to the maintenance of order in the universe by occupying the places allocated to them. Examined superficially and from the outside, the refinements of ritual can appear

pointless. They are explicable by a concern for what one might call “micro-adjustment” — the concern to assign every single feature, object or creature to a place within a class.

The natives themselves are sometimes acutely aware of the “concrete” nature of their science and contrast it sharply with that of the whites:

“We know what the animals do, what are the needs of the beaver, the bear, the salmon, and other creatures, because long ago men married them and acquired this knowledge from their animal wives. Today the priests say we lie, but we know better. The white man has been only a short time in this country and knows very little about the animals; we have lived here thousands of years and were taught long ago by the animals themselves. The white man writes everything down in a book so that it will not be forgotten; but our ancestors married the animals, learned all their ways, and passed on the knowledge from one generation to another.” (Jenness)

The Savage Mind Claude Levi-Strauss 1968; 290 pp.

$10.95 postpaid from: University of Chicago Press 11030 South Langley Ave.

Chicago, IL 60628 or Whole Earth Access

Cultural Survival

Homogenization is consuming even the most isolated indigenous cultures on the planet. Can the languages of threatened cultures be saved? Can indigenous people share game parks where white men come to play? Is the drug trade crucial to some tribal people’s cultural survival? Does “education” really mean loss of identity?

Cultural Survival is an organization of concerned anthropologists and other citizens trying to preserve threatened cultures and explore ways in which native peoples can accommodate to the twentieth century without too great a loss of their own uniqueness. Their magazine, Cultural Survival Quarterly, provides thorough coverage of their efforts. —Peter Warshall

It is difficult for an Eskimo who has spent his entire life surviving in the Arctic to understand the motives of someone who has traveled thousands of miles to float down a river in a rubber boat. Some recreational users

Cultural Survival Quarterly

Jason Clay, Ph.D., Editor $20/year (4 issues) from: Cultural Survival, Inc. 11 Divinity Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138

Ice fishing with nets, Kobuk Valley National Park.

©National Park Service

cannot understand why hundreds of caribou are killed each fall on a very short stretch of river (Onion Portage) in a National Park. There are many subsistence activities that are critical enough or sensitive enough that recreationists blundering through or a research helicopter flying over could easily disrupt the activity and possibly result in a serious reduction of the winter’s food supply for a village. Sport hunting methods and purposes don’t usually coincide with subsistence hunting practices.

When David and Pia Maybury-Lewis visited the Shavante Indians in 1956, they had only just established peaceful contact with Brazilian society. They were hunters and gatherers who spent little time in their slash-and-burn gardens where beans, squashes and maize were planted. Children learned without formal schooling, by watching their elders. There were no doctors or nurses.

When the Maybury-Lewises revisited the Shavante in 1982 they found dramatic changes. The Indians were no longer nomadic. Their lands had been guaranteed after a bitter fight and they were dependent upon agriculture, practicing tractor-driven rice farming. Yet their villages maintained their traditional layouts: beehive huts arranged in a semicircle or in concentric semicircles. Most of their villages had schools with several teachers. Two villages had infirmaries and smaller ones were visited regularly by a nurse.

• See The Forest People (p. 58) and The Mountain People (p. 59).

• For an excellent introduction to kinship and marriage patterns (more diverse and careful than you’d believe) see: Kinship and Marriage: Robin Fox, 1984; 228 pp. $8.95 postpaid from Cambridge University Press, 510 North Avenue, New Rochelle, NY 10801.

If your ancestor lived in an urban area after 1800, check utility records: sprinkling systems, sidewalk widening, sewer, water, power, gas, garbage pick-up records. These are especially valuable for identifying addresses for immigrants who move from one part of the city to another as their economic conditions improve. Second, third, and fourth-class cities also keep these records.

Before 1800: Slender, square sandstone or slate slabs with or without elaborate carvings.

The Source

Simply the best genealogy book to get if you want to buy only one. This mammoth handbook is the best all-purpose reference manual for both hobbyists and professional genealogists. It goes into great detail about where to look for records, and even where not to look. For instance, it tells you not to count on finding military records from 1912 to 1959 because a disastrous fire destoyed 80 percent of them in 1973. The Source tells which files are left intact. The 16 experts who compiled the book also include specifics for the increasing numbers of racial minorities doing ancestral research, such as blacks and

Sketch of Scandinavian grave arrangement.


—Bob Mitchell

In family plots, it is frequently possible to determine family relationships from the relative positions of the graves. Usually the dominant couple or parents are in the center with a large stone while children have smaller stones. Positioning of graves can also indicate national origins. Scandinavians seem to position plots with the father in the lower right-hand corner (1), the mother next to him (2), with children and spouses (3–6) placed in order of death clockwise around a large stone bearing the family name.

The Source Arlene Eakle and Johni Cerny, Editors 1984; 786 pp.

$32.95 postpaid from: Ancestry, Inc.

P. O. Box 476


A rare specimen: a textbook that is a joy to read for its own sake. Archaeology ably puts across the science and practice of discovering the past, with a twist I’ve not seen before: co-author Rathje’s study of contemporary garbage in Tucson, Arizona, is used to demonstrate how archaeologists treat data and test hypotheses. I found myself painlessly learning something new on nearly every page.

—Jay Kinney [Suggested by Jim Heidke]

Archaeology Magazine

Salt Lake City, UT 84110–0476

One of the few remaining sciences that embraces amateur participation is archaeology. An awful lot of fantastic research is carried out (literally) by eager bands of students and volunteers sifting through old layers of silt. There’s another kind of field work going on these days, too: Experimenters shed their modern habits and by taking up ancient tools reconstruct the past by living it for a while. The findings of both these kinds of research are given colorful play in this classy journal, which might be mistaken for an enticing travel magazine. Between the ads and the magazine’s biannual listing of excavations in progress, it’s the best place to find a dig to work on.

—Kevin Kelly [Suggested by Thor Conway]

Tunisia Dig: Kerkouane/Kelibia. The only completely preserved Punic town, abandoned in the 3rd century B.C., this site is unique in the Mediterranean. It features domestic architecture, including a temple, baths and a necropolis. On-site museum will open July 1986. Caves and other sites in the area. Getting there: From Tunis take the road to Korba Kelibia. No appointment necessary for admission or guide; accessible by train; hotel and Florida restaurant in Kelibia 12 kilometers; camping 10 kilometers; site accessible to persons in wheelchairs. Volunteers accepted. Contact: Mohammed Fantar, Institut National d’Archeologie et d’Art, 4 Place du Chateau, Tunis, Tunisia 1008 (tel) 261–693.


William L. Rathje and Michael B. Schiffer 1982; 434 pp.


($26.95 postpaid) from: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich 1250 6th Avenue, 4th Floor San Diego, CA 92101 or Whole Earth Access

• Start here at the beginning of your search for your family’s history. They’ve got the tools — books, software, and indexes. You bring the persistence.

Ancestry’s Catalog: free from Ancestry, P.O. Box 476, Salt Lake City, UT 84110.


Phyllis Pollak Katz, Editor $20/year (6 issues) from: Archaeology Subscription Service P.O. Box 928 Farmingdale, NY 11737



Engines of Creation K. Eric Drexler 1986; 298 pp.

$17.95 postpaid from: Doubleday 8< Co. Direct Mail Order 501 Franklin Avenue Garden City, NY 11530 or Whole Earth Access

Engines of Creation

The Last Technological Revolution is upon us: “nanotechnology” — the science of building molecules to order. What this might mean for good or bad is enthusiastically examined in this lively book. There is some gee-whizzing; how could there not be when the potentials include cell repair, disease reduction, and life extension? Ebullience is balanced by a serious discussion of the potential for horrifying weaponry, and the social disorder that could result from thoughtless incorporation of nanotechnology into an unprepared populace. The book is remarkably wide- visioned and comprehensively based: most unusual for this sort of thing. Future-reading at its best. —JB

Not human whims but the unchanging laws of nature draw the line between what is physically possible and what is not — no political act, no social movement can change the law of gravity one whit. So however futuristic they may seem, sound projections of technological possibilities are quite distinct from predictions.


The simplest medical applications of nanomachines will involve not repair but selective destruction. Cancers provide one example; infectious diseases provide another. The goal is simple: one need only recognize and destroy the dangerous replicators, whether they are bacteria, cancer cells, viruses, or worms. Similarly, abnormal growths and deposits on arterial walls cause much heart disease; machines that recognize, break down, and dispose of them will clear arteries for more normal blood flow. Selective destruction will also cure diseases such as herpes in which a virus splices its genes into the DNA of a host cell. A repair device will enter the cell, read its DNA, and remove the addition that spells “herpes.”

The World Future Society

More interested in possibilities than predictions, the World Future Society conducts ongoing discussions amongst its 25,000 members. Their magazine, The Futurist, works over ideas both nasty and nice, not mere pie-in-the-sky stuff. The editor fortunately avoids academic dead-serious

Yesterday’s Tomorrows

It’s hard to say which is most salient in these visions of how we were going to be living today: prescience, hubris, or naivete. In any case, a look at this book should induce a certain humility in our own prognostications of the future, despite the “advances” we enjoy. —JB

World Future Society Membership $25/year

(includes The Futurist)

Future Survey

Michael Marien, Editor $49/year (12 issues) All from: World Future Society 4916 St. Elmo Avenue Bethesda, MD 20814

Yesterday’s Tomorrows

Joseph J. Corn and Brian Horrigan, Editors 1984; 158 pp.

$17.95 postpaid from: Simon & Schuster Mail Order Sales

200 Old Tappan

Old Tappan, NJ 07675 or Whole Earth Access

essays, preferring to look at subjects with an open mind and unafraid of controversy. You’ll probably find the same attitude in the World Future Society chapter near you.

The Society also publishes Future Survey, a monthly abstract of matters futurist from books, articles, and other sources. The book reviews are particularly good. I find that I keep up with futurist thought a lot more easily in this publication than in any other, including The Futurist.

-JB e

Is owning a telephone and a computer a right or a privilege? This question will be at the center of one of the most critical issues of the next 10 years. The resolution of it will answer an impending question the government and the private sector are anxious to have answered: Which will contribute more to public militance — greater access to information or more restricted access to information?

—The Futurist

Age Wars.- The Coming Battle Between Young and Old, Phillip Longman (Americans for Generational Equity, Washington), The Futurist, 20:1, Jan-Feb 1986, 8–11.

Today’s prosperity is being purchased at the eventual expense of today’s younger citizens and those yet unborn. The early decades of the next century may bring a war between the generations, as tomorrow’s elderly attempt to compel the young to honor the compounding debts of the present era: 1) the delayed repairs to the physical infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc.); 2) the postponed safe disposal of toxic wastes; 3) running down supplies of topsoil, energy, and clean water; 4) the massive Federal deficit (financing the interest charges alone on this year’s deficit will cost the average citizen now entering the work force an extra $10,000 in taxes over his or her lifetime); 5) failing to save for the retirement of the baby boom generation (by 2035, there could be fewer than two workers for each retiree). The baby boomers will pass an impossible encumbrance on to their children, and/or face an impoverished old age. Indeed, the baby boomers are already in the grip of real downward mobility: between 1973 and 1983, real after-tax income of households headed by a person 25–34 declined by nearly 19%. Concludes that younger Americans must encourage government to institute reforms in their own and the nation’s long-term interest. —Future Survey

• Professional futurists have it out in this academic journal. Futures: David Green, Editor. $60/year (12 issues) from Quadrant Subscription Services Limited, Oakfield House, Perrymount Road, Hayward Heath, RH 3DH England.

• Requisite reading for serious predictors. International, accurate, and witty.

The Economist: Rupert Pennant-Rey, Editor. $85/year (51 issues) from The Economist, Subscription Service Dept., P. O. Box 904, Farmingdale, NY 11737.

Back in 1967, the insights of Buckminster Fuller initiated The Whole Earth Catalog. —Stewart Brand

ACK IN 1951, when I was 18, the insights of Buckminster Fuller initiated my education. I was particularly impressed by his assertion that if a person is sensitive enough to identify “as-yet- unattended-to human-environment-advantaging physical evolutionary tasks,” and is disciplined and committed enough to attend to them, there is no need to worry about earning a living.

(I’ve found this to be true — I’ve never looked for a job since then.)

Fuller contended that it is easier to reform the built environment than reform people, that the world’s resources can be distributed better by doing more with less (“ephemeralization”) than by war. To demonstrate this principle, he developed a number of resource-efficient artifacts, including his famous geodesic domes, which shelter a space with l/5Oth of the material required by conventional construction. He referred to himself as “Guinea Pig B” (for Bucky), living his life as an experiment showing what one person might accomplish.

Bucky’s everything-is-connected-to-everything vision and highly detailed language make some of his writing and lecturing hard to follow if you’re new to it. I’d start with a book <em>about</em> him, the autobiographical <em>Buckminster Fuller,</em> or <em>The Dymaxion World of Buckminster Fuller</em> (now out of print, but still available from his Institute; see below). Next try <em>Critical Path,</em> a book that chronicles human evolution right up to the present, then brilliantly outlines the path we must take for species survival. Many people think it’s his best, most easily understood book. For the details, you’ll have to work hard reading <em>Synergetics 1</em> and <em>2.</em> In them, Bucky’s philosophy is set out complete with the math, geometry, and physics backing it. A recent doctoral dissertation, <em>The Educational Philosophy of R. Buckminster Fuller,</em> neatly consolidates Bucky’s views on dealing with ignore-ance.

All of Bucky’s books plus an extensive selection of maps, video tapes, and other artifacts are available from The Buckminster Fuller Institute (directed by his daughter, Allegra Fuller Snyder). The Institute manages his archives and coordinates those continuing Fuller’s work. Their newsletter, Trimtab, keeps you up to date with what’s new, of which there is plenty. Guinea Pig B has left us lots to do. —JB

Here comes this wave. Look at all this whiteness and all those bubbles. I said to myself, “I’ve been taught at school that to be able to design a model — because a bubble is a sphere — you have to use pi, and the number, pi, 3.14159265, on and on goes the number.” We find it cannot be resolved because it is a transcendental irrational. So I said, “When nature makes one of those bubbles, how many places did she have to carry out pi before she discovered you can’t resolve it? And at what point does nature decide to make a fake bubble?” I said, “I don’t think nature is turning out any fake bubbles, I think nature’s not using pi.” This made me start looking for ways in which nature did contrive all mensurations, all her spontaneous associations, without using such numbers. —Buckminster Fuller

Physics has found no solids! So to keep on teaching our children the word solid immediately is to drive home a way of thinking that is going to be neither reliable nor useful.

There are no surfaces, there are no solids, there are no straight lines, there are no planes. —Buckminster Fuller

There comes a time, however, when we discover other ways of doing the same task more economically — as, for instance, when we discover that a 200-ton transoceanic jet airplane — considered on an annual round-tripfrequency basis — can outperform the passengercarrying capability of the 85,000-ton Queen Mary.

—Critical Path

• Also see World Game and A Dymaxion Map (p. 89).

• You can make geodesic models with the kits in Edmund’s Scientific catalog (p. 389).

1053.932 Radiation outcasts. Radiation does not broadcast; broadcast is a planar statement; there are no planes. Out is inherently omnidivergent. Radiation omnicasts but does not and cannot incast; it can only go-in-to-go-out. In is gravity.

1053.833 If radiation “goes through” a system and comes out on the other side, it does so because (1) there was no frequency interference — it just occurred between the system’s occurrence frequencies — or (2) there was tangential interference and deflection thereby of the angle of travel, wherefore it did not go through; it went by.


Buckminster Fuller (An Autobiographical Monologue / Scenario): Documented and Edited by Robert Snyder, 1980; 218 pp. $18.95 postpaid.

The Dymaxion World of Buckminster Fuller: Buckminster Fuller and Robert Marks, 1960; 246 pp.

$11.95 postpaid.

Critical Path: Buckminster Fuller, 1981; 471 pp.

$11.95 postpaid.

Synergetics: Buckminster Fuller, 1975; 876 pp.

$16.95 postpaid.

Synergetics 2: Buckminster Fuller, 1979; 592 pp.

$16.95 postpaid.

Trimtab Bulletin: Allegra Fuller Snyder and Janet Brown, Editors. $8/year (6 issues); information free.

All from Buckminster Fuller Institute, 1743 South La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90035 (or Whole Earth Access).

The Educational Philosophy of R. Buckminster Fuller: Alex Gerber, Jr., 1985; 351 pp. $42 postpaid from University of Southern California, Library Photo Duplication Service, University Park, Los Angeles, CA 90089.




REGORY BATESON IS RESPONSIBLE for a number of formal discoveries, most notably the “Double Bind” theory of schizophrenia. As an anthropologist he did pioneer work in New Guinea and (with Margaret Mead) in Bali. He participated in the Macy Foundation meetings that founded the science of cybernetics but kept a healthy distance from computers. He wandered thornily in and out of various disciplines — biology, ethnology, linguistics, epistomology, psychotherapy — and left each of them altered with his passage.

Steps to an Ecology of Mind chronicles that journey. It is a collection of all his major papers, 1935–1971. In recommending the book I’ve learned to suggest that it be read backwards. Read the broad analyses of mind and ecology at the end of the book and then work back to see where the premises come from.

Bateson has informed everything I’ve attempted since I read Steps in 1972. Through him I became convinced that much more of whole systems could be understood than I had thought, and that much more existed wholesomely beyond understanding than I thought — that mysticism, mood, ignorance and paradox could be rigorous, for instance, and that the most potent tool for grasping these essences — these influence nets — is cybernetics.

Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity addresses the hidden, though unoccult, dynamics of life — the misapprehension of which threatens to unhorse our civilization. Bateson doesn’t have all the answers, he just has better questions — elegant, mature, embarrassing questions that tweak the quick of things.

One of the themes that emerges is the near identity between the process of evolving and the process of learning, and the ongoing responsibility they have for each other which includes our responsibility, which we have shirked. We shirked it through ignorance. Mind and Nature dispels that.

Bateson’s previous writing — Naven; Communications: The Social Matrix of Psychiatry; Balinese Character and Steps to an Ecology of Mind — has been addressed to various audiences of specialists. Mind in Nature is addressed to a general readership. It is new thought in an old virtue — the use of fine original writing to express ideas whose excellence is embedded in the clarity of their expression.

Stong medicine. —Stewart Brand

It is a nontrivial matter that we are almost always unaware of trends in our changes of state. There is a quasi-scientific fable that if you can get a frog to sit quietly in a saucepan of cold water, and if you then raise the temperature of the water very slowly and smoothly so that there is no moment marked to be the moment at which the frog should jump, he will never jump. He will get boiled. Is the human species changing its own environment with slowly increasing pollution and rotting its mind with slowly deteriorating religion and education in such a saucepan?

Human sense organs can receive only news of difference, and the differences must be coded into events in time (i.e. into changes) in order to be perceptible. Ordinary static differences that remain constant for more than a few seconds become perceptible only by scanning.

Ross Ashby long ago pointed out that no system (neither computer nor organism) can produce anything new unless the system contains some source of the random. In the computer, this will be a random-number generator which will ensure that the “seeking,” trial-and-error moves of the machine will ultimately cover all the possibilities of the set to be explored.

I do not believe that the original purpose of the rain dance was to make “it” rain. I suspect that that is a degenerate misunderstanding of a much more profound religious need: to affirm membership in what we may call the ecological tautology, the eternal verities of life and environment. There’s always a tendency — almost a need — to vulgarize religion, to turn it into entertainment or politics or magic or “power.”

—Mind and Nature

No organism can afford to be conscious of matters with which it could deal at unconscious levels.

—Steps to an Ecology of Mind

Mere purposive rationality unaided by such phenomena as art, religion, dream, and the like, is necessarily pathogenic and destructive of life; its virulence springs specifically from the circumstance that life depends upon interlocking circuits of contingency, while consciousness can only see such short arcs as human purpose may direct.

When you narrow down your epistemology and act on the premise “what interests me is me, or my organization, or my species,” you chop off consideration of other loops of the loop structure. You decide that you want to get rid of the by-products of human life and that Lake Erie will be a good place to put them. You forget that the eco-mental system called Lake Erie is part of your wider eco-mental system — and that if Lake Erie is driven insane, its insanity is incorporated in the larger system of your thought and experience.

My father, the geneticist William Bateson, used to read us passages of the Bible at breakfast — lest we grow up to be empty-headed atheists.

In no system which shows mental characteristics can any part have unilateral control over the whole. In other words, the mental characteristics of the system are immanent, not in some part, but in the system as a whole.

—Steps to an Ecology of Mind

It seems to puzzle psychologists that the exploring tendencies of a rat cannot be simply extinguished by having the rat encounter boxes containing small electric shocks.

A little empathy will show that from the rat’s point of view, it is not desirable that he learn the general lesson. His experience of a shock upon putting his nose into a box indicates to him that he did well to put his nose into that box in order to gain the information that it contained □ shock. In fact, the “purpose” of exploration is, not to discover whether exploration is a good thing, but to discover information about the explored. The larger case is of a totally different nature from that of the particular.

—Mind and Nature

I and Thou

You can read I and Thou in two hours and not get over it for the rest of your life. Buber tells you how you stand, either in a dialogical relationship with the Creative Force or in a position of “havingness” where you are a thing bounded by other things. —Ken Kesey

A discovery more prime than Einstein’s Relativity is Buber’s distinction between the “experience” of l-lt and the “relation” of l-You. It can cure at once the twin pathologies of Transcendent God and Controllable Nature. In “l-You” is the possibility of love that does not possess, as well as the reales! perception of learning, which is coevolution. Martin Buber’s original German torrent is well served by the translation and prologue by Walter Kaufmann. —Stewart Brand

A man’s relation to the “particular something” that arrogates the supreme throne of his life’s values, pushing eternity aside, is always directed toward the experience and use of an It, a thing, an object of enjoyment. For only this kind of relation can bar the view to God, by interposing the impenetrable It-world; the relationship that says You always opens it up again.

Whoever says You does not have something for his object. For wherever there is something there also another something: every It borders on other Its; It is only by virtue of bordering on others. But where You is said there is no something. You has no borders.

Whoever says You does not have something; he has nothing. But he stands in relation.

The Amy Vanderbilt Complete Book of Etiquette

I used to think that to have manners was to be mannered; that etiquette was affectation. Now I see that discipline of any sort is a lot more comfortable than its absence, and that is quite as true of consideration for others as it is of daily exercise or meditation. Comfortable, yes; effortless, no. There’s inborn grace and learned grace, and in a world of constant change and conflict, what’s inborn may soon be eroded.

All you have to do is follow a few hundred simple suggestions. The essence of them is consideration for others, whether that is made manifest as tact, promptness in thanking people, being organized enough not to confound everybody else, or making a proper introduction. The point of all the information, commonplace (how to make a bed) or esoteric (what sort of gift to give a nun), is “to help people make it through life just a little more easily and be a little more sure of themselves.” —Stephanie Mills

[Suggested by Edith G. Mills]

Some bachelors become truly bored by having to attend parties every night and always having to take care of whatever single woman is present. If this is the case, the man should be frank with his friends. “Look, I’d love to come over some night to have a hamburger with you and the kids and to relax a bit, but I’m tired of parties.” Frankness in social relationships never has to be rude; well-stated frankness is always for the best.

A very nice gesture to make before the dinner party is to ask a recovered alcoholic if there is some drink he or she particularly likes, such as iced tea or a special kind of juice. Some like to drink tea or coffee during the cocktail hour. A recovered alcoholic who doesn’t want to be “different” might ask for ginger ale because it “looks like scotch and soda.”

Throughout all of this the tree remains my object and has its place and its time span, its kind and condition.

But it can also happen, if will and grace are joined, that as I contemplate the tree I am drawn into a relation, and the tree ceases to be an It. The power of exclusiveness has seized me.

I perceive something. I feel something. I imagine something. I want something. I sense something. I think something. The life of a human being does not consist merely of all this and its like.

All this and its like is the basis of the realm of It.

But the realm of You has another basis.

When I confront a human being as my You and speak the basic word l-You to him, then he is no thing among things nor does he consist of things.

He is no longer He or She, limited by other Hes and Shes, a dot in the world grid of space and time, nor a condition that can be experienced and described, a loose bundle of named qualities. Neighborless and seamless, he is You and fills the firmament. Not as if there were nothing but he; but everything else lives in his light.

In truth language does not reside in man but man stands in language and speaks out of it.

Extended, the lines of relationships intersect in the external You. Every single You is a glimpse of that. Through every single You the basic word addresses the eternal You.

For a dinner party, the table should be set the same for all guests. You do not set the recovered alcoholic’s place at the dinner table with the wineglasses conspicuously missing. When wine is served, this guest will simply make a “no, thank you” gesture when the wine is offered to him. He might also accept wine in his glass in order not to distract, but will, of course, leave it untouched. You are not putting temptation in his way by offering him wine, because a recovered alcoholic has to train himself with a fine-edged will power to refuse liquor of all kinds in all circumstances.

Recessional, ► Christian ceremony, optional arrangement. Reading from top down: Groom and bride; flower girl or page, or pages, if any, or second honor attendant, if

▲ Formal dinner setting as guest approaches the table. The butter plate is optional. Glasses for four wines — sherry, white, red, and champagne — are included, as well as a water goblet.

The Amy Vanderbilt Complete Book of Etiquette

Revised by Letitia Baldrige 1978; 879 pp.

$17.95 postpaid from:



• • • • • YBERNETICS IS THE DISCIPLINE of whole systems thinking. For a field of such importance • it is shocking there are so few introductory books. The ones here, like the Bateson books on p.

22, introduce the cybernetic frame of mind. They instill habits of minds that lead to on-going

* • • • • health effectiveness in all your dealings becuase they become self-adjusting. A whole system

is a living system is a learning system. —Stewart Brand


John Gall 1986; 297 pp.

Write for price to: The General

Systemantics Press 3200 West Liberty, Suite A Ann Arbor, Ml 48103–9794 or Whole Earth Access


The pun in the title carries the important message that systems have “antics” — they act up, misbehave, and have their own mind. The author is having fun with a serious subject, deciding rightly that a sense of humor and paradox are the only means to approach large systems. His insights come in the form of marvelously succinct rules of thumb, in the spirit of Murphy’s Law and the Peter Principle. This book made me 1) not worry about understanding a colossal system — you can’t, 2) realize you CAN change a system — by starting a new one, and 3) flee from starting new systems — they don’t go away.

—Kevin Kelly

We begin at the beginning, with the Fundamental Theorem: New systems mean new problems.

The system always kicks back — Systems get in the way — or, in slightly more elegant language: Systems tend to oppose their own proper functions.

Systems tend to malfunction conspicuously just after their greatest triumph. Toynbee explains this effect by pointing out the strong tendency to apply a previously successful strategy to the new challenge. The army is now fully prepared to fight the previous war.

A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. The parallel proposition also appears to be true: A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be made to work. You have to start over, beginning with a working simple system.

The Recursive Universe • Life

The Recursive Universe

William Poundstone 1985; 252 pp.


($8.95 postpaid) from: Contemporary Books

180 North Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60601 or Whole Earth Access

You are God in the game of Life, a computer game. Let there be a grid. And you create all in it. You design not only the creatures but the rules of their universe. Let the cells live (a black dot) or die (emptiness) in each generation. And then there is time, a thousand generations a minute. Let there be graphic patterns of your cells’ growth, as they pulse in expansion, or flicker into extinction. Their destiny is fixed by the original premises that you, God, choose. Mathematically there is no way to tell where the system is going until you try it. That you can TRY it is heavenly.

Invented in 1970 by mathematician John Conway, Life is no longer played as a mere game. Run on large mainframe computers, this game, and others like it, have proved to be a fertile field of scientific research, the first hands-on

cybernetics laboratory. (The discipline is called Cellular Automata.) Some of the curious results and startling implications of running these simple worlds are clearly presented in The Recursive Universe. To be a part-time God yourself, you only need a home version of Life, which is available in the public domain for Apple, IBM and Macintosh computers. —Kevin Kelly

terns eventually settle down into a stable object or group of objects?

Actually, Conway chose the rules of Life just so that these sorts of questions would be hard to answer.


[One kind of pattern] does not even have itself for a predecessor. It is an unstable pattern with no predecessors. The only way it can possibly turn up on the Life screen is for someone to use it as a starting configuration. The name for such a configuration is a “Garden-of- Eden” pattern.

This is a pattern with no past. It can never appear in Life except in the initial state.


John Conway

$15 (Macintosh) $10 (Apple He)

$8 (IBM PC) Public Domain Software Copying Co. 33 Gold Street, #13 New York, NY 10038

An Introduction to General Systems Thinking Gerald M. Weinberg 1975; 279 pp.

$42.95 postpaid from: John Wiley & Sons Order Dept.

1 Wiley Drive Somerset, NJ 08873 or Whole Earth Access

When Life was first introduced, three of the biggest questions Life players wondered about were these: Is there any general way of telling what a pattern will do? Can any pattern grow without limit (so that the number of live cells keeps getting bigger and bigger)? Do all pat

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An Introduction to

General Systems Thinking

Viewed from just about any perspective this book is an exemplary introduction to a complex subject. The fascinating observations are well organized and are stated in a consciously informal tone. Thoughtful questions for research and additional readings are provided for those who want to go beyond the scope of the book. Over a hundred wide-ranging quotes add to the fun.

—William Courington

Discriminating too many states is what we have previously called undergeneralization. The popular image of science envisions the scientist making the maximally precise measurements as a basis for his theories, but, in practice, scientists are lucky that measurements are not overly precise. Newton based his Law of Universal Gravitation on the elliptical orbits of Kepler, but Kepler abstracted these ellipses from the observations of Tycho Brahe. Had those observations been a bit more precise (as precise as we now can make) the orbits would not have been seen as ellipses, and Newton’s work would have been much more difficult. With more precise observations, the simplifications we discussed in Chapter 1 would have been left for Newton to make explicitly — thus immensely compounding his difficulties.

Mathematical Snapshots

The most graphically insightful math book in print. Most math feeds proof; this lovely stuff feeds understanding, and is no less rigorous. If someone were going to see only one mathematics book in their life, this would be the best.

—Stewart Brand

To determine the centroid of a stick, we place it horizontally on the edges of our palms and then we bring our hands closer together; finally they meet in the center of gravity. The stick never loses its equilibrium because when the centroid, which is initially between the palms, approaches one of them, the pressure on the nearer palm becomes many times greater than the pressure on the other palm; its product by the coefficient of friction must finally surpass the analogous product for the other palm; when this happens, the relative movement of the first palm ceases and the relative movement of the other one starts. This play continues alternately until both palms meet; the centroid is always between them and it is there at the final stage. The trick is done automatically without any conscious effort.

How to Solve It

This is the best book I know of for lining up a problem for a logical solution. The emphasis is on math, but it is simple logic and can easily be applied to all forms of problem identification and analysis. Better yet is that the methods shown really work even on personal decision-making binds. Essentially it’s a head-straightener. —JB


What is the unknown? What are the data? What is the condition?

Is it possible to satisfy the condition? Is the condition sufficient to determine the unknown? Or is it insufficient? Or redundant? Or contradictory?

Draw a figure. Introduce suitable notation.

Separate the various parts of the condition. Can you write them down?


Have you seen it before? Or have you seen the same problem in a slightly different form?

Do you know a related problem? Do you know a theorem that could be useful?

Look at the unknown! And try to think of a familiar problem having the same or a similar unknown.

Here is a problem related to yours and solved before. Could you use it? Could you use its result? Could you use its method? Should you introduce some auxiliary element in order to make its use possible?

Could you restate the problem? Could you restate it still differently? Go back to definitions.

If you cannot solve the proposed problem try to solve first some related problem. Could you imagine a more accessible related problem? A more general problem? A more special problem? An analogous problem? Could you solve a part of the problem? Keep only a part of the condition, drop the other part; how far is the unknown then determined, how can it vary? Could you derive something useful from the data? Could you think of other data appropriate to determine the unknown? Could you change the unknown or the data, or both if necessary, so that the new unknown and the new data are nearer to each other?

Did you use all the data? Did you use the whole condition? Have you taken into account all essential notions involved in the problem?


Carrying out your plan of the solution, check each step. Can you see clearly that the step is correct? Can you prove that it is correct?


Can you check the result? Can you check the argument?

Can you derive the result differently? Can you see it at a glance?

<strong>Can you use the result, or the method, for some other problem?

Lots of folks think learning math is a hopeless task. There are some books on p. 389 that can help you grasp math, calculus, and geometry.

How to Lie with Statistics

In these days of polls and “proof” furnished by testing by “independent laboratories,” it might be well to bear in mind the lessons given by this simple book. It’s been around a long time, but it’s still deadly. —JB

[Suggested by Roger Knights]

Simply change the proportion between the ordinate and the abscissa. There’s no rule against it, and it does give your graph a prettier shape. All you have to do is let each mark up the side stand for only one-tenth as many dollars as before. That is impressive, isn’t it? Anyone looking at it can just feel prosperity throbbing in the arteries of the country. It is a subtler equivalent of editing “National income rose ten per cent” into “... climbed a whopping ten per cent.” It is vastly more effective, however, because it contains no adjectives or adverbs to spoil the illusion of objectivity. There’s nothing anyone can pin on you.




21.4 21–2

21 O

20. S





Science 86

Science 86 changes its number each year, but not its excellent popularized science reporting. It’s the layperson’s version of Science (they’re both published by the august American Association for the Advancement of Science); no footnotes or jargon. It’s the best magazine of its kind.


New Scientist

Science 86

Allen L. Hammond, Editor$18/year (10 issues) from:

Science 86 Subscription Dept. P. O. Box 10790 Des Moines, IA 50340

My primary source of scientific and technical information is the wide-ranging reporting in this weekly. It’s very British: droll wit abounds, and the criticism (some of it rather nasty) spares nobody, including the U.S.A., giving an unusual political aspect not found in other science magazines. You should have heard the shrieks around this office when it was suggested we cut our subscription as an economy measure. —JB

Although the seed of most crops has already been sown worldwide, wild and exotic species provide insurance and new genes to regenerate cultivars. Commercial crops are many times as vulnerable to pests and disease as their wild brethren, and plant biologists are ever watchful for new species that confer resistance, higher productivity, or useful traits such as tolerance to high salinity in water.

Jack Kloppenburg, assistant professor of rural sociology at the University of Wisconsin, has enlightened the NorthSouth debate with an analysis of where plant species originated. In general, the North is indeed “gene-poor” and the South “gene-rich”. But no region is genetically independent, and no region can afford to isolate itself through a “genetic OPEC”, an option some gene-rich countries are considering.

The inscription, right, from a tablet at Palenque tells the story of a coronation. Read left to right from the top, its first glyph is the phrase, “it came to pass.” The next (containing a hand) and third (a skull) signify the date equivalent to March

4, A.D. 764. The fourth glyph means “was seated as a ruler.” The fifth and sixth are titles that have not yet been deciphered. The seventh glyph is the name Jaguar Quetzal (note the jaguar’s ear appended to the bird’s head). And the last (a deer skull) is the emblem for Palenque. In all: “On March 4, 764, it came to pass that Jaguar Quetzal was seated as ruler of Palenque.”

Science News

A highly palatable digest of current top stories in science. The least demanding in terms of technical background, it’s a quick read — only about ten pages of editorial material per issue, with adequate pictures. Sometimes if has by far the best coverage of fast-breaking stories.

—Stewart Brand

The unresolved issue of dependency is made even more worrisome, several researchers told Science News, by tobacco’s availability, its low cost relative to illegal drugs and its social acceptability. “You can say nicotine is in the category of heroin and stimulants,” Henningfield notes, “but there are very few offices where you can

New Scientist

Michael Kenward, Editor $99/year (52 issues) from:

Business Press International Subscription Dept.

205 East 42nd Street New York, NY 10017


Top of the line. Possibly the best science magazine in the world (the major challenge would be from England’s Nature). This is where you can really watch news taking shape. Often pretty technical, but it’s the real goods.

—Stewart Brand

Science News

Joel Greenburg, Editor $29.50/year (52 issues) from:

Science News 231 West Center Street Marion, OH 43305


Daniel E. Koshland, Jr. Editor

$65/year membership included (51 issues) from:


1333 H Street NW

Washington, DC 20005

Air entrapped in bubbles of cold ice has essentially the same composition as that of the atmosphere at the time of bubble formation. Measurements of the methane concentration in air extracted by two different methods from ice samples from Siple Station in western Antarctica allow the reconstruction of the history of the increase of the atmospheric methane during the past 200 years.


Natural History Magazine

I use it two ways: The monthly column “This View of Life” by Stephen Jay Gould, who teaches Biology, Geology and History of Science at Harvard, regularly contributes to (or at least soundly reaffirms) my understanding of how the world works. He explains fundamental issues clearly and always sets them against a background of why anyone ever thought differently. Second, it is written and

The Ecologist

Edited by the ebullient Teddy Goldsmith, this British mag is a nice mix of careful and radical. If has a strong point of view, lots of good ideas, and considerable effect.

—Stewart Brand


Since the late 1970s, and with increasing severity, a new phenomenon leading to the dying and death of its forests has been sweeping across Europe. Although some species appear to be more resistant than others, one by one they are succumbing — spruce, pine, fir, beech, oak, ash, rowan — and if the pace of death continues large tracts of once forested areas will soon be virtually denuded of trees.

Whether the phenomenon of forest death — waldsterben as the West Germans call it — will spread to all woodlands and forests throughout Europe is a moot point. The rapidity with which the disease has struck trees first in one forested area and then another is extremely disturbing, and a forest that shows few signs of damage one year may present a very different picture one or two years later when as many as half the trees may be suffering die-back.... The political ramifications of a disease pattern that appears to correspond to atmospheric pollution fall-out are clearly very great.

As we go to press, there seems to be vigorous corporate takeover action affecting several of the science magazines, and we can’t tell yet whether the information on these two pages is still valid as you read it. Our apologies.

Discover is another layperson’s explain-it science magazine that enjoys a wide following.

Discover: Gil Rogin, Editor. $24/year (12 issues) from Time Inc., 541 North Fairbanks Court, Chicago, IL 60611.

edited in such a way that our children seem to get as much out of it as we do. It is one of the few publications we’ve found that has this quality. A good magazine at a good price from a great institution. —George Putz

Every July in southwestern Alaska, the chum salmon migrate up the McNeil River to spawn, and every brown bear for miles around shows up to catch them. The short northern summer is ending, and the bears are putting on the poundage to carry them through their hibernations. They converge on the McNeil and they eat, and they eat, and they eat.

It is the largest known gathering of brown bears in the world. As many as fifty may be in sight at any given time, eating, sleeping, or walking around. Dominant bears take the best fishing spots; when they’ve had their fill, lower-ranked bears can come in. Coastal brown bears belong to the same species as upland grizzlies, but bears living near the water tend to be larger — up to a thousand pounds.


It’s for the birds, but not just — protection of all life is now the official business of the Audubon Society (see p. 87). The magazine is slick and well-produced with gorgeous photographs and graphics enhanced by a high editorial standard. Like other upscale nature publications, Audubon is having an interesting time balancing nature conservation with the conservative nature of many Society members.


Les Line, Editor $30/year (membership included) (6 issues) from:

National Audubon Society Membership Data Center P. O. Box 2666

Boulder, CO 80322

Scientific American

The patriarch of science magazines is more into explanation and less into news. Article difficulty is about max for a nonprofessional reader in whatever subject (almost anything!) is being discussed. Book reviews and drawings are exceptional. —JB

DERMAL GLAND DUCT (dark circle) is surrounded by chitin fibers in this micrograph of the endocuticle of the scorpion Hadrurus arizonensis, photographed from the underside and enlarged roughly 4,500 times. The helicoid arrangement of fibers allows the cuticle to withstand stress that might otherwise lead to cracking. The micrograph is from Barry K. Filshle of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Australia.


The prose is at times raucous, joyful, teasing, even catty — the tone of two good friends going out to the local bar on Friday and living it up. But, as one reads, it becomes clear that this book is also brilliant science.

This is by far the best book written on human prejudice and evolutionary history. It carefully tracks the evolution of life on earth from one-celled life into today’s mind-boggling variety of cell conglomerates. This book makes clear the importance of symbiosis, mutual dependence, cooperation, and cohabitation in evolution, thus delightfully shoving “species competition” and Spencerian “survival of the fittest” into the back seat ashtray.

An excellent companion to Microcosmos is Five Kingdoms ... A field guide that achieves the proper balance of microbes and mammals; it is the reference book for the study of planetary life. —Peter Warshall

Five Kingdoms: Lynn Margulis and Karlene V. Schwartz, 1982; 338 pp. $28.95 ($29.95 postpaid) from W. H. Freeman & Co., 4419 West 1980 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84104 (or Whole Earth Access).


So significant are bacteria and their evolution that the fundamental division in forms of life on earth is not that between plants and animals, as is commonly assumed, but between prokaryotes — organisms composed of cells with no nucleus, that is, bacteria — and eukarotes — all the other life forms. In their first two billion years on

The most ingratiating of all evolution writers has to be Stephen Jay Gould, whose monthly column in Natural History (see p. 27) has been a beacon of scientific essay style for some ten years now. The cash crop of those columns is a sequence of books, all still worthily in print — Ever Since Darwin, The Panda’s Thumb, Hon’s Teeth and Horse’s Toes, and the new one still available only in hardcover, The Flamingo’s Smile. This book is particularly thrilling since we get to watch Gould’s major scientific

Darwin and the Beagle

The story of Darwin’s five-year circumnavigation, his revelation on the shores of Chile and confirmation on the isles of Galapagos. The story of how humans always fret about life as timeless-design vs. life as fluid-forming. From here, it is one easy step to Darwin’s Illustrated Origin of Species. —Peter Warshall

Illustrated Origin of Species: Charles Darwin, 1979; 240 pp. $12.95 postpaid from Hill and Wang, Inc., 19 Union Square West, New York, NY 10003.

The fame of the Galapagos was founded upon one thing: they were infinitely strange, unlike any other islands in the world. No one who went there ever forgot

earth, prokaryotes continuously transformed the earth’s surface and atmosphere. They invented all of life’s essential, miniaturized chemical systems — achievements that so far humanity has not approached. This ancient high biotechnology led to the development of fermentation, photosynthesis, oxygen breathing, and the removal of nitrogen gas from the air. It also led to worldwide crises of starvation, pollution, and extinction long before the dawn of larger forms of life.

contribution, the idea of “punctuated equilibrium” (evolution by spurts), dealing with the emerging evidence of periodic mass extinctions, which apparently deal a whole different kind of articulation to the text of time (sort of like paragraph breaks, come to think of it; think I’ll take one now ...).

The appeal of Gould is also his application. He finds illustrations of evolutionary themes absolutely everywhere — in comics (the infantilization of Mickey Mouse’s face), in baseball batting averages (the extremes narrow with time), in Alfred Kinsey (his landmark sex research followed landmark wasp research). The reader acquires an evolutionary eye constantly rewarded because one theory fits all. —Stewart Brand

But another overarching, yet often forgotten, evolutionary principle usually intervenes and prevents any optimal match between organism and immediate environment — the curious, tortuous, constraining pathways of history. Organisms are not putty before a molding environment or billiard balls before the pool cue of natural selection. Their inherited forms and behaviors constrain and push back; they cannot be quickly transformed to new optimality every time the environment alters.

them. For the Beagle this was just another port of call in a very long voyage, but for Darwin it was much more than that, for it was here, in the most unexpected way — just as a man might have a sudden inspiration while he is travelling in a car or a train — that he began to form a coherent view of the evolution of life on this planet.

• The best college text on all aspects of evolution, especially genetics. Evolutionary Biology: Eli C. Minkoff, 1983; 627 pp. $35.95 postpaid from Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., 1 Jacob Way, Reading, MA 01867.

• An interesting analysis of current problems in evolution. The Problems of Evolution: Mark Ridley, 1985; 160 pp. $8.95 postpaid from Oxford University Press, 16–00 Pollitt Drive, Fair Lawn, NJ 07410.

Raw material for the atmosphere. Mayon volcano in the Philippines spews passes into the atmosphere. Volcanic gasses are the ma{or source of carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur for the atmosphere over geologic time. — Ecology

t <strong><em>i</em></strong> ‘’S COLOGY” HAS COME TO MEAN just about anything. Doom-gloom to the end-of-the-world- ers. Mystical harmony to the religio-eco-freaks. Grants to the college crowd. The word comes <em>wM</em> j from Greek: “Oikos” and “Logos. ” “Oikos” means house, or dwelling-place. “Logos” primarily means discourse, or “word, thought or speech.” To the early Greeks, “logos” was the moving and regulating principle in things (associated with fire-energy), as well as the part of human nature that was able to see this ordering energy at work.

Ecology, at its root and origin, means domestic chatter; talking about where-you-live; feeling out the household rules; remaining open and perceptive to the moving and regulating principle of your watershed and/or planet home. —Peter Warshall

Why Big Fierce Animals Are Rare

Ecology is having a kind of personality crisis at the moment ... feeling bewildered ... searching for new harmonies amid the raucousness of Nature’s wild ways. It is a healthy time. Some even question if there is really a “system” in ecosystem. Life is certainly viewed as more complex than simple parallel, melodic lines — like a Bach canon — of foxes and rabbits.

Ecologists must face the new metaphors of music: Nature as a 16-frack multi-mix; African polyrhythms; raga modes or natural dissonance. New, less deterministic harmonies of community ecology await human expression. The new music will give great weight to the invisible, for example, special types of plant biotechnology like C3, C4 and CAM metabolism; to a karmic biogeochemistry of each community’s soils and to the ability of some bacteria and pigeons to orient to their community by magnetism.

Until then, Colinvaux’s Why Big Fierce Animals Are Rare is the only literate book to confront fashionable math and information theory with naturalist news.

—Peter Warshall


Why should large animals, particularly large hunting animals, always be so amazingly rare? ... It took nearly twenty years for the corporate body of science to come up with the answer to the question ... by thinking of food and bodies as calories rather than as flesh.


The science of ecology has suffered from success. It can mean many things in the popular mind and seems to have emerged all at once as a full blown discipline around 1970. One of the best things this college text does is take pains to trace the evolution of ecology as a branch of science and explain the significant changes it has undergone since the early 70s. Colinvaux writes clearly and is sparing with the jargon and math unless absolutely necessary. He even offers several routes through his book for short-course browsers. —Richard Nilsen

The Clementsian view led to attractive systems for classifying plant communities. In every climatic region there was a single climax plant community, the climax formation. ... All other communities found in the region were related to the climax formation as various stages of its development....

• The best introduction to the biogeochemical cycle is in The Biosphere (p. 10).

• See also Environmental Conservation (p. 45).

The ultimate furnace of life is the sun, streaming down calories of heat with never-fainting ray. On every usable scrap of the earth’s surface a plant is staked out to catch the light. In those green transducers we call leaves, the plants synthesize fuel. Animals eat those plants, but they do not get all the plant tissue, as we know because the earth is carpeted brown with rotting debris that has not been part of an animal’s dinner. Nor can the animals ever get the fuel the plants have already burned. So there cannot be as much animal flesh on the earth as there is plant flesh.

This would be true even if all animals were vegetarian. But they are not. For flesh eaters, the largest possible supply of food calories they can obtain is a fraction of the bodies of their plant-eating prey. If one is higher still on the food chain, an eater of a flesh-eater’s flesh, one has yet a smaller fraction to support even bigger and fiercer bodies. Which is why large fierce animals are so astonishingly (or pleasingly) rare.

The grand pattern of life was clearly and directly a consequence of the second law of thermodynamics. We can now understand why there are not fiercer dragons on the earth than there are; it is because the energy supply will not stretch to the support of super-dragons. Great white sharks or killer whales in the sea, and lions and tigers on the land, are apparently the most formidable animals the contemporary earth can support.

Essential to this point of view is the idea that a community is a superorganism, an entity of many species that has emergent properties of its own. Realizing that his superorganism drew some of its properties from animals as well as plants, Clements coined the word biome to replace the earlier climax formation for his ultimate community unit....

Clements’ work is still important because it lies at the root of many of the political or social movements that take their names from ecology in the present day. Whenever activists accuse their political or exploiter adversaries of “ecocide” they invoke Clements’ teachings. They borrow from him the idea that the ecosystem of the climax is an organism, saying that therefore it can be killed.

The modern view is that succession is an inevitable consequence of the coexistence of plants with different strategies ... Plants, like all products of natural selection, are individualists. This essential truth was argued strongly even in Clements’ day, most notably by Gleason. But the final triumph of Gleason’s individualistic hypothesis of succession came only with the concept of species strategies in the 1960s.



OST STUDIES OF EVOLUTION are “just so” stories: how the mastodon got to South America; how the baboon became social; how the forest-dwelling antelope-goat evolved into all today’s goats and sheep. The evolutionary historian interviews (fieldwork) and visits the archives (the fossil record). Here are some of the best natural historians: Charles Darwin and Konrad Lorenz

doing their homework; Niko Tinbergen with his ingenious and wily ways of confusing and then revealing

Curious Naturalists

Niko Tinbergen 1958, 1974; 269 pp.


postpaid from: University of Massachusetts Press

P. O. Box 429 Amherst, MA 01004. or Whole Earth Access

the lives of animals by outdoor experiments; George Schaller, the tireless note-taker of lions, tigers, and takins; and George Gaylord Simpson who trudges through geological time with careful steps and an eye to the present. —Peter Warshall

Curious Naturalists

The best outdoor experiments on camouflage, finding “home,” searching images for food, recognizing your own nest, and scaring your neighbors. —Peter Warshall

A field test on the ‘visual diff’ — the chick is |ust turning away from the transparent half of the platform.

The Expression of The Emotions in Man and Animals

The Expression of The Emotions in Man and Animals Charles Darwin 1873, 1965; 372 pp.


postpaid from: University of Chicago Press 11030 South Langley, Chicago, IL 60628. or Whole Earth Access

Splendid Isolation


Are we less joyful than gorillas? Less fearful than baboons? Does each species have its own repertoire of emotional possibilities? Do some (the dolphins) express emotions we have no name for? Darwin started it. His followers prefer “aggression” to “anger;” “submission” to “affection.” They copped out. —Peter Warshall

As the sensation of disgust primarily arises in connection with the act of eating or tasting, it is natural that its expression should consist chiefly in movements round the mouth. But as disgust also causes annoyance, it is generally accompanied by a frown, and often by gestures as if to push away or to guard oneself against the offensive object.

King Solomon’s Ring

The classic by the father of modern thoughts on animal behavior. —Peter Warshall

The Whole Earth picture of changing animal forms and moving tectonic plates in South America.—Peter Warshall

◄ Restoration of the typical astrapothere, genus Astrapofherium, from the early Miocene.

Splendid Isolation: George Gaylord Simpson, 1980; 266 pp. $10.45 postpaid from Yale University Press, 92A Yale Station, New Haven, CT 06520 (or Whole Earth Access).

Mountain Monarchs
• The Serengeti Lion]]

King Solomon’s Ring Konrad Z. Lorenz 1952; 202 pp.


postpaid from: Harper and Row, 2350 Virginia Avenue Hagerstown, MD 21740. or Whole Earth Access

Schaller’s quest for the origin of sheep and goats and his quest to-understand how lion society handles predation. Short-term, intense studies consider evolutionary heritage

My friend Dr. Kramer had the following experience with these birds: he earned a bad reputation among the crow population in the neighborhood of his house, by repeatedly exposing himself to view with a tame crow on his shoulder. In contrast to my jackdaws who never resented it if one of their number perched on my person, these crows evidently regarded the tame crow sitting on my friend’s shoulder as being “carried by an enemy,” though it perched there of its own free will. After a short time, my friend was known to all crows far and wide, and was pursued over long distances by his scolding assailants, whether or not he was accompanied by his tame bird. Even in different clothing he was recognized by the crows. These observations show vividly that corvines make a sharp distinction between hunters and “harmless” people: Even without his gun, a man who has once or twice been seen with a dead crow in his hands will be recognized and not so easily forgotten.

as well as present-day ecology.

—Peter Warshall

Mountain Monarchs: George B. Schaller, 1977; 425 pp. $12.50 postpaid.

The Serengeti Lion: George B. Schaller, 1972, 1976; 472 pp. $12.95 postpaid. Both from University of Chicago Press, 11030 South Langley Avenue, Chicago, IL 60628 (or Whole Earth Access).

• The clearest, action-packed version of our recent emergence. Human Evolution: Roger Lewin, 1984; 104 pp. $16.45 postpaid from W. H. Freeman, 4419 West 1980 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84104 (or Whole Earth Access).

• The most complete, textbooky textbook.

Animal Behavior: John Alcock, 1984; 596 pp. $32.25 postpaid from Sinauer Associates, Inc., North Main Street, Sunderland, MA 01375 (or Whole Earth Access).



Patterns in Nature

This is a book in which, with a bunch of photographs, some clear uncomplicated text and an occasional number, you are plunged into nature’s mysteries. I suspect that the route to the frontier need never be more complicated than this, but there are so few guides who can show you the way.

I wish the book were five times as long as it is because reading it is such a pleasure. There are eight chapters:

1. Space and Size

<em>2.</em> <em>Basic Patterns</em>

3. All Things Flow

4. Spirals, Meanders
and Explosives

5. Models of Branching

6. Trees

7. Soap Bubbles

8. Packing and Cracking

—Steve Baer

Shrinkage of surfaces allows us to understand the dramatic coincidence of form: why the shell of the box turtle looks like a regular cluster of bubbles. We know that the films between the bubbles minimize their area so as to join one another at 120°. The same holds for the lines between the plates of the shell. New cells grow along those lines and gravitate outward to join the edges of the plates. Consequently, as the plates increase in size, the lines between them keep to a minimum.

Patterns in Nature Peter S. Stevens 1974; 240 pp.


($20.45 postpaid) from: Little, Brown & Co.

Attn.: Order Dept. 200 West Street Waltham, MA 02254 or Whole Earth Access

Form, Function and Design

This book is wonderful. Here is a man trying to tell the truth about design and about our lives and civilization. I never heard of him. When I read his book I can’t understand why not. —Steve Baer

There really is no better introduction to all that is admirable in design. Baer had to remind me of the book: I had forgotten how much I owe to it. It is full of the kind of lore and wisdom that you immediately take for your own.

—Stewart Brand

In design, the shortest distance between two points is not the straight line, but the slalom.

Slaloms are curves of natural acceleration and deceleration that represent trajectories constantly controlled by man.

A ballistic missile obeying only initial thrust and gravity will describe an orbit mathematically perfect of the conic section family. But as soon as man sits at the controls, he will make his own orbit, his slalom.

Form, Function and Design Paul Jacques Grillo 1960; 238 pp.

On Growth and Form

A somewhat technical, super-illustrated treatise on how bigness and smallness help and hinder living.

On Size and Life: Thomas A. McMahon and John Tyler Bonner, 1983; 255 pp. $31.45 postpaid from W. H. Freeman & Co., 4419 West 1980 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84104 (or Whole Earth Access).

• A loving description of how animals find the materials and construct and live in their homes.

Animal Architecture: Karl Von Frisch, OUT OF PRINT.

Curves described by a man in movement — a car, a bicycle — on a flat surface, are two dimension slaloms, or curves of the second order that may be approximately analyzed in quadratic equations.

For the harmony of the world is made manifest in Form and Number, and the heart and soul and all the poetry of Natural Philosophy are embodied in the concept of mathematical beauty.... Moreover, the perfection of mathematical beauty is such that whatsoever is most beautiful and regular is also found to be most useful and excellent.

On Growth and Form

D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson (Edited by John Tyler Bonner) 1917; 1961; 346 pp.

$18.95 postpaid from: Cambridge University Press 510 North Avenue New Rochelle, NY 10801 or Whole Earth Access


($9.50 postpaid) from: Dover Publications

31 East 2nd Street Mineola, NY 11501 or Whole Earth Access,

A Nassellarian skeleton, 0.15 mm.


Watershed Consciousness in the 20th Century

By Peter Warshall


N OUR TOWNS .AND CITIES, two of the essential sources of life — water to drink and soil to grow food — remain hidden from our eyes. The hills and valleys are coated with asphalt, ancient streams are buried beneath housing, and soil is filler between gas, water and electric piping.

Watershed consciousness is, in part, an invitation to peel off (not discard) the layer of industrial and technological activity that hides us from the water and soils of our communities. It is an invitation to reveal where you live and how your body’s plumbing and, in many ways, community heart, are connected to Nature’s pathways.

A watershed is a gatherer — a living place that draws the sun and the rain together. Its surface of soils, rocks, and plantlife acts as a “commons” for this intermingling of sun and water. Physically, a watershed takes many shapes. It is drawn emblematically in the shape of a teardrop or a cupped leaf or a garden trowel to depict the oblong dish-shape of the valley with its elevated hillslopes which gather runoff toward a central stream. But most watersheds do not faithfully copy the emblematic drawings. Uplifting or faulting or downwarping or layering give them a beautiful individuality. Human influences may distort or, as in city watersheds and strip-mining, completely destroy the original lay of the land. The bedrock texture of each watershed — its granite or shale, sand or limestone — holds (in a sense, cherishes) each watershed’s fragile skin of soil. After the sun/water gathering has been accomplished, the watershed lets go: its unused water heading downstream or sky-up; its unabsorbed energy turning to heat or reflecting back through the atmosphere. This seasonal and daily passage of solar fire, water’s flow, and the earth’s metabolic breathing is as unique, in each watershed, as each human on the planet.

For humans, the watershed (and its big cousin, the river basin) is a hydraulic commons — an aquatic contract that has no escape clause. From the forested headwaters to the agricultural midstream valleys to the commercial and industrial centers at the river’s mouth, good and bad news travels by way of water. Did my toilet flushing give downstream swimmers a gastrointestinal disease? Did the headwaters clearcut kill the salmon industry at the river’s mouth? Did my city’s need for water drain off a river and close upriver farmland that fed me fresh vegetables? Did a toxic waste dump leak into the groundwater table and poison people in the next county? Watershed consciousness is, in part, a promotional campaign to advertise the mutual concerns and needs that bind upstream and downstream, instream and offstream peoples together.

This journey is right out your window — among the hills and valleys that surround you. It is the first excursion of thought into the place you live. It is not inner geography — the continuing attempt to feel better by mapping the mysterious meanderings of our hearts and minds — nor is it whole Earth geography — the struggle to gain perspective of our place on the planet. It focuses on where your water comes from when you turn on the faucet; where it goes when you flush; what soils produce your food; who shares your water supply, including the fish and other nonhuman creatures. The watershed way is a middle way, singing a local song, somewhere close by, between Mind and Planet.

O ONE HAS EVER TALLIED the types of watersheds in North America. There are probably gAM about 75 basic “species.” Here’s access to the nitty-gritty of your watershed ... its drainage pattern and density; its bedrock and soils; its channels and floodplains; its slopes and orienta- vm tion to the sun. The best “dictionary” is Terrain Analysis which can also direct you to the

best maps — U.S. Geological Survey topographies — and low-altitude photos.

To find maps, start with an “outdoors” store or look up “Photographers — Aerial” in the closest town or city’s Yellow Pages. You can call the County and ask if they have a map room (especially if you need property boundaries). Many local and all university libraries have map rooms. If you’re near the State capitol, it’s easy. They usually have a staff cartographer. If still stuck, the USGS is the friendliest and easiest big government office to work with. —Peter Warshall

Terrain Analysis

Probably too expensive for the average citizen. Go to the library. Xerox your watershed. Covers remote sensing; landforms and interpreting aerial photographs; landforms and development issues (highway, septic tank, groundwater, etc.); access to maps and photos; case studies ... salt of the Earth. —Peter Warshall

The upper slopes of volcanic cones are visually sensi- ► five, owing to their elevated position above the lowlands. Construction of roads on these slopes requires cuts which potentially could have a high visual impact. Many cinder cones and volcanic structures are regionally significant in size and scale and provide a regional identity, for example, Mt. Shasta in California or Mt. Fujiyama in Japan.

pattern is dependent upon the climatic zone; the finest textures are found in arid climates. Many tributaries along the slopes appear parallel.

The Agricultural Stabilization

Conservation Service (ASCS)

The ASCS has black-and-white photos for many seasons, with scales as large as l” = 400’. It’s a branch of the Department of Agriculture with local offices in almost every county. (If you have no ASCS office near you, then contact your local State Forester or your County Extension Agent.) Request a photo by sending a map of the area (with the specific part you want clearly outlined) or the exact latitude and longitude. Ask for the scale you’d prefer or just the largest scale available. —Peter Warshall

ASCS Aerial Maps: 10” x 10” $3; 24” x 24” $12; 38” x 38” $25 (all prices postpaid). Information free from ASCS Aerial Photography Division Field Office, 2222 West 2300 South/ P. O. Box 30010, Salt Lake City, UT 84130.

• What good are maps if you can’t correlate them with the land you see in front of you? The skills you need are in Land Navigation Handbook (p. 272).

• For compasses, see “Camping Supplies” (p. 274).

USGS Topographic Maps and

Low-Altitude Aerial Photographs

THE basic maps. Contour-lined for elevations, they come in two basic scales (one inch equals 2,000 feet, and one inch equals about one mile).

For maps by mail, write to the USGS in Denver. They’ll also send you a list of USGS regional offices.

—Peter Warshall

USGS Topographic Maps and Low-Altitude Aerial Photographs: information free from Map Distribution/U.S. Geological Survey, P. O. Box 25286, Federal Center Building 41, Denver, CO 80225.

Raisz Landform Maps

Erwin Raisz was perhaps the last great artist-cartographer. He invented little images of all the Earth’s landforms and then drew delicate lines with an understanding eye and a hand for utmost clarify.

To place your watershed within the large context of its river basin, upstream and downstream neighbors, or bioregion, these maps are as fertile loam. —Peter Warshall

$48.95 postpaid from: Van Nostrand Reinhold Co. 7625 Empire Drive Florence, KY 41042


Landform Maps Information free with SASE from: Raisz Landform Maps 130 Charles Street Boston, MA 02114

Craters of the Moon, at the top of the page. Is In the Snake River watershed. The North Platte, flowing off the page to the right, |olns the Missouri River.



HERE ARE THE EARTH DOCTORS? Healing land requires diagnosing the problems correctly, spotting the symptoms of dis-ease, organizing the recovery, and watching carefully to ensure

against relapse.

—Peter Warshall

The Earth Manual

The Earth Manual

Malcolm Margolin 1975; 237 pp.

$8.95 postpaid from:

Heyday Books P.O. Box 9145 Berkeley, CA 94709 or Whole Earth Access

Just like the man says:

“Between well-trimmed suburban lawns and the vast regions of mountain wilderness, there are millions of patches of land that are semi-wild. They may be wood lots, small forests, parks, a farm’s back forty/ or even an unattended corner of a big back yard — land touched by civilization but far from conquered. This book is about how to take care of such land: how to stop its erosion, heal its scars, cure its injured trees, increase its wildlife, restock if with shrubs and wild flowers, and otherwise work with (rather than against) the wildness of the land.”

A book of gentle advice and easily-absorbed wisdom.

If your problem is bank erosion, there are several steps you might take.

First of all, stop all physical injuries to the banks. In particular, stop grazing animals (cows, horses and sheep) from breaking down the banks

Great bibliography.

—Peter Warshall

to get to the water. You may have to fence off parts of the stream and, if necessary, even build a watering trough away from the stream’s edge.

Next, you can build deflectors. Deflectors are basically piles of stone placed upstream from an eroding bank to absorb the force of the water.

Restoring Our Wetlands and Rivers • The Stream Conservation Handbook

The Massachusetts Audubon Society’s Water Resources publications are practical and philosophical introductions to protecting, preserving, and restoring streams. One of the many pamphlets from Audubon (Wetlands and Floodplains on Paper) explains how to use maps to save wetlands better than anything else we’ve seen. Write them fortheir “Water Resources Information” form. The Stream Conservation Handbook remains the best education for anglers wishing to take action against stream


—Peter Warshall

Salmonid eggs will not pass through ovular slots, but slot shape permits water circulation and frees young fry

◄ A Vibert Box with five hundred brown-trout eggs incubating beneath the gravel of a spring creek in Oklahoma.

easily. Slot also prevents most predators from reaching incubating eggs.

Restoring the Earth

Breezy, thumbnail sketches of humans who spearheaded land and water restoration projects. Not a how-to-do-it book, but more like a rousing cheer, for the compassionate and caring U.S. citizens who are trying to do good for the Earth and its children. Stories include: cleaning a river and lake, reclaiming prairies, planting redwoods, and restoring strip-mined land. —Peter Warshall

Massachusetts Audubon Society Water Resources Publications

Information free from: Massachusetts Audubon Society

Public Information Office Lincoln, MA 01773

The Stream Conservation Handbook

J. Michael Migel, Editor OUT OF PRINT Crown Publishers

Dominie plunged into the literature on lake restoration to find a treatment method. He discovered that a still experimental process involving the addition of aluminum in the form of alum (aluminum sulfate) to eutrophic waters had been used with apparent success on a few small lakes in the early seventies, but the largest of these were only a tenth the size of Annabessacook. Restoration of a 1,400-acre lake was “beyond the scope of existing technology,” as one district staffer put it. Not only were

those lakes small, but they were highly alkaline Midwestern lakes, unlike Annabessacook. Alum tends to acidify water. This was not a problem in the alkaline lakes, but it could be a serious problem in the waters of Lake Annabessacook.

How can more lakes be restored and protected? Each troubled lake needs to be individually assessed, and solutions have to be designed for each situation. Without the necessary funds, this is, of course, unlikely to happen. Controlling nonpoint source pollution is usually the most difficult lake problem to solve. To have a good chance of success, all activities in a watershed affecting its lakes and other natural resources need to be evaluated and vigilantly monitored.

Restoring The Earth

John J. Berger 1985; 241 pp.


($19.95 postpaid) from:

Random House Order Dept.

400 Hahn Road Westminster, MD 21157

• The watershed healing networker and giver of advice; all committed should read. Restoration and Management Notes: Bill Jordan, Editor. $1l/year (2 issues) from University of Wisconsin — Madison Press, 114 North Murray Street, Madison, Wl 53715.

• The best overall text. Recovery and Restoration of Damaged Ecosystems: John Cairns Jr. and Kenneth L. Dickson, Editors. 1977; 531 pp. $25 ($26.50 postpaid) from University Press of Virginia, P.O. Box 3608, University Station, Charlottesville, VA 22903.

• The best technical text. Bioengineering for Land Reclamation and Conservation: Hugo Schiechtl. 1980; 404 pp. $30 ($32 postpaid) from University of Nebraska Press, 901 North 17th Street, Lincoln, NE 68588.

Geology Illustrated

An artist of aerial photography, Shelton uses some 400 of his finest photos to illuminate a discussion of the wholeearth system. Not a traditional textbook, but a fascinating exploration of the problems posed by asking, “How did that come about?” Worth buying for the photos and book design alone, but you’ll probably find yourself becoming interested in geology regardless of your original intentions. A masterpiece. —Larry McCombs

Roadside Geology • Rocks and Minerals

The new theory of the Earth accounts for earthquakes, volcanoes, mountain-building, and the formation of minerals in one comprehensive process: Movement of the plates of our planet’s outermost shell. Nigel Calder is the best teller of the tale — though slightly out of date. Richly illustrated. —Peter Warshall

Map reveals teh “plates” into which the shell ... geological events are mostly confined to the boundaries between the plates.

Roadside Geology; Rocks and Minerals

The Roadside Geology Series is one of the best for car nomadics. Coordinated with highway mileage markers, each book transforms endless roadcuts into millions of years of history. Each book has an introduction and vocabulary list. Turn off the radio and have your side-kick keep rock scouting.

For roadside stops, the best field guide to examining rocks is Rocks and Minerals, with an easy key and clear photos of rocks. —Peter Warshall

• Densely packed with a landform/watershed map, tectonic map, rock formation map and cross-sectional map. Each sheet covers two to three states. Geologic Highway Maps: ► $6/each ($54/set). Information free from American Association of Petroleum Geologists, P.O. Box 979, Tulsa, OK 74101.

• An excellent college level text for geo-lovers who want to update or teach themselves. Earth and Life Through Time: Steven M. Stanley. 1986; 690 pp. $35.95 ($37.45 postpaid) from W.H. Freeman and Company, 4419 West 1980 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84104.

• The best current account of how North America came to be. Landprints: Walter Sullivan, 1984; 384 pp. $22.50 ($23.50 postpaid) from Random House/Order Dept., 400 Hahn Road, Westminster, MD 21157.

Roadside Geology Series{1}

$9.95 <$13.95

postpaid from: Mountain Press

P.O. Box 2399

Missoula, MT 59806 or Whole Earth Access

A Chromite bands in
weathered gabbro (loft),
nodular chromite (center),
hypersthene gabbro (right).
—Rocks and Minerals

Taoists watched wafer; opened their hearts and minds fa water’s teachings; took water as an ally in understanding. Their aqueous attitude washed out preconceived notions of religious righteousness; dissolved rigid ways of viewing the universe; liquefied frozen ambitions, social convictions, ideals and hopes. The elegance of Taoism was taking humans from their everydayness but not to grace, being and nothingness, or samsara — simply to water, the liquid center of nature.

The Tao Te Ching has many translators. Archie Bahm’s is more fortune cookie than others. Orville Schell, who reads Chinese, recommends Gia-Fu Feng’s translation.

—Peter Marshall •

Nothing is weaker than water;

Yet, for attacking what is hard and tough,

Future Water

Sensitive Chaos

The ways that flowing forms our heart, cyclones, rivers and bird flight. How we flowed as embryos and our bones still spiral and loop with the markings of past eddy movements. Here is spiritual guidance in the greatest book of Jungian-Taoist history. —Peter Marshall

Schocken Books has received numerous requests to reprint this classic book, they tell us. Look for a new edition sometime in 1987 or ’88. Until then, go to the library.

—Jeanne Carstensen e

Together earth, plant world and atmosphere form a single great organism, in which water streams like living blood.

The activity of thinking is essentially an expression of flowing movement. Only when thinking dwells on a particular content, a particular form, does it order itself accordingly and create an idea. Every idea — like every organic form — arises in a process of flow, until the movement congeals into a form. Therefore we speak of a capacity to think fluently when someone is skillfully able to carry out this creation of form in thought, harmoniously coordinating the stream of thoughts and progressing from one idea to another without digression — without creating “whirlpools.”

-.When water flows through an opening into still water, the vortices form a rhythmical pattern.

Nothing surpasses it, nothing equals it.

The principle, that what is weak overcomes what is strong,

And what is yielding conquers what is resistant,

Is known to everyone.

Yet few men utilize it profitably in practice.

But the intelligent man knows that:

He who willingly takes the blame for disgrace to his community is considered a responsible person,

And he who submissively accepts responsibility for the evils in his community naturally will be given enough authority for dealing with them.

These principles, no matter how paradoxical, are sound.

—Tao Teh King

If ever there was a need for circles, it is in sewage treatment. For centuries, we have taken our rivers, run them through our homes, added our fertile fecal nutrient, then run our sewage into rivers or the sea. This downhill, linear mind has been destructive to our land, waters and mental wholeness. This is a very important book written by two men who have dedicated a good part of their lives to looping city “wastes” back to farm productivity. For those interested in farms, cities, water, land, private vs. public sector politics, water and sewage bills, visions for a future structured with institutions that benefit humans ... read it.

—Peter Marshall

Future Water: John R. Sheaffer and Leonard A. Stevens, 1983; 269 pp. $14.95 ($16.45 postpaid) from Wilmor, 6 Henderson Drive, West Caldwell, NJ 07006 (or Whole Earth Access).

The wastewater streams of our troubled cities contain tons and tons of potential resources, or raw materials. This valuable cargo is generally dumped, in whole or in part, into waterways and lakes where it reduces water quality, damages essential aquatic life and diminishes recreational opportunities. If these raw materials were reclaimed through circular systems and used in the production sector of the nation’s economy, it would result in new sources of goods and services, and the current costs of conventional sewage disposal would be eliminated. From these reclaimed materials we can have fertilizer for growing food and fiber, methane to generate electricity and other energy sources, as well as clean water safe to reuse. Finally these investments in resources that would otherwise be thrown away can produce new revenues, which are badly needed to restore today’s deteriorating water and wastewater systems. The job can be done by traditional financing of private ventures — perhaps organized as a form of public utility — to do for profit what the clean water laws of the 1970s failed to do through government construction grants.

• See what we mean by a great textbook. Academic in the best sense, with a deep reverence for water’s ways.

Water In Environmental Planning: Thomas Dunn and Luna Leopold, 1978; 818 pp. $47.95 ($49.45 postpaid) from W. H. Freeman & Co., 4419 W. 1980 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84104 (or Whole Earth Access).

• See also “Household Water” (pp. 138–139) and “Watershed Care” (p. 34).


SOIL IS THE STAGE from which all things — good, beautiful, vicious, creative, dull, outrageous and evil — emerge. A teaspoon of living earth contains five million bacteria, twenty million fungi, one million protozoa, and two hundred thousand algae. Amoebas slide over sand grains hunting bacteria. Bacteria swim through micro-rivers scarfing nutrients. Viruses attack bacteria. Nematode worms, like soil hyenas, devour almost anything. There are about 9,500 kinds of soil in the United States and no one has ever tried to create sanctuaries for any of them.

There is no single great book on soils; below we review the best of what’s available. —Peter Warshall

Root system of a corn plant growing In deep open soil. Roots of crops such as alfalfa or of trees probably penetrate even further.

<em>The Nature and Properties of Soils</em>

A college text on soil science. The writing is clear, there is a glossary of terms, and the section headings make it easy to find the information you want quickly. More facts than most people need, but well worth consulting on specific subjects. —Richard Nilsen

Of the six major factors affecting the growth of plants, only light is not supplied by soils. The soil supplies water, air, and mechanical support for plant roots as well as heat to enhance chemical reactions. It also supplies seventeen plant nutrients that are essential for plant growth. These nutrients are slowly released from unavailable forms in the solid framework of minerals and organic matter to exchangeable cations associated with soil colloids and finally to readily available ions in the soil solution. The ability of soils to provide these ions in a proper balance determines their primary value to humankind.

Soil Conservation Society of America

Over one million acres of prime farmland disappear in urban development each year. In the Great Plains and the Pacific Northwest, 85 percent of the farms lose five tons of their topsoil yearly. The Soil Conservation Society of America provides a meeting ground for all the specialized interests who are interested in preserving the ultimate strength of this nation: its soil. They publish a technical but, for my interests, totally absorbing magazine — The Journal of Soil and Writer Conservation. It’s a mature group, organized in 1945. —Peter Warshall


postpaid from: Whole Earth Access (or order through your local bookstore)

Local Soils

Every citizen should be able to say: “I live on a sandy-loam that is about ten feet deep and covers half my community.” Soil Conservation Maps are step one but are not detailed enough for some projects (like house-to-house septic tank assessment or gardening problems). Scales vary from one inch equals 1,320 feet to one inch equals one mile. Maps are available (for free, usually) from your local Soil Conservation Service (see telephone book) or write to the SCS in Washington, DC. —Peter Warshall

e .. f. Soil Conservation Service

3011 uonser- Department of Agriculture

vation Maps p. o. Box 2890

Information free from: Washington, DC 20013

Journal of Soil and Water Conservation

Max Schnepf, Editor $25/year (6 issues) from: Soil Conservation Society of America 7515 NE Ankeny Ankeny, IA 50021

World Soils

• The best out-of-print book on soils, The World of Soil by Sir E. John Russell, should be available in most libraries and might be reprinted.

• For soils and civilization, gardening, forestry, and renewal, see the “Land Use” section (pp. 60–85).

World Soils

E. M. Bridges 1978; 128 pp.

$11.95 postpaid from: Cambridge University Press 510 North Avenue New Rochelle, NY 10801 or Whole Earth Access

Mediterranean soils and relationship to landscape.

Biology of Plants

Peter Raven is the Godfather of American botany. This is his sequoian text. Though the prose tastes of leaf-litter, the information sparkles like a virgin tropical jungle at dawn. Everything you want to know and more, beautifully illustrated. —Peter Marshall

Comparing life on land with that in the sea, we find that only about 16 percent of animal species and perhaps 4.5 percent of the species of photosynthesizing organisms (plants and algae) are marine, even though the sea occupies about 71 percent of the earth’s surface. The relative scarcity of marine species appears to be a reflection of the much less sharply defined habitats in the sea. Yet, more major groups are found in the sea than on land, probably because they evolved there. Only a few have been able to send successful colonists onto the land, but several of these — notably the insects and the flowering plants — have attained a truly spectacular level of diversity.

How to Identify Plants

There is no easy road into plant architecture. Ovaries are superior or inferior; flower parts can be imbricate or valvate; surfaces can be scurfy, scabrous, comose, viscid, glaucous or otherwise. If you want to make the leap into botanical terms and use the more technical floras, then this book is the key to MONSTER VOCABULARY. Lists all the best technical floras by area. —Peter Marshall

Western Flowers

Best overall guide. Arranged by shape and color plus fine photos and ID tips.

Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers (Western Region): Richard Spellenberg, 1979; 862 pp.

$13.50 ($14.50 postpaid) from Random House/Order Dept., 400 Hahn Road, Westminster, MD 21157.

Arranged by color with some photos and excellent line drawings. Best nontechnical guides.

California Spring Wildflowers (From the Base of the Sierra Nevada and Southern Mountains to the Sea): Philip A. Munz, 1961; 122 pp. $8.95 ($10.45 postpaid).

California Mountain Wildflowers: Philip A. Munz, 1963; 122 pp. $7.95 ($9.45 postpaid).

Shore Wildflowers (Of California, Oregon and Washington): Philip A. Munz, 1965; 122 pp. $5.95 ($7.45 postpaid).

All from University of California Press, 2120 Berkeley Way, Berkeley, CA 94720 (or Whole Earth Access).

Line drawings by simplified taxonomy. Titles include ...

Pacific Coast Berry Finder, Pacific Coast Fern Finder, Redwood Region Flower Finder, Winter Tree Finder, and Sierra Flower Finder. Nature Study Guild “Finder” Series: $1.50 each; complete list free from Nature Study Guild, Box 972, Berkeley, CA 94701.

Eastern Flowers

Arranged by shape and color. Over 1300 species with many line drawings.

A Field Guide to Wildflowers: Northeastern/Northcentral North America (Peterson Field Guide Number 17): Roger Tory Peterson and Margaret McKenny, 1968; 420 pp. $10.95 ($11.95 postpaid) from Houghton Mifflin Co., Mail Order Dept., Wayside Road, Burlington, MA 01803.

By plant family. Best informed. Best color photos.

Common Wildflowers of the Northeastern United States: The New York Botanical Garden, 1980; 318 pp. $12.95 ($14.95 postpaid) from Barron’s Educational Series, 113 Crossways Park Drive, Woodbury, NY 11797.

Great car book. Arranged by color and season of peak bloom with color photos.

Roadside Plants and Flowers (A Traveler’s Guide to the Midwest and Great Lakes Area): Marian S. Edsall, 1985;

143 pp. $12.95 postpaid from University of Wisconsin Press, 114 North Murray Street, Madison, Wl 53715.

—Peter Marshall

Desert and Southwest

Totally corny! Totally thorny!

What Kinda Cactus Izzat? (Who’s Who in the Desert): Reg Manning, 1941; 107 pp. $3.95 postpaid from Reganson Cartoon Books, P.O. Box 5242, Phoenix, AZ 85010 (or Whole Earth Access).

100 Desert Wildflowers, 100 Roadside Flowers of the Desert Uplands, Flowers of the Southwest Mesas, and Trees and Shrubs of the Southwest Uplands. Publications list free from Southwest Parks and Monuments Association, P.O. Box 1562, Glove, AZ 85501 (or Whole Earth Access).

For Mojave and lower Colorado an excellent guide arranged by color.

California Desert Wildflowers: Philip A. Munz, 1962; 122 pp. $5.95 ($7.45 postpaid) from University of California Press, 2120 Berkeley Way, Berkeley, CA 94720 (or Whole Earth Access).

The encyclopedia of trees in America, with descriptions and illustrations. There are photos of leaves, seed pods, bark, and the natural range of each type of tree. Lovingly presented, in print [Suggested by Rodger Reid]

A history of our virgin forests and the ever-recurring conservation-preservation-industrial dialogue of America. A dialogue still fought bitterly though the acreage is vastly shrunk. I cannot recommend a book more passionately to those citizens in love with the scattered remains of our

Great Forest.

The Great Forest

Richard G. Lillard 1947, 1973; 399 pp. $49.50 postpaid from: Da Capo Press, Inc.

233 Spring Street New York, NY 10013 or Whole Earth Access

Trees of North America

The guide to travel with. Surpasses Peterson and Audubon for ease, drawings, and distribution maps. Keep in your

• Also see “Trees” (p. 62), “Orchards” (p. 63), “Landscaping” (p. 73), and “Livable Cities” (p. 113).

In 1882 Professor Charles S. Sargent, Harvard botanist, urged stringent state laws to protect forests in the Great Forest area, and outright Federal ownership and management in the Far West. He said:

The American people must learn several economic lessons before the future of their forests can be considered secure. They must learn that a forest, whatever its extent and resources, can be exhausted in a surprisingly short space of time ... that browsing animals and fires render the reproduction of the forest impossible; that the forest is essential to the protection of rivers; that it does not influence rain-fall, and that it is useless to plant trees beyond the region where trees are produced naturally.

With such arguments the nation fumbled toward its first major socialistic experiment since the Constitution created the United States Post Office.

glove compartment. For bare twig and dry leaf ID, the Winter Tree Finder (p. 38) is great fun.

—Peter Warshall

EASTERN REDBUD (Cercis canadensis) leaves are deciduous, broadly ovate to heart-shaped, 3 to 5 inches wide, with a pointed tip and smooth margins. Turn yellow in fall. Flowers pinkish to lavender, 0.5 of an inch long, in loose clusters of 4 to 8; appear before leaves. Pinkish, flattened pods, 2.5 to 3.5 inches long, have several seeds about 0.3 of an inch long. Bark reddish brown, scaly. Usually small, occasionally to 50 feet, with a broad, rounded crown.

CALIFORNIA REDBUD (Cercis occidentals) leaves are round or notched at apex, 2 to 4 inches broad, with a heart-shaped base and smooth margins. Lavender flowers, 0.5 of an inch long, appear before leaves. Pods are dull red, 1.5 to 3 inches long and 0.5 to 0.8 of an inch wide. Though usually a shrub, California Redbud is sometimes a small tree, to 20 feet tall.

Fire in America

This book concerns fire, ecology, and mankind, and the history they have made together in North America. Nobody has ever written on the totality of this subject before, and while this dense volume may easily qualify as more than you ever wanted to know about fire regimes, fire-fighting techniques, and the history and politics of the U.S. Forest Service, it is a fascinating story and well told. And if anybody gives out awards for the best dust jacket photo, this book gets my vote. —Richard Nilsen

Animals Without Backbones

In terms of number of living species, 97 per cent consists of animals without backbones. We are all aware of the difference between these two groups of animals when we indulge in fish and lobster dinners. In the fish the exterior is relatively soft and inviting, but the interior presents numerous hard bones. In the lobster, on the contrary, the exterior consists of a formidable hard covering, but within this initial handicap is a soft edible interior. A similar situation exists in the oyster, lying soft and defenseless within its hard outer shell. The lobster and the oyster are but samples of a tremendous array of animals which lack internal bones and which are, from their lack of the vertebral column in particular, called invertebrates.

The giant squids are the largest of all invertebrates.

A Field Guide to the Insects

They may not make millions or drive BMWs, but the insects of the planet win top honors for biological success. Ninety thousand species inhabit North America: lice, earwigs, stoneflies, springtails, butterflies, beetles, thrips and bugs. This guide covers 579 of the insect families and has at least one illustration for each. Amazing! I have rarely found the exact moth or water scorpion but always came close enough to feel good. —Peter Warshall

A. chaicodes

2 70 mm (2.7”) Arizona

The Flufter-Bys Be Butterflies

Voyeurs of evolutionary eroticism! Uninspired artists! Urbanites seeking a sense of fragile, angelic loveliness! Buddhists confused about mysterious transformations! Here are the guides to North America’s scaley-winged psychedelic nymphs ... none better or easier to use.

—Peter Warshall

As a boy I sought Black Swallowtails on farmhouse lilacs, but frequented my neighbors’ butterfly bushes for Painted Ladies. Add a patch of annuals — sweet William, zinnias, and marigolds for starters, and some phlox and aster — and you have a basic butterfly garden good from April through August. That’s not all there is to butterfly gardening, but it is a start. —Handbook

The Audubon Society Handbook for Butterfly Watchers: Robert M. Pyle, 1984; 274 pp. $17.95 postpaid from Macmillan Publishing Co./Order Dept., Front and Brown Streets, Riverside, NJ 08075.

The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies: Robert M. Pyle, 1981; 916 pp. $13.50 ($14.50 postpaid) from Random House Inc., 400 Hahn Road, Westminster, MD 21157.

(Both books are available from Whole Earth Access.)

Field Guides to Reptiles and Amphibians



Field Guide to North American Fishes, Whales and Dolphins

<em>Had it up to the gills with yuppie frenzy? Drop a line, cast, troll, scuba</em> ... go <em>fishing with this fine guide ... you might net a Freckled Madtom, see a Pancake Batfish, Blue Tang, Tautog or, with reverence, angle the Cutthroat.</em>

—Peter Warshall

57 Yellow Bullhead (Ictalurus nalalis)

To 18” (46 cm); 3 lbs (1.4 kg). Robust, heavy; back dark olive-brown; sides yellow-brown, not mottled; belly yellowish; fins dusky to olive. Head thick, long, rounded above; eyes small; mouth terminal; 4 pairs of barbels, pair on chin yellow to white. Serrations on rear edge of pectoral fin spine; 24–27 anal fin rays, base long, about equal to head length; adipose fin present; caudal fin truncate to rounded.

Pools and backwaters of sluggish streams, ponds, and lakes; sometimes in slow riffles; usually in areas with heavy vegetation.

SE. Ontario; central E. United States; widely introduced outside native range. The Yellow Bullhead is a good sport and food fish. It is active at night, searching out food along the bottom by relying on its barbels and sense of smell.

West: Stebbins’ guide is a combination of love, intelligence, and good writing. A model guide covering areas west of the Rockies. If you find something weird, it’s probably a real discovery. East: Conant is older, less beautiful, but equally useful for areas east of the Rockies. —Peter Warshall

Geckos: Family Gekkonidae

A large family of tropical and subtropical lizards found on all continents and widespread on oceanic islands. Most are nocturnal and therefore limited in distribution by low night temperatures. Geckos communicate by chirping and squeaking. The name is based on the sound made by an oriental species. They are excellent climbers. They crawl with ease on walls and ceilings and are often found in houses and public buildings in the tropics.


A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians: Robert C. Stebbins, 1985; 279 pp. $10.45 ($11.45 postpaid).

A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America: Roger Conant, 1975; 429 pp. $11.45 ($12.45 postpaid). Both from: Houghton Mifflin Co./Mail Order Dept., Wayside Road, Burlington, MA 01803 (or Whole Earth Access).

So Excellent a Fishe

So Excellent a Fishe radiates chelonian love. Its beautifully crafted prose conjures an eerie feel — of eras of time with clouds and waves and turtles bumping onto shorelines in syncopated arrivals. Inside this intimacy one can almost believe that as long as this book remains in print turtles will survive in the sea. —Peter Warshall


The green turtle was an important factor in the colonization of the Americas. It was herbivorous, abundant, and edible — even when prepared by cooks not aware that it can be made a gourmet’s dish.... A green turtle was as big as a heifer, easy to catch, and easy to keep alive on its back in a space no greater than itself. It was an ideal food resource, and it went into the cooking pots of the salt-water peasantry and tureens of the flagships alike.... In England the green turtle came to be known

as the London Aiderman’s Turtle, because an Aiderman’s Banquet was considered grossly incomplete if it failed to begin with clear green turtle soup.

Young groan turtle, showing serrated lower jaw characteristic of Chelonla and probably associated with the grazing habit.

The Book of Sharks

As a novice scuba diver, living on a coast called “the White Shark Attack Capital of the World,” I’ve been on the lookout for a good, unbiased source of information about these impressive creatures. Ellis has managed to cut through our “Jaws’-inspired hysteria without minimiz-

ing the real danger that does exist: sharks have been the oceans’ top predators for over 300 million years; they are very good at their job. —David Burnor

• See also “Fishing” (p. 251) and “Evolution” (p. 30).

• For more on aqueous environments turn to “Inland Waters” (p. 44) and “Coastal Edge” (p. 45).

The Book of Sharks Richard Ellis 1983; 256 pp.


(15.95 postpaid) from: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich 1250 6th Ave., 4th Floor San Diego, CA 92101 or Whole Earth Access

The reconstructed jaws of ► Carcharodon megalodon.

The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Fishes, Whales & Dolphins

H. T. Boschung Jr., et al 1983; 850 pp.


($14 postpaid) from: Random House 400 Hahn Road Westminster, MD 21157 or Whole Earth Access

► Pattern variation in Western Aquatic Garter Snake.

So Excellent a Fishe

(The Classic Study of the Lives of Sea Turtles) Archie Carr 1967; 280 pp.


postpaid from: Macmillan Publishing Co. Front and Brown Streets Riverside, NJ 08075

Field Guide to the Birds of North America • A Field Guide to the Birds East of the Rockies

After much comparison and birder chit-chat, I accept the National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America as the best on the market. Without writing a book about bird books, here are the essentials:

In the eastern region, beginners should use the familiar Field Guide to the Birds East of the Rockies by Roger T. Peterson (although it has its own problems). The Geographic guide is too jargony, too full of casual or vagrant species which unnecessarily distract the novice. And it lacks good comparison pages (for fall warblers, for instance). In the western region, the Geographic leads the V-flight. It has some good pictures of western races found in no other guide and is excellent on western gulls. For experienced birders who will fry to identify everything — including the vagrants, the shearwaters, and the im- matures — the Geographic guide replaces the Golden Guide Birds, by Herbert S. Zim and Ira N. Gabrielson (another standard), as well as Peterson.

The Geographic book is not available through commercial booksellers and must be purchased from National Geographic or at select nature stores like your local Audubon education center. —Peter Warshall

e [Suggested by Captain Walker]

Pileated Woodpecker Dryocopus pileatus ... Pileated is the largest woodpecker commonly seen. Female’s red cap is less extensive than in male. Juvenile plumage, held briefly, resembles adult but is paler overall. Call is a loud, rising and falling wuck-a- wuck-a-wuck-a, similar to Flicker. Generally uncommon and localized throughout much of its range; prefers dense, mature forest; but also seems to be adapting to human encroachment.... Listen for its slow, resounding hammering; look for the long rectangular or oval holes it excavates. Carpenter ants in fallen trees and stumps are its major food.

—National Geographic

No field guide or record can substitute for being out there and in tune with our avian cousins. But, like the guides, records (especially by region or bird family) can help. For those who know, a bird heard is a bird seen.

Free catalog. Best access to records coordinated with field guides and other birdomania.

Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology: catalog free from 159 Sapsucker Woods Road, Ithaca, NY 14850.

Most records have minuscule cuts. These don’t. Long choruses of frogs and operatic birds.

Droll Yankees: catalog free from Mill Road, Foster, RI 02825 Ara Records: catalog free from P. O. Box 12347, Gainesville, FL 32604.

More Than Names

Nature is much more than knowing names of birds. Nature has its own theater of voices, gestures, rages, intimacies, and power. Too many times, a birder will see a bird, check if off and ask: “What’s next?”

“Next” is learning the vocabulary, lifestyle and concerns of each creature by patiently paying attention. Stoke’s Guide to Bird Behavior shows 25 common birds (mostly eastern), their territory, courtship, songs, seasonal movements, nests, and plumages. A true pleasure for those who feed birds. Watching Birds fields the gap between “sport-birding” and heavy ornithological texts. Concise summaries of giant notions help you see more richly. The Audubon Society Encyclopedia of North American Birds is the avian Brittanica, answering the questions that pop up outdoors. Expensively the best. —Peter Warshall

A Guide to Bird Behavior: Donald W. Stokes, 1979; 336 pp. $8.95 ($9.95 postpaid) from Little, Brown and Company, 200 West Street, Waltham, MA 02154 (or Whole Earth Access).

Watching Birds: Roger F. Pasquier, 1977; 301 pp. $9.70 ($10.70 postpaid) from Houghton Mifflin Company/Mail Order Dept., Wayside Road, Burlington, MA 01803 (or Whole Earth Access).

The woodcock begins his courtship flight by leaping from the ground and ascending in a widening spiral to about 300 feet, where he circles while singing and then begins his descent, zigzagging like a falling leaf. —Audubon

< Distraction display: a killdeer’s simulation of a

. broken wing draws an intruder away from its nest.


• Special thanks to Rich Stallcup.

• Best overview of all the families of birds. Covers the planet. Families of Birds: Oliver L. Austin, Jr., 1985; 200 pp. $7.95 ($8.95 postpaid) from Western Publishing Co., P. O. Box 700, Racine, Wl 53401.

• See also Evolutionary Biology (p. 28).

• See page 44 for endangered members of the backboned elite of the Animal Kingdom.

ELK (Wapiti) Cervus canadensis

Similar species: (1) Moose has a large overhanging snout and brown rump. (2) Mule Deer is smaller and has black on the tail. (3) Whitetail Deer is smaller; no rump patch. (4) Woodland Caribou has whitish neck. Habitat: Semiopen forest, mt. meadows (in summer),


The Peterson Guides




<em>The best guides to our tit-sucking, warm-blooded, hairy compatriots in North America belong to the Peterson Series. Animal Tracks is the best-written Peterson Guide</em> ... good <em>ol’ backwoods detail... chewed branch, yesterday’s scat, a chickaree’s scolding, a javelina’s stench. Since most mammals like the night, it is the signs that best inform. Murie includes bird, snake, and insect signs you’ll find while tracking mammals.</em>

Although the drawings are mediocre in A Field Guide to the Mammals (at least, the color plate reproductions), this is the best general guide to all of North America. I found difficulties with the subdivisions and descriptions of the Rocky Mountain chipmunks but, by using the annotated bibliography, you can get the needed details. Great section on skulls and many footprint diagrams.


A Field Guide to Animal Tracks Olaus J. Murie 1974; 376 pp.

A Field Guide to the Mammals William H. Burt and Richard P. Grossenheider 1976; 289 pp.

$10.45 each ($11.45 postpaid) from: Houghton Mifflin Co. Mail Order Dept.

Wayside Road Burlington, MA 01803 or Whole Earth Access


A story in dust: A beetle was scurrying along in some older tracks of a red squirrel. A chipmunk came running in from the right and picked up the beetle — the beetle trail ends at those scuffle marks. So the chipmunk evidently enjoys an occasional insect in its diet.

—A Field Guide to Animal Tracks

For Mexico, use Aldo Starker Leopold’s Wildlife of Mexico (1959; $29.65 from University of California Press, 2223 Fulton Street, Berkeley, CA 94720). —Peter Warshall

Whales and Dolphins

You will probably never see 99 percent of the cetaceans described here. The few you will see probably will be in oceanaria. Strangely, it doesn’t seem to matter. Just knowing that all that incredible variety of mammalian life is happening heals a loneliness — Melville’s marine melancholia of the arid seas. Not since Mark Twain personally funded Scammon’s 1870s expedition has such a fine book of cetacean portraits and scholarship appeared.

—Peter Warshall

At sea, blue whales may be confused with fin whales and sei whales. Adult blue whales should be easy to distinguish by size alone from immature finbacks and from sei whales of any age. Fin whales are an even gray on the back and white on the ventrum, with asymmetrical head coloration; the right lower lip is white, the left gray. Also, they tend to have a sharper, more V-shaped head, and a comparatively prominent dorsal fin. Dead fin whales can be distinguished from blue whales by the gray to white appearance of much of their baleen, in contrast to the solid black baleen of the blue whale.

Mammalian Celebration

World has every living and extinct mammal (with photos of the living). It’s technical, comprehensive, and especially for fanatic mammal patriots like myself.

—Peter Warshall

* Many of the books mentioned here are out of print but irresistably good. Get ‘em from your library.

Walker’s Mammals of the World: Ronald M. Nowak and John L. Paradiso, 1983; 1,362 pp. (2 volumes). $65 ($66.50 postpaid) from Johns Hopkins University Press, 701 West 40th Street/Suite 275, Baltimore, MD 21211 (orWhole Earth Access).

It is amazingly easy to fall in love with a mammal, even Fifi, the pet rat here at Whole Earth. But few are the mammal lovers who can put passion in their prose. Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat and King of the Grizzlies by Ernest Thompson Seton grab the task by the short hairs and hold on with aplomb. Ring of Bright Water by Gavin Maxwell (of sea otters), Mice Al! Over by Peter Crowcroft, and flats by Martin Hart are three favorites on the “little guys.” Less fun, but intriguing, are In the Shadow of Man by Jane Goodall (chimps) and The Blue Whale by George Small.

There’s currently no literate book on the Order of Mammals in print. Francois Bourliere’s The Natural History of Mammals and Time-Life’s Mammals are both delightful surveys. The two-volume encyclopedia Walker’s Mammals of the

The Sierra Club Handbook of Whales and Dolphins Stephen Leatherwood and Randall R. Reeves 1984; 302 pp.


($15.45 postpaid) from: Sierra Club Bookstore 730 Polk Street San Francisco, CA 94109 or Whole Earth Access

Great stripe-faced bat (Vampyrodos major).

—Walker’s Mammals of the World



uring the Great Dying of the Dinosaurs one species vanished every 10,000 years. Species are now vanishing somewhere between 40 and 400 times faster. By the year 2000, perhaps one million species will have become extinct because of human influences on the planet. Compared to the Great Dying, this is the Holocaust.

There is perhaps no more noble or righteous employment on the planet than saving a living species (or its habitat). Tty it. It’s a world of smuggling, tears, beauty, petty bureaucracy, mockery, vigilance, money, and unbending vision. —Peter Warshall

Going, Going, Gone ...

Where Have All the Wildflowers Gone? and Vanishing Fishes of North America are extremely well-written, entertaining surveys of two groups of living beings that need allies. For specific species (bats, cycads, manatees, desert bighorns, salmon, peregrines, et al.), see the “Conservation” section in the index of the Encyclopedia of Associations (p. 309), where you’ll find Defenders of Wildlife, the organization that keeps a report card on Congress and the administration’s support for endangered species’ salvation. In 1985 they received “D+ .” Animal Kingdom is the most thoughtful magazine on protecting wildlife in the Third World and the importance of zoos in keeping critters from oblivion. —Peter Warshall

Because the Furbish lousewort has a funny-sounding name,/It was ripe for making ridicule, and that’s a sort of shame./For there is a disappearing world, and man has played his role/ln taking little parts away from what was once the whole./We can get along without them; we may not feel their lack/But extinction means that something’s gone, and never coming back./So, here’s to you, little lousewort, and here’s to your rebirth./And may you somehow multiply, refurbishing the earth.

—Where Have all the Wildflowers Gone?

Where Have All the Wildflowers Gone?: Robert H. Mohlen- brock, 1983; 239 pp. $15.34 postpaid from Macmillan Publishing Co./Order Dept., Front and Brown Streets, Riverside, NJ 08075 (or Whole Earth Access).

Vanishing Fishes of North America: Dr. R. Dana Ono, Dr. James D. Williams and Anne Wagner, 1983; 257 pp. $29.95 ($31.95 postpaid) from Stone Wall Press, 1241 30th Street NW, Washington, DC 20007 (or Whole Earth Access).

Our Magnificent Wildlife

An OUTSTANDING book, as we’ve come to expect from Reader’s Digest. Not just a picture book, every page has some clearly presented new understanding, along with abundant encouragement for the reader to do something about it. The whole back end of the volume concerns making wildlife habitats in your backyard, photographing animals, and working with conservation organizations. This is the only book I’ve seen that tells preservation success stories.

Three cheers. —Stewart Brand

Our Magnificent Wildlife

The Reader’s Digest Editors 1975; 352 pp.


($21.64 postpaid) from:

Reader’s Digest Attn.: Order Entry Pleasantville, NY 10570 or Whole Earth Access

The overpowering impression of South Asia is people. More than 1,000 human beings per square mile are crowded into the Ganges Basin. The only hope for the survival of wildlife is in sanctuaries. But many existing sanctuaries contain villages, virtually all permit livestock grazing, some extract timber, and poaching is common. A comprehensive system of sanctuaries must be established in this generation, or the remaining lands will be swamped by the human tide.

Defenders of Wildlife: membership $20/year (includes 6 issues of Defenders magazine) from Defenders of Wildlife, 1244 19th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Information on individual species is available to members on request.

Animal Kingdom: Eugene Walter, Editor. $9.95/year (6 issues) from Animal Kingdom Magazine, New York Zoological Park, Bronx, NY 10460.

• The most thorough account of how we’ve accelerated the extinction of species.

Extinction: Paul and Anne Ehrlich, 1981; 384 pp. $4.95 ($5.95 postpaid) from Random House, Inc., 400 Hahn Road, Westminster, MD 21157 (or Whole Earth Access).

• The utilitarian argument: why extinctions hurt us and business.

A Wealth of Wild Species: Norman Myers, 1983; 300 pp. $14.50 ($17 postpaid) from Westview Press, 5500 Central Avenue, Boulder, CO 80301 (or Whole Earth Access).

Environmental Conservation

<em>This is the single most important text reviewed in this catalog — as true in Nairobi as in Anchorage — where I’ve heard young people talk of Environmental Conservation with inspired hope that maybe, just maybe, the Earth could be a less aggravating, doomful, destructed place to be. Dasmann writes with a gentle, quiet passion always entwining the human, natural and spiritual worlds.</em>

A Sand County Almanac

The most important book on ethics ever written on American soil... honest, clear, graceful, superbly crafted .... It begins: “There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot. These essays are the delights and dilemmas of one who cannot.” For

Leopold, like Thoreau, human nature and nature’s nature are inseparable natures and anything worth saying must be bom from both. So The Almanac exposes, reflects on, and strays into “values” that humans might cherish but it never strays too far from wildness, that teacher of many minds. In short, this is the bible of “oikos-logos” — the governing principle of our communal home — “ecology.” —Peter Warshall

Thinking Like a Mountain

A deep chesty bawl echoes from rimrock to rimrock, rolls down the mountain, and fades into the far blackness of the night. It is an outburst of wild defiant sorrow, and of contempt for all the adversities of the world.

Every living thing (and perhaps many a dead one as well) pays heed to that call. To the deer it is a reminder of the way of all flesh, to the pine a forecast of midnight scuffles and of blood upon the snow, to the coyote a promise of gleanings to come, to the cowman a threat of red ink at the bank, to the hunter a challenge of fang against bullet. Yet behind these obvious and immediate hopes and fears there lies a deeper meaning, known only to the mountain itself. Only the mountain has

• Tracking the smugglers and wildlife trade.

TRAFFIC (U.S.A.): Lynne Hardie Lehman, Editor. Membership SlO/year (includes 4 issues) from World Wildlife Fund, 1255 23rd Street NW, Washington, DC 20037.

• See also Audubon Magazine (p. 27), Earth First I (p. 87), and the Sierra Club (p. 87).

Like all great teachers, his explanations are simple but not simplified. No fact about soils, food, water, industrialization, biomes, wildlife or thermal power remains unlinked. Each is connected by a deep understanding of the human needs to eat, be sheltered, and to feel themselves a part of a humane community. There is perhaps no other textbook that has survived as long (revised over 25 years) and spread so far into the school systems of the industrialized as well as Third World nations. Michelet said: “Education, Government, Religion.... These are the same word.” Dasmann’s text says it

Throughout the world, in prairie, steppe, pampas, and veld, ranges are still being damaged and deserts are encroaching on formerly useful land. The more productive ranges with high carrying capacities usually receive adequate care, but the more arid and marginal rangelands are frequently exploited with little apparent concern for the future. Abuse of rangelands carries not only the consequences of lowered carrying capacity and a diminished economic return from the land but affects all other natural resources as well. In some areas a valuable wildlife resource is destroyed to make room for livestock; the range is then damaged so that it is no longer suited for either wildlife or livestock. Such damaged areas are a source of erosion and disruption of watersheds, which can, in turn, affect still wider areas than those originally damaged.

lived long enough to listen objectively to the howl of a wolf.

The Ethical Sequence

This extension of ethics, so far studied only by philosophers, is actually a process in ecological evolution. Its sequences may be described in ecological as well as in philosophical terms. An ethic, ecologically, is a limitation on freedom of action in the struggle for existence. An ethic, philosophically, is a differentiation of social from anti-social conduct. These are two definitions of one thing. The thing has its origin in the tendency of interdependent individuals or groups to evolve modes of co-operation. The ecologist calls these symbioses. Politics and economics are advanced symbioses in which the original free-for-all competition has been replaced, in part, by co-operative mechanisms with an ethical content.

The complexity of co-operative mechanisms has increased with population density, and the efficiency of tools. It was simpler, for example, to define the anti-social uses of sticks and stones in the days of the mastodons than of bullets and billboards in the age of motors.


Conservation Journal

The contributors cover the biosphere. And surprisingly, even when they are fairly technical, the articles are readily understandable — perhaps because the science involved is human scale. This magazine qualifies as the single journal most thoroughly in support of planetary diversity.

Read the subtitle (“the international Journal devoted to maintaining global viability through exposing and countering environmental deterioration resulting from human population-pressure and unwise technology”). Find it in the library. —Stewart Brand



North American


byPeter Warshall



IOREGIONALISM IS A recent revisioning of North America. It passionately opposes the homogenization and pasteurization of regional culture and natural landscape. Bioregionalists despise the you-could-be-anywhere motel room, Muzak, fast food, and highway strip as both gross and harsh on the human


When you flush the toilet, where does the water go? (not just the treatment plant, but the final river or lake).

spirit. They encourage our uprooted, super-mobile citizenry to stop and look and feel the bios — the life of the natural and human world immediately surrounding them — a life, so to speak, that needs to be walked and talked to be loved.

3. What soil series are you standing on?

4. How long is the growing season?

5. What are the major geological events that shaped your bioregion (faults, uplifts, downwarps, volcanics, sea floods, etc)? Does your community give them special attention ... are they sacred, blessed, protected?

6. How did the original inhabitants eat, clothe, and shelter themselves? How did they celebrate the seasonal changes in times before you?

7. How many days until the moon is full?

8. From where you are sitting, point north.

9. What other bioregions of the planet have the most similar climate, culture, and analogous plants and animals? In other words, who are your Gaian cousins?

Bioregionalism places great emphasis on time-depth. Its vision of the future is solidly enmeshed in a respect for the “ancient ones” — the long-term residents — be they rocks, bristlecone pine, creeks, kachinas, zithers, or gumbo. It celebrates a more personal and organic sense of beauty. Gifts, homes, poetry, pottery and painting connect directly to local materials — crafted by human hands — not the quick-and-easy purchase of prefabricated doodads from I. Magnin or the Seven-Eleven. In this sense, it is a quest to radically decentralized notions of beauty and values ... from the Commodity Big Boys and National Television to homey, grassroots pride in local stuff. Self-reliance, even for entertainment.

Bioregionalism is also a knee-jerk kick to the recent hammering of American democracy. Who can feel part of America when their senator represents five million citizens and the Congress is packed with 50 percent lawyers? Today’s democracy is a long way from Jacksonian times when a Senator might be the voice of 10,000 voters and Davy Crockett could actually make it to Congress. In other words, “representative democracy” is getting stretched thin. There is a yearning for more “direct democracy” — the New England town meeting or the tribal council — in which individual action has more weight. Imagine, come November, Americans going to the polling booth and voting directly on how their tax money should be divvied up: how much to military, to welfare, to preserve open spaces, to fight toxics and water pollution, to fund retirement, health, education and welfare. Could direct democracy really be any worse than electing a lawyer beholden

10. Name the major plant/animal asso-

to special interest groups to go to Washington to bargain with other lawyers?

ciations that thrive in your bioregion. Name five resident and migratory birds; five grasses; five trees; five mammals and reptiles or amphibians. Which are native?

11. Name the plant or animal that is the “barometer” of environmental health

Bioregionalism (bios, life; regere, rule or govern) is, in part, a desire to establish a more direct democracy by encompassing a larger sense of community in a more ecological sense of space: by the eco-culture, for the eco-ciilture, and of the land and waters. It is still embryonic, defining its shape and goals. But both a stronger voice for all minorities, including nonhuman creatures, and a switch from alientated voters to citizens who feel rewarded and happy participating in governing (self-determination) are two strong currents in the bioregionalist river.

for your bioregion? How’s it doing? endangered? threatened? thriving? Has it become a symbol or totem of local power for your community?

12. Name the bioregions that grew each item of food on your dinner plate. Could you eat more locally? Support nearby farms?

13. Where does your garbage go?

14. What heavenly events most influence life in your bioregion? (Fire? lightning? hail? tornadoes? fog? blizzards? drought? permafrost? chubascos? spring thaw?)

The next 13 pages introduce North American bioregionalism with the broadest brushstrokes. In fact, too broad. But, space restrictions limit us to the “spirit” rather than the details of bioregionalism. For instance, the deserts are more properly five deserts; the broadleaf forests more properly seven or eight forest types; all the mountain zones are a patchwork of complex ecological inter-fingerings. You will have to refine each sense of bioregion by overlaying your own sense of cultural and biological boundaries with regional topographic wonders like the Ozarks or Great Lakes or Snake River Plateau. We emphasize the regional bards — the poets, novelists, historians, musicians — to help celebrate each region’s joie de vivre. Simultaneously, bioregionalism continues to resist the Hostess IXvinkie syndrome and to pray for the preservation of the continent’s natural integrity. From song, spirit; from spirit, muscle; muscle, the common earth. ■

This introduction owes a lot to Jim Dodge’s much more extensive intro in the special bioregional issue of the CoEvolution Quarterly (No. 32, 1981), edited by Peter Berg and Stephanie Mills. Thanks to them and Kelly Kind- scher; Destiny, M.D.; Joe Browder; Diana Hadley; Tony Burgess; Rosey Woolridge; Joanne Kyger; and Jim Katz.

ROM POLAR BEAR TO caribou, the far north is a land of wanderers. Sometimes seal, after fishing, wander onto ice floes and meet wandering bears. The frozen Arctic, at times like these, is hardly connected to the land. But a bit south of the permanent ice and snow, where maybe eight inches of soil thaw each year, the first lichens and mosses, then sedges and grasses beneficiently

feed the caribou. This is the tundra. It always has permafrost, and when it freezes to the surface or gets covered in snow, the caribou head inland and south to the first scraggy trees (the taiga) and, in extreme years, to the thick forests (the boreal forest of spruce and hemlock). As they travel, the wolves go with them. When they reach their southern limit, they encounter their first close relative, the moose. Today, meat-eating remains; snow mobiles replace sleds; and oil drilling and cash replace starvation. TV, story-

telling, and carving still fill the long night.

—Peter Warshall

Arctic Dreams

Arctic Dreams is the first lyric, philosophical reflection on the far north and its history of human visions. It is a quest for essences in a frozen, beautiful land. Inuit solidifies tundra/seashore dreams into images of the everyday life of the Inuit people. Honest as hard ice. Between tundra, taiga, and boreal forest, the celebration of bioregions becomes more jovial. Farley Mowatt knows if best; his Never Cry Wolf and People of the Deer are the best bedtime boreal travel. Coming Into the Country by John McPhee is a journalistic musing on the new Alaska with drop-out trappers and boreal borracho. Robert Service’s poetry and Jack London’s Call of the Wild are the


—Peter Warshall

Arctic Dreams: Barry Lopez, 1986; 464 pp. $22.95 postpaid from Macmillan Publishing Co./Order Dept., Front and Brown Streets, Riverside, NJ 08075 (or Whole Earth Access).

[Suggested by Wendell Berry]

Inuit: Dili Steltzer, 1982; 216 pp. $22.50 postpaid from University of Chicago Press, 11030 South Langley Avenue, Chicago, IL 60628 (or Whole Earth Access).

Never Cry Wolf: Farley Mowat, 1973; 164 pp. $2.95 ($4.45 postpaid).

People of the Deer: Farley Mowat, 1975; 287 pp. $3.50 ($5 postpaid).

Call of the Wild: Jack London, 1903; 101 pp. $2.25 ($3.75 postpaid).

Coming Into the Country: John McPhee, 1977;

417 pp. $4.95 ($6.45 postpaid).

All from Bantam Books, 414 East Golf Road, Des Plaines, IL 60016 (or Whole Earth Access).

The spring silence is broken by pistol reports of cracking on the river, and then the sound of breaking branches and the whining pop of a falling tree as the careening blocks of ice gouge the riverbanks. A related but far eerier phenomenon occurs in the coastal ice. Suddenly in the middle of winter and without warning a huge piece of sea ice surges hundreds of feet inland, like something alive. The Eskimo call it ivu. The silent arrival of caribou in an otherwise empty landscape is another example. The long wait at a seal hole for prey to surface. Waiting for a lead to close. The Eskimo have a word for this kind of long waiting, prepared for a sudden event; quinuituq. Deep patience. —Arctic Dreams

Natural History

Audubon’s Eastern Forests (see p. 50) is the best introductory field guide to the forests of the far north. Volumes five and six (Arctic, Subarctic) of the Smithsonian series Handbook of North American Indians (see p. 56) present the most encyclopedic and complete bioregional understanding. One hundred and fifty species are covered in Mammals of the American North, a coffee-table-size book of beautiful color photography and writing that emphasizes human interconnectedness with animals in this harsh environment. —Peter Warshall

Mammals of the American North: Adrian Forsyth, 1985; 351 pp. $29.95 ($30.95 postpaid) from Firefly Books Ltd., 3520 Pharmacy Avenue, Unit 1-C, Scarborough, Ontario, Canada M1W 2T8 (or Whole Earth Access).

Making a sledge at Pelly Bay. Driftwood was rare so wooden sledges were not common. Runners were made from frozen fish wrapped in sealskin with caribou antler pieces tied as crossbars with sealskin lines. A sludge of pulverized moss and water was then put on the underside of the runner in a thick coat, frozen, coated with ice, and rubbed with wet polar bear fur to produce a hard, resistant coat of ice that allowed the sledge to run smoothly. —Handbook of North American Indians

and more recently, recreational access and use.

Stephen Whitney hqs the monopoly on good introductory books: The Sierra Nevada is a superb introduction to complex zonation and ecology. A Field Guide to the Cascades and Olympics is a good bioregional overview, giving a feel for the similarities that all forest dwellers experience. (It includes a good bibliography for going deeper.) And Western Forests broadly sweeps through all the forests

Across western North America, from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, successive mountain ranges and intervening lowlands form a deeply corrugated landscape characterized by extremes of elevation, climate, and vegetation. Trending north and south, the mountains intercept moist air masses as they move eastward from the Pacific Ocean. This not only increases the moisture on the slopes, but also reduces the precipitation that hits the lowlands and other ranges located downwind. As a result, the cool, moist mountainous areas of western North America stand as climatic islands in a region that is generally characterized by drought. The Rocky Mountains, the Sierra Nevada, the Cascade Range, and most other high ranges in the region bear conifer forests on their flanks, while most of the valley and basins that lie between them are largely covered by grasslands or desert scrub.

—Western Forests

Shasta Fern (Mystichum mohroides). Fronds evergreen, 2-divided, relatively soft, 4”-20” long; pinnlae overlapping, with pinnules lobed or toothed but never prickly or spiny; stipe straw colored, somewhat sticky or with fine hairs, scaly only toward base. Sori gen only on mid and upper pinnae, the indusia shieldlike. Rocky slopes, oft on serpentine, mont-subalp, Wenatchee Mtns. Cal Cas. s to S Amer.

—Cascades and Olympics

(Far left) Forest conifers receive plenty of light simply by reaching above lesser plants. The pronounced tapering of the crowns of firs, hemlocks, spruces, and other trees not only aids in the shedding of snow but also permits light to penetrate to the lower branches, where flattened sprays are arranged in overlapping whorls around the central trunk. (Left) Among conifers growing in open situations, those found in areas of little snow rarely show the classic Christmas-tree shape. For example, the Digger Pine of California’s oak woodland has an open, rounded crown not unlike that of a deciduous hardwood. The same is true of pinyons, junipers, and various pines and cypresses occurring in open, droughty woodlands.—Western Forests • In the grand tradition of American literary anthropology, Malcolm Margolin imaginatively reconstructs the bygone days of Northern California Indians. Such a book could be made for every region in the U.S., on the continent, on Earth. Without such felt history, respect is impossible.

The Ohlone Way (Indian Life in the San Francisco & Monterey Bay Areas): Malcolm Margolin, 1978; 182 pp. $6.95 postpaid from Heyday Books, P. O. Box 9145, Berkeley, CA 94709.

Tossed around by mountain uplifting and glaciation, pushed further and further from the benign influence of the sea, the northern needle-leaf forests diversified into a rich, highly mixed and complex series of ecological zones. Along the northern coasts, the redwoods, rain, fog, and soggy, mossy earth created North America’s most luxuriant temperate rain forest and its teller of tales, Ken Kesey. Inland and further south, the montane Sierras and oak woodlands are drier and have rooted an equally spare and bare rock poet, Gary Snyder. Still further south, the original mountain bard, John Muir, paced the grass-lined valleys to the Sierran timberline spewing forth elegant prose. Almost half-way across the continent, the Rockies, North America’s tectonic backbone, cornucopia of plains and Colorado River soils as well as desert irrigation, have no singular voice ... perhaps because of their sheer immensity and height. Ansel Adams and Edward S. Curtis are their singers in photographic imagery.

A Lady’s Life In the Rocky Mountains (written in J873) by Isabella Bird and One Day At Teton Marsh by Sally Car- righar celebrate nature and pioneer life. Lew Welch (Ring of Bone) and Jaime DeAngulo (The Jaime DeAngulo Reader) are two bards of the transition between forest and woodlands, bioregion and city. Both write of coastal

During the golden days of Indian summer, after most of the snow has been melted, and the mountain streams have become feeble, — a succession of silent pools, linked together by shallow transparent currents and strips of silvery lacework, — then the song of the Ouzel is at its lowest ebb. But as soon as the winter clouds have bloomed, and the mountain treasuries are once more replenished with snow, the voices of the streams and ouzels increase in strength and richness until the flood season of early summer. Then the torrents chant their noblest anthems, and then is the flood-time of our songster’s melody.

—The Mountains of California


Raymond Dasmanifs Environmental Conservation (see p. 45).

You have not stepped out onto the bank of the Wakonda Auga but into some misty other-world dream ... Yawning, walking thigh-deep through the ground-mist toward the house, you wonder vaguely if you are still asleep and at the same time not asleep, still dreaming and at the same time not dreaming. Couldn’t it be? This swathed and muffled ground is like a sleep; this furry silence is like dream silence. The air is so still. The foxes aren’t barking in the woods. The crows aren’t calling. You can see no ducks flying the river. You cannot hear the usual morning breeze fingering the buckthorn leaves. It is very still. Except for that soft, delicious, wet hissing ...

• —Sometimes a Great Notion

A very pretty mare, hobbled, was feeding; a collie dog barked at us, and among the scrub, not far from the track, there was a rude, black log cabin, as rough as it could be to be a shelter at all, with smoke coming out of the roof and window.... The mud roof was covered with lynx, beaver, and other furs laid out to dry, beaver paws were pinned out on the logs, a part of the carcass of a deer hung at one end of the cabin, a skinned beaver lay in front of a heap of peltry just within the door, and antlers of deer, old horseshoes, and offal of many animals lay about the den.

—A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains

Pine Tree Tops in the blue night frost haze, the sky glows with the moon pine tree tops bend snow-blue, fade into sky, frost, starlight, the creak of boots, rabbit tracks, deer tracks, what do we know.

—Turtle Island

View in the Sierra Forest —The Mountains of California

A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains: Isabella Bird, 1960; 256 pp. $4.95 ($6.45 postpaid) from Harper and Row, Keystone Industrial Park, Scranton, PA 18512.

One Day at Teton Marsh: Sally Carrighar, 1979; 239 pp. $4.25 ($5.75 postpaid) from University of Nebraska Press, 901 N. 17th Street, Lincoln, NE 68588.

Ring of Bone: Lew Welch, 1960; 224 pp. $6 from Subterranean Co., P. O. Box 10233, Eugene, OR 97440.

The Jaime De Angulo Reader: Jaime De Angulo, 1979; 254 pp. $8.95 ($9.45 postpaid) from Turtle Island Foundation, 2845 Buena Vista Way, Berkeley, CA 94708.

Each of these books is available from Whole Earth Access.

Eastern Forests: Ann & Myron Sutton, 1985; 638 pp. $14.95 ($15.95 postpaid) from Random House, Order Dept., 400 Hahn Road, Westminster, MD 21157 (or Whole Earth Access).

The North Woods (of Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota): Glenda Daniel, Jerry Sullivan, 1981; 408 pp. $10.95 ($13.45 postpaid).

The Piedmont: Michael A. Godfrey, 1980; 499 pp. $9.95 ($12.45 postpaid).

Southern New England: Neil Jorgensen, 1978; 417 pp. $12.95 ($15.45 postpaid).

All from: Sierra Club Bookstore, 730 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109 (or Whole Earth Access).

Cultural Celebration: South

The South was completely different. The eco-culture of pine woods and hickory-beech, slavery, and hillbilly Caribe-French and Elizabethan roots graced the United States with its most popular bioregional music: the blues, bluegrass, country western, cajun zydeco, cross-over rock. (See pp. 342–343 for mail order music sources.) Perhaps because poetry is so close to music, the South generated fewer poets. Because of the intensity of the slave-based economy, human drama has overridden concern for the land; there is no more fertile ground for a poetic prose of humanized landscape. Joel Chandler Harris (Uncle Remus), William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Flannery O’Connor, and Carson McCullers are some of the greats. The preeminent voice of the culture in agriculture is Wendell Berry (see also p. 61), the South’s main bioregional bard. —Peter Warshall

They stopped at The Tower for barbecued sandwiches. The Tower was a part stucco and part wood filling station and dance hall set in a clearing outside of Timothy. A fat man named Red Sammy Butts ran it and there were signs stuck here and there on the building and for miles up and down the highway saying, TRY RED SAMMY’S

Cultural Celebration: North

<em>Virgin forest is nearly impossible to find; the forests of the northeast have been settled longest, and with settlement has come a strong voice of love. “I have travelled a good deal in’Concord ...” is Thoreau’s famous line and it had many followers. Here God and Nature became inextricably tangled. In second growth forest, the Mind remained pioneer: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Emily Dickinson, Charles Olson, William Carlos Williams, Robert Creeley, Robert Frost. It’s a bioregion of beautifully crafted poetry and very moral prose</em> (e.g. <em>Hawthorne, Melville). Thoreau’s Journals (also see Walden, p. 184) — part of the great quest to give transcendental truth to each act of Nature — contain the most loving attention to seasonal change ever recorded in North America. Ernest Hemingway’s The Nick Adams Stories tells of Nick growing up in the north woods of Michigan with prose as direct and simple as a single white pine in winter snow. —Peter Warshall</em>

They came from the hot sun of the slashings into the shade of the great trees. The slashings had run up to the top of a ridge and over and then the forest began. They were walking on the brown forest floor now and it was springy and cool under their feet. There was no underbrush and the trunks of the trees rose sixty feet high before there were any branches. It was cool in the shade of the trees and high up in them Nick could hear the breeze that was rising. No sun came through as they walked and Nick knew there would be no sun through the high top branches until nearly noon. His sister put her hand in his and walked close to him.

“I’m not scared, Nickie. But it makes me feel very strange.”

“Me, too,” Nick said. “Always.” “1 never was in woods like these.”


—A Good Man Is Hard to Find e

Red Sam came in and told his wife to quit lounging on the counter and hurry up with these people’s order. His khaki trousers reached just to his hip bones and his stomach hung over them like a sack of meal swaying under his shirt. He came over and sat down at a table nearby and let out a combination sigh and yodel. “You can’t win,” he said. “You can’t win,” and he wiped his sweating red face off with a gray handkerchief. “These days you don’t know who to trust,” he said. “Ain’t that the truth?” —A Good Man Is Hard to Find

from “The Clearing”

February. A cloudy day/ foretelling spring by its warmth/ though snow will follow./ You are at work in the worn field/ returning now to thought./ The sorrel mare eager/ to the burden, you are dragging/ cut brush to the pile,/ moving in ancestral motions/ of axe-stroke, bending to log chain and trace, speaking/ immemorial bidding and praise/ to the mare’s fine ears./ And you pause to rest/ in the quiet day while the mare’s/ sweated flanks steam./

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore near Munising, Michigan.

—The North Woods

“This is all the virgin timber left around here.” “Do we go through it very long?”

“Quite a way.”

“I’d be afraid if I were alone.”

“It makes me feel strange. But I’m not afraid.”

“I said that first.”

“I know. Maybe we say it because we are afraid.” “No. I’m not afraid because I’m with you. But I know I’d be afraid alone. Did you ever come here with anyone else?”

“No. Only by myself.”

“And you weren’t afraid?”

“No. But I always feel strange. Like the way I ought to feel in church.”

—The Nick Adams Stories


Those sparrows, too, are thoughts I have. They come and go; they flit by quickly on their migrations, uttering only a faint chip, I know not whither or why exactly. One will not rest upon its twig for me to scrutinize it. The whole copse will be alive with my rambling thoughts, bewildering me by their very multitude, but they will be all gone directly without leaving me a feather. My loftiest thought is somewhat like an eagle that suddenly comes into the field of view, suggesting great things and thrilling the beholder, as if it were bound hitherward with a message for me; but it comes no nearer, but circles and soars away, growing dimmer, disappointing me, till it is lost behind a cliff or a cloud.

This is one of those ambrosial, white, ever-memorable fogs presaging fair weather. It produces the most picturesque and grandest effects as it rises, and travels hither and thither, enveloping and concealing trees and forests and hills. It is lifted up now into quite a little white mountain over Fair Haven Bay, and, even on its skirts, only the tops of the highest pines are seen above it, and all adown the river it has an uneven outline like a rugged mountain ridge; in one place some rainbow tints, and far, far in the south horizon, near the further verge of the sea (over Saxonville?) it is heaved up into great waves, as if there were breakers there. In the meanwhile the wood thrush and the jay and the robin sing around me here, and birds are heard singing from the midst of the fog. And in one short hour this sea will all evaporate and the sun be reflected from farm windows on its green bottom.

—The Journal of Henry D. Thoreau

You stand in a clearing whose cost/ you know in tendon and bone./ A kingfisher utters/ his harsh cry, rising/ from the leafless river./ Again, again, the old/ is newly come.

—Collected Poems

Collected Poems (1957–1982): Wendell Berry, 1984; 268 pp. $16.50 ($18 postpaid) from North Point Press, 850 Talbot Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94706 (or Whole Earth Access).

Mixed-prairie Valentine Refuge, Nebraska. —Grasslands

IVIDED EAST TO West into the tall- and shortgrass prairies, the temperate grasslands have been the most productive and heavily used of all North America’s soils. Deep in the Great Prairie earth grew the “totemic” grasses of the rrioregion: bluestem, needle, and grama grasses. Here the pronghorn, prairie wolf and buffalo migrated. Badgers, prairie dogs, and prairie chicken were most at home. Fear struck in the north as ground blizzards; in the midriff as hail; and in the south as tornadoes. Fast moving fires blew everywhere. This is an inland bioregion with the heavens both battling and nurturing the earth. It is an earth in which roots go deep. It is where the dust bowl sat the longest and with most weight. It is the source of more human nutrition than any other area in North America. Corn,

wheat, and soybeans replace the native grasses.

Natural History

For an overview of the continent’s grasslands — California, intermountain, desert, tailgrass, mixed, and shortgrass — get Audubon’s Grasslands. Donald Worster’s Dust Bowl chronicles the 1930s devastation of the great plains with respect and awe for the region and condemnation of the ecological values taught by the capitalist ethos. Sacred Cows at the Public Trough by Denzel and Nancy Ferguson bitterly reveals how livestock ruined the public s open range.

—Peter Warshall

Grasslands: Lauren Brown, 1985; 606 pp. $14.95 ($15.95 postpaid) from Random House/Order Dept., 400 Hahn Road, Westminster, MD 21157 (or Whole Earth Access).

Dust Bowl: Donald Worster, 1979; 277 pp. $9.95 postpaid from Oxford University Press, 16–00 Pollitt Drive, Fairlawn, NJ 07410 (or Whole Earth Access).

Sacred Cows At The Public Trough: Denzel and Nancy Ferguson, 1983; 250 pp. $8.95 ($9.95 postpaid) from Maverick Publications, Drawer 5007, Bend, OR 97708 (or Whole Earth Access).

Cultural Celebration

The land went so fast. The plains Indians had hardly created a new horse culture and the strongest spiritual vision quest in North America when the buffalo disappeared and the Indian people were scattered like the wolves. Singers of the grassland sing of the past. John Madson’s Where the Sky Began traces the prairie’s bioregional history with rooted humor and obvious love. Willa Cather, tough romantic of sod and soil, is the first- rate bard of the plains. John C. Ewer’s The Horse in Blackfoot Culture and Mari Sandoz’s Crazy Horse, The Strange Man of the Oglalas document the great flowering of plains Indian culture. —Peter Warshall

Where the Sky Began: John Madson, 1982; 321 pp. $8.95 ($11.45 postpaid) from Sierra Club Bookstore, 730 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109 (or Whole Earth Access).

My Antonia: Willa Cather, 1973; 371 pp. $5.70 ($6.40 postpaid) from Houghton Mifflin Company/Mail Order Dept., Wayside Road, Burlington, MA 01803 (or Whole Earth Access).

The Horse in Blackfoot Indian Culture: John C. Ewers, 1980; 374 pp. $16.50 ($18.25 postpaid) from Smithsonian Institution Press/Customer Service, P. O. Box 4866, Hampden Station, Baltimore, MD 21211 (or Whole Earth Access).

Crazy Horse, The Strange Man of the Oglalas: Mari Sandoz, 1942; 413 pp. $5.95 ($7.45 postpaid) from University of Nebraska Press, 901 North 17th Street, 318 Nebraska Hall, Lincoln, NE 68588–0520 (or Whole Earth Access).


July came on with that breathless, brilliant heat which makes the plains of Kansas and Nebraska the best corn country in the world. It seemed as if we could hear the

corn growing in the night; under the stars one caught a faint crackling in the dewy, heavy-odoured cornfields where the feathered stalks stood so juicy and green. If all the great plain from the Missouri to the Rocky Mountains had been under glass, and the heat regulated by a thermometer, it could not have been better for the yellow tassels that were ripening and fertilizing the silk day by day ... The burning sun of those few weeks, with occasional rains at night, secured the corn. After the milky ears were once formed, we had little to fear from dry weather. —My Antonia


Some farmers still speak of native grass as “horse hay” with the inference that it’s not respectable cattle feed. They forget that their grandfathers who fed cattle a simple fattening ration of clean water, salt, yellow corn, and prairie hay found that individual gains were seldom less than three pounds per day. We’ve come a long way since then. Now, with protein supplements, chopped clovers and bromes, mixed commercial feeds and expensive minerals and supplements, gains often range from V/z to 2Vi pounds per day. Maybe, as dad used to say, we’ve been educated beyond our intelligence.

—Where the Sky Began

• The best introduction to the life of John Wesley Powell. Beyond the Hundredth Meridian: Wallace Stegner, 1982; 458 pp. $12.50 ($14 postpaid) from University of Nebraska Press, 901 North 17th Street, 318 Nebraska Hall, Lincoln, NE 68588 (or Whole Earth Access).

• Ecology of the Southwest — in depth.

Biotic Communities of the American Southwest: David E. Brown, Editor. 1982; 342 pp. $13.95 postpaid from Boyce Thompson Southwestern Arboretum, P. O. Box AB, Superior, AZ 85273 (or Whole Earth Access).

THIS IS a BIOREGION defined by its lacks: no blizzards, no fog, no tornadoes, no regular rainfall. What it’s got is solar heat. The light is intense. The rare clouds become instantly sacred. Rain is loved like nowhere else. The visual arts flourish: Pueblo pottery, Navajo weaving, outdoor ritual, Georgia O’Keefe. A common pride in survival connects humans, sidewinders, road runners and cacti. This is the most diverse cultural region (not counting cities). Native peoples still speak their languages and practice their blessings. A regional sense of spirit has been slowly fused together from Native American, Spanish, and Anglo-European influences. Mormons, followers of a religion native to the U.S., flex much moral and financial muscle. Sunbelt cities eat up the desert and suck the once lush rivers dry. It was all foretold by Hopi prophets and John Wesley Powell and fueled by a web of powerlines; there is no turning back. —Peter Warshall

Black-on-white pitcher dating 1100–1200 from San Cosmos, Apache Co., Ariz.

—Handbook of North American Indians, Vol. 9 (seo p. 56).


Natural and Cultural

Audubon’s Deserts is a broad natural history of the four major North American deserts: the cold Great Basin, the lush Sonoran, the winter-rain Mojave, and the summerrain Chihuahuan. Van Dyke’s The Desert is the most painterly prose and (still) the best on the Sonoran. The strongest celebration comes from the residents: Simon Ortiz of Acoma is the poet; Native Americans no longer have to depend on anglo interpretations, thanks to Larry Evers’ editing of The South Corner of Time; Rudolpho Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima places desert powers in the heart of a great bruja. Norman Mailer confronts Great Basin Mormonism in The Executioner’s song.

—Peter Warshall

Deserts: James A. MacMahon, 1985; 638 pp. $14.95 ($15.95) postpaid) from Random House/Order Dept., 400 Hahn Road, Westminster, MD 21157 (or Whole Earth Access).

The Desert: John C. Van Dyke, 1980; 272 pp. $3.45 ($4.95 postpaid) from Gibbs M. Smith, P. O. Box 667, Layton, UT 84041 (or Whole Earth Access).

The South Corner of Time: Larry Evers, 1981; 240 pp. $17.50 ($18.50 postpaid) from University of Arizona Press, 1615 $peedway, Tucson, AZ 85719 (or Whole Earth Access).

Bless Me, Ultima: Rudolfo A. Anaya, 1972; 249 pp. $12 ($13 postpaid) from Tonatiuh-Quinto Sol International, Inc.,

P. O. Box 9275, Berkeley, CA 94709 (or Whole Earth Access).

The Executioner’s Song: Norman Mailer, 1979; 1200 pp. $25 ($26 postpaid) from Little, Brown and Company/Attn.: Order Dept., 200 West Street, Waltham, MA 02254 (or Whole Earth Access).

Georgia O’Keefe: Georgia O’Keefe, 1976, 216 pp. $29.95 ($31.45 postpaid) from Viking/Penguin,

299 Murray Hill Parkway, East Rutherford, NJ 07073 (or Whole Earth Access).

A Good Journey: Simon Ortiz, 1984; 165 pp. $8.95 ($9.95 postpaid) from University of Arizona Press, 1615 Speedway, Tucson, AZ 85719 (or Whole Earth Access).


The dust-particle in itself is sufficient to account for the warmth of coloring in the desert air — sufficient in itself to produce the pink, yellow, and lilac hazes. And yet I am tempted to suggest some other causes. It is not easy to prove that a reflection may be thrown upward upon the air by the yellow face of the desert beneath it — a reflection similar to that produced by a fire upon a night sky — yet I believe there is something of the desert’s aircoloring derived from that source. Nor is it easy to prove that a reflection is cast by blue, pink, and yellow skies, upon the lower air-strata, yet certain effects shown in the mirage (the water illusion, for instance, which seems only the reflection of the sky from heated air) seem to suggest it. And if we put together other casual observations they will make argument toward the same goal. For instance, the common blue haze that we may see any day in the mountains, is always deepest in the early morning when the blue sky over it is deepest. At noon when the sky turns gray-blue the haze turns gray-blue also. The yellow haze of the desert is seen at its best when there is a yellow sunset, and the pink haze when there is a red sunset, indicating that at least the sky has some part in coloring by reflection the lower layers of desert air.

Whatever the cause, there can be no doubt about the effect. The desert air is practically colored air.

—The Desert



ACH BIOREGION has its own: cienaga, tanque, branch, creek, swamp, marsh, bog, glade, slough, swale, wallow, bottoms, bayou, oxbow, pool, pond, brook, run, kill. Wetlands define bioregion personality, create the intimacy with the local lore and the local pacing of nature. Sources and springs used to be held in the highest regard ... a few hot springs still remain

associated with healing and a few springs have been given a second lease on life by the bottled water business. But water is so precious to commodity production (irrigated crops, cattle forage, land-filling and channelization for real estate, cooling power plants, etc.) that wetlands are our number one endangered ecological and cultural region. In the United States, there are fewer free-flowing rivers of any length than living condors. Riverlife, duck hunting, trout fishing, swimming, boating ... many of the areas Americans use for

escape are disappearing, just as the desire for open water floods our hearts.

—Peter Warshall

A Fluent Celebration

Audubon’s Wetlands is the best of Audubon survey guides written by one of the finest ecologists to immerse himself in the subject. Appropriately, there is no one fluvial bard, but many ... each pouring forth the mysterious solution of water and words. Here are words from some of my favorites. —Peter Warshall

Round River: Luna B. Leopold, 1953; 173 pp. $3.95 postpaid from Oxford University Press, 16–00 Pollitt Drive, Fair Lawn, NJ 07410 (or Whole Earth Access).

Life on the Mississippi: Mark Twain, 1961; 384 pp. $1.95 ($2.95 postpaid) from New American Library, 120 Woodbine Street, Bergenfield, NJ 07621 (or Whole Earth Access).

A River Runs Through It: Norman McLean, 1976; 217 pp. $7.95 postpaid from University of Chicago, 11030 South Langley, Chicago, IL 60628 (or Whole Earth Access).

Wetlands: William A. Niering, 1985; 638 pp. $14.95 ($15.95 postpaid) from Random House/Order Dept., 400 Hahn Road, Westminster, MD 21157 (or Whole Earth Access).

broke again, for it was plain that I had got to learn this troublesome river both ways. —Life on the Mississippi

He who hears the rippling of rivers in these degenerate days will not utterly despair. —Thoreau

Carl also caught two huge pike, one on a barbless spoon and the other on a pork rind. Each took forty minutes to land — they were so heavy that the light rod acted exactly as if it were trying to lift a railroad tie.

Both pike had scars, and the smaller one a healed nick in his back. Both were the same length but the first one was deeper and heavier. It is impossible to squeeze in the gill covers on these huge fish — they can be lifted only by getting the fingers behind the gills. Even then one’s hand would not reach around a much bigger one. Weighed them by using Starker’s bow on a paddle, giving the scales three times the leverage of the fish, and multiplying the scale reading by three. Thus we stayed within the capacity of the scales. —Round River


Wetlands evoke powerful emotions. To some they are dark, mysterious, forbidding places, to be avoided at all costs.... Perhaps one of the most memorable descriptions of a wetland occurs in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” in which he describes the Great Grimpen Mire, where the villain meets his horrible fate:

Rank weeds and lush, slimy water plants send an odour of decay and a heavy miasmatic vapor into our faces, while a false step plunged us more than once thigh-deep into the dark, quivering mire, which shook for yards in soft undulations around our feet.

This is surely a masterful description of a bog, one of North America’s most fascinating wetlands. —Wetlands

When I returned to the pilothouse St. Louis was gone and I was lost. Here was a piece of river which was all down in my book, but I could make neither head nor tail of it; you understand, it was turned around. I had seen it when coming upstream, but I had never faced about to see how it looked when it was behind me. My heart

“In the part I was reading it says the Word was in the beginning and that’s right. I used to think that water was first, but if you listen carefully you will hear that the words are underneath the water.”

“That’s because you are a preacher first and then a fisherman,” I told him.

“No,” my father said, “you are not listening carefully.

The water runs over the words ...”

A river, though, has so many things to say that it is hard to know what it says to each of us .... Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.

• To help save rivers contact these two groups.

American Rivers Conservation Council: information free from 322 4th Street NE, Washington, DC 20002.

Friends of the River: information free from Building C., Ft.

Mason Center, San Francisco, CA 94123.

• A pro-development but excellent basic river reference with river by river bibliography.

Rolling Rivers: Richard Bartlet, 1984; 298 pp. $29.95 postpaid from McGraw-Hill, Order Dept., Princeton Road, Hightstown, NJ 08520.

Natural History

Once <em>again, Audubon has put out the best overview of a diverse region. Pacific Coast covers seashells, mammals, fish, seaweed, algae, invertebrates, and birds: it suffers, however, from nonseasonal bird plumages and unuseable views of whales. For a closer look I like this more detailed local guide: Seashore Life of the Northern</em> Pacific Coast.

The Atlantic coast equivalent to the above Audubon guide is Peterson’s A Field Guide to the Atlantic Seashore. For home reading and car travel, Sierra Club’s The North Atlantic Coast (Cape Cod to Newfoundland) and The Middle Atlantic Coast (Cape Hatteras to Cape Cod) serve as introductory ecology textbooks and great location guides for seeing the action. —Peter Warshall

Pacific Coast: Bayard H. and Evelyn McConnaughey, 1985; 633 pp. $14.95 ($15.95 postpaid) from Random House, Order Dept., 400 Hahn Rd., Westminster, MD 21157 (or Whole Earth Access).

Seashore Life of the Northern Pacific Coast: Eugene N.

Kozloff, 1973, 1983; 370 pp. $19.95 ($21.45 postpaid) from University of Washington Press, P. O. Box 50096, Seattle, WA 98145 (or Whole Earth Access).

Field Guide to the Atlantic Seashore: Kenneth L. Gosner, 1978; 329 pp. $11.70 ($12.20 postpaid) from Houghton Mifflin Co., Mail Order Dept., Wayside Road, Burlington, MA 01803 (or Whole Earth Access).

The North Atlantic Coast: Michael and Deborah Berrill, 1981; 464 pp. $10.95 ($13.45 postpaid) from Sierra Club Bookstore, 730 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109 (or Whole Earth Access).

The Middle Atlantic Coast: Bill Perry, 1985; 470 pp. $12.95 ($15.45 postpaid) from Sierra Club Bookstore, 730 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109 (or Whole Earth Access).

• The best access to coastline protection and news.

The Underwater Naturalist: D. W. Bennett, Editor. $20/year (4 issues) from The American Littoral Society, Highlands, NJ 07732 (or Whole Earth Access).

• Exquisite color photographs of life in the intertidal zone with clear text on the underlying ecological processes at work. The Intertidal Wilderness: Anne Wertheim, 1984; 156 pp. $14.95 ($17.45 postpaid) from Sierra Club Bookstore, 730 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109 (or Whole Earth Access).

OCKS, sand dunes, bays, marshes, and protected wharves ... all lapped and slapped by the seas. More people live on coastal edges than anywhere else on

Waves crashing on the shores of Acadia National Park,

—The North Atlantic Coast

Rachel Carson — the woman who first traced the path of DDT from the sea to the soul, awakening the world to toxic karmic feedback — loved the tangled ways of Nature.

She wrote a much imitated, never quite reproduced naturalist prose in which language and knowledge meld like foam, waves, and the patterns of a sandy beach. The edge of fhe Sea is this bioregion’s bible.

North America’s grandest Atlantic and Pacific coast bays have their seaward scribes. John Steinbeck’s The Log from the Sea of Cortez is his journey with primo coastal naturalist Ed Ricketts. It is one of his finest, widening works, as happens at the sea’s edge. Chesapeake Bay is a clamshell: top lid is William Warner’s Beautiful Swimmers on crabs, men and estuaries; the bottom lid is Life in the Chesapeake Bay, the single best field guide available. —Peter Warshall

TheEdgeof the Sea: Rachel Carson, 1955; 276pp. $9.70 ($11.20 postpaid) from Houghton Mifflin Co., Mail Order Dept., Wayside Rd., Burlington, MA 01803 (or Whole Earth Access). The Lag from the Sea of Cortez: John Steinbeck, 1951; 336 pp. $4.95 ($5.95 postpaid) from Viking/Penguin Books, 299 Murray Hill Pkwy., East Rutherford, NJ 07073 (or Whole Earth Access). Beautiful Swimmers: William W. Warner, 1976; 304 pp. $6.95 ($7.95 postpaid) from Viking/Penguin Books, 299 Murray Hill Pkwy., East Rutherford, NJ 07073 (or Whole Earth Access). Life in the Chesapeake Bay: Alice J. Lippson and Robert L. Lippman, 1984; 229 pp. $12.95 ($14.95 postpaid) from Johns Hopkins University Press, 701 40th Street, Suite 275, Baltimore, MD 21211 (or Whole Earth Access).


Compared to the oceans, the Chesapeake Bay is very shallow, the average depth of the main stem being less than 30 feet and the average depth of the entire system,

including all tidewater tributaries, only 20 feet.... The vast expanses of relatively shallow water in the Bay support a wide variety of bottom life that thrives at depths of less than 20 feet. The Chesapeake’s world-famous oyster and soft-shelled clam harvests are attributable to the amount of suitable shallow-water habitat present in the Bay. —Life in the Chesapeake Bay


Indeed, as one watches the little animals, definite words describing them are likely to grow hazy and less definite, and as species merges into species, the whole idea of definite independent species begins to waver, and a scale-like concept of animal variations comes to take its place. The whole taxonomic method in biology is clumsy and unwieldy, shot through with the jokes of naturalists and the egos of men who wished to have animals named after them.

—The Log from the Sea of Cortez

Immense ice sheets still covered the region as recently as 10,000 years ago. Rivers of Ice flowed down from the coastal mountains and merged, becoming a continuous Ice sheet from Puget Sound to the Alaska Peninsula. In the Puget Sound region, the Ice attained thicknesses of more than a mile; since the sea level was then some 200 to 300 feet lower than it is now, the ocean met this Ice sheet well out on what is now the continental shelf. The retreat of the Ice sheets opened up vast areas of new and still evolving coastal habitats from Alaska to Washington. —Pacific Coast

The Sacred

I love this book. I read it like Jews and Christians read the Bible or Asian peoples read Confucius or Buddhists their sutras. Life may be complex, but the religious principles of traditional native peoples are simple, straightforward and clear. The Sacred quietly, carefully and somewhat bookishly lays out the everyday morality of Native Americans before the whiteman. This book is the growing bridge between modern Euro-American society and the strength, beauty and vitality of North America’s earliest inhabitants. —Peter Warshall

This book was prepared for use by young Native Americans and largely put together by Native Americans. It’s a spiritual field guide for North America. —Stewart Brand e

To us a clown is somebody sacred, funny, powerful, ridiculous, holy, shameful, visionary. He is all this and then some more. Fooling around, a clown is really performing a spiritual ceremony. He has a power. It comes from the thunder-beings, not the animals or the earth. In our Indian belief, a clown has more power than the atom bomb. This power could blow off the dome of the Capitol. I have told you that I once worked as a rodeo clown. This was almost like doing spiritual work. Being a clown, for me, came close to being a medicine man. It was in the same nature. (Lame Deer, 1972:236)

Handbooks of

North American Indians

These volumes are the most straightforward history ever written on the peoples inhabiting North America before Anglo-European arrival. They are honest tracings of what happened io each tribal group — be it extinction; exodus from their homelands; fusion with Anglo-Europeans or another tribe; or decreased or increased tribal sovereignty and power. There are superb essays of the peoples known (even to the Indians) only from artifacts and diggings. Each volume features an “eco-cultural” area with excellent essays on local problems ... snow or heat, grizzlies or witchcraft, food shortages or war. In short, these volumes will be our basic North American Indian references for all time. If you have even the slightest interest in the human, ecological, and spiritual history of the place you live in, you will devour your regional volume. Six published. Fourteen to go. Great prices and photos. —Peter Warshall

As usual, peerless work. —Stewart Brand

Black Elk Speaks

The Pueblo tribes don’t go in for visionary solitary mystical whizbangs. (Of all of them only Taos is into peyote very much.) The plains tribes are something else however. Their lives turned on their visions — solo manhood transports, dreams, name visions, sun dance ordeals, battle ecstasy, doctoring sessions ... and later, ghost dance and peyote. This book is the power vision of one Oglala Sioux — and the extraordinary man it made. Black Elk’s account, besides affording unusual insight into Sioux life and historical figures such as Crazy Horse, demonstrates the manner of recognizing a serious vision and being responsible for it, and the burden, joy and power of doing that. —Stewart Brand

Then I was standing on the highest mountain of them all, and round about beneath me was the whole hoop of the world. And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a

Ishi In Two Worlds

One August day in 1911 the last wild Indian in America, near gone with starvation, the rest of his tribe dead, walked into a northern California town. Adopted by the brilliant anthropologist, Alfred Kroeber, he lived his remaining years in a California museum. This book by Kroeber’s wife reconstructs Ishi’s wild years in the Deer Creek area and tells with affection of his civilized years in San Francisco. For millions of readers, Ishi is our emotional link to native America. —Stewart Brand

Handbooks of North American Indians:

Vol. 5 (Arctic): 1984; 829 pp. $30.50.

Vol. 6 (Subarctic): 1981; 837 pp. $26.50.

Vol. 8 (California): 1978; 800 pp. $26.50.

Vol. 9 (Southwest): 1979; 701 pp. $24.50.

Vol. 11 (Great Basin): 1986; 868 pp. $28.50.

Vol. 15 (Northeast): 1978; 924 pp. $28.50.

All postpaid from Smithsonian Institution Press, P. O. Box 4866/Hampden Station, Baltimore, MD 21211 (or Whole Earth Access).

sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being. And I saw that the sacred hoop of my people was one of many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father. And I saw that it was holy.

Black Elk said the mountain he stood upon in his vision was Harney Peak, in the Black Hills. “But anywhere is the center of the world,” he added.

• For young and old alike, Man in Nature (p. 387) provides the best introduction to pre-Columbian North America.

• A rip-roaring, controversial study of Celtic and Semitic migrations to pre-Columbian North America.

America B.C.: Barry Fell, 1976; 312 pp. $9.95 postpaid from Simon & Schuster, Mail Order Sales, 200 Old Tappan Road, Old Tappan, NJ 07675 (or Whole Earth Access).


Bioregional Magazines

Bioregional magazines serve ecological, rather than political boundaries. They are magnifying glass local. If you’re lucky enough to have one roosting where you live, read it for insight into what’s unique about the culture and politics of your particular biological region. These publications tend to alter your notion of where you live from, “I live in this county” to “I live in this watershed.” The following survey covers only a few of a growing number. Seek one out near you —Jeanne Carstensen


From the southern Appalachian Mountains (North and South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia). Folksy and informative articles on Native American traditions and American pioneer know-how as important parts of the ongoing health of the region.

Marnie Muller, David Wheeler, et al., Editors. SlO/year (4 issues) from Katuah, P. O. Box 873, Cullowhee, NC 28723.

High Country News

Intelligent and unique economic, political and bureaucratic reporting for the Rocky Mountains, Great Basin, and Colorado Plateau.

Betsy Marston, Editor. $28/year (22 issues) from High Country News, Box 1090, Paonia, CO 81428.

Raise the Stakes

Excels at integrating urban life and bioregional perspective. Raise the Stakes comes from San Francisco (at the mouth of the great northern and central California water

Planet Drum Foundation

The originators of Reinhabiting a Separate Country and of the term “reinhabitation.” A membership with Planet Drum gets you three issues of their newsletter. Raise the Stakes (above), access to the names and whereabouts of bioregional groups in North America, and a yearly Bundle. Each Bundle is a selection of context-shifting maps, poems, artwork and essays on such subjects as the Hudson Estuary or the Rocky Mountains. Exploratory thinking and publishing. —Stewart Brand


Something is happening along the Hudson. Individuals, families and communities are rediscovering native and traditional life styles unique to the Hudson Estuary. At • Three good texts for budding bioregionalists

The Ecology of North America: Victor E. Shelford.


Natural Vegetation of North America: John L. Vankat, 1979; 261 pp. $23.95 postpaid from John Wiley and Sons/Order Dept., 1 Wiley Drive, Somerset, NJ 08873.

Natural Regions of the United States and Canada: Charles B. Hunt, 1974; 725 pp. $31.95 ($33.45 postpaid) from W. H.

Freeman, 4419 W. 1980 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84104. shed) and generally has the best reviews of regional art, music, and food. It’s also THE place to get bioregional news from around North America and Europe.

Robert Watts, Editor. $15/year (3 issues) from Planet Drum Foundation, P. O. Box 31251, San Francisco, CA 94131.

Ridge Review

Satisfying, in-depth explorations of one northern California coastal topic per issue, e.g., the wine industry, health, offshore oil, the marijuana industry, local rivers. Nicely produced. One of the best.

Jim Tarbell, Judy Tarbell, Lucie Marshall, Editors. $7/year (4 issues) from Ridge Review, P. O. Box 90, Mendocino, CA 95460.

Siskiyou Country

Life in the Klamath-Siskiyou Mountains of California and Oregon revolves largely around the health of the timber industry and the health of the forests — which work against each other. This conflict is covered well, along with regional culture — a bit heavy on Native American rituals.

Pedro Tama, Editor. $10/year (6 issues) from The Siskiyou Regional-Education Project, P. O. Box 989, Cave Junction, OR 97523.

Akwesasne Notes

The largest and most thorough American Indian newspaper, Akwesasne Notes is the best way to follow the ongoing Indian struggles over their sacred homelands. News from first peoples on other continents, as well.

Dog George, Editor. $10/year (6 issues) from Mohawk Nation, P. O. Box 196, Rooseveltown, NY 13683–0196.

the same time, they are working toward a low energy future. By weaving together local heritage and long term sustainability, reinhabitants are shaping a new identity for themselves: A human culture that acts to preserve the health of the wider life community; felt personal responsibility as the keeper of this culture.

—Hudson Estuary Bundle

Whereas the other tribes are relatively recent arrivals, the Pygmies have been in the forest for many thousands of years. It is their world, and in return for their affection and trust it supplies them with all their needs. They do not have to cut the forest down to build plantations, for they know how to hunt the game of the region and gather the wild fruits that grow in abundance there, though hidden to outsiders. They know how to distinguish the innocent-looking itaba vine from the many others it resembles so closely, and they know how to follow it until it leads them to a cache of nutritious, sweet-tasting roots. They know the tiny sounds that tell where the bees have hidden their honey; they recognize the kind of weather that brings a multitude of different kinds of mushrooms springing to the surface; and they know what kinds of wood and leaves often disguise this food. The exact moment when termites swarm, at which they must be caught to provide an important delicacy, is a mystery to any but the people of the forest. They know the secret language that is denied all outsiders and without which life in the forest is an impossiblity.

—The Forest People

Between 40 and 50 percent of all types of living things — as many as five million species of plants, animals, and insects — live in tropical rainforests, though they cover less than 2 percent of the globe....

A typical four-square-mile patch of rainforest, according to a report by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, contains up to 1,500 species of flowering plants, as many as 750 species of tree, 125 species of mammal, 400 species of bird, 100 of reptile, 60 of amphibian, and 150 of butterfly, though some sites have more. Insects in tropical rainforests are so abundant and so little known that it is difficult to establish an average density. The same report cites a recent estimate that 2.5 acres might contain 42,000 species. Ten square feet of leaf litter, when analyzed, turned up 50 species of ant alone.

—In the Rainforest

Tropical rainforests are being destroyed faster than any other natural community. A United Nations study from 1976 offers the most optimistic assessment of forest loss. It found that, of the 2.4 billion acres of rainforest left in the world, 14 million are completely and permanently destroyed each year. That is almost 30 acres every minute of every day. In 1980 the U.S. National Academy of Sciences announced an even worse figure. It said that over 50 million acres of rainforest — an area the size of England, Scotland, and Wales — are destroyed or seriously degraded each year. The most comprehensive study to date, published in 1981 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, says that at present rates almost one fifth of the world’s remaining tropical rainforest will be completely destroyed or severely degraded by the end of the century.

—In the Rainforest

Rainforest Action Network: Membership $25/year, $15 low- income (includes 12 issues of Rainforest Action Network Alert); from Rainforest Action Network, 466 Green Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, CA 94133.



Arid Lands • The Mountain People

In the lands with little rain, erratic rain, and/or excessive heat, a unique eco-culture evolved in nonhuman and human species. Arid Lands is a coffee table book but well researched with Time-Life photographic beauty. It ends with a peculiar optimism about turning the deserts green.

On the other hand, 70 nations now confront expanding aridity. Never before has a combination of poor land management, misplaced foreign aid, self-serving local politics, and weather so dramatically led to starvation as in the recent drought in Ethiopia. The Mountain People describes what happens during famine better than any book I know. The fabric rips and we see the Ik (a tribal people of northern Kenya) possessed by a dark humor and seemingly cruel betrayal of even their closest kin.

The best pamphlet on desertification is Spreading Deserts — The Hand of Man by Erik Eckholm and Lester Brown (Worldwatch Paper #13; see p. 92). —Peter Warshall


A comparison of present continental configurations with those predicted for 100 million years in the future shows a markedly different arrangement of land under the subtropical belts of high pressure (shaded bands). With far more land in the vicinity of lat. 30°N., the Northern Hemisphere will have a colder, drier climate and more extensive deserts. Conversely, less land and more water in the Southern Hemisphere will contribute to a warmer, wetter climate and fewer deserts. —Arid Lands

Blind log war a ... when he tried to reach a dead hyena for a share of the putrid meat, his fellow Ik trampled him underfoot. He thought it quite funny.

—The Mountain People


($15.95 postpaid) from: Silver Burdett Co.

Attn.: Order Processing 250 James Street/ CN 1918

Morristown, NJ 07960 or Whole Earth Access


An Australian frog creates a moist world of its own for protection from the desert’s aridity. The frog lies dormant in its burrow most of the year, sheathed in a layer of skin that retains body moisture, and reemerges only during infrequent rains. —Arid Lands

The problem of desertification is not Africa’s alone. Each year immense clouds of hot dust rise over the Sahara and drift westward across the Atlantic. In 1982 a cloud more than 1,000 miles long reached Florida, dumping massive quantities of dust into the atmosphere along the way and raising air-pollution levels precipitously before it finally dissipated.

The United States in fact did not need a plume of Saharan sand to remind it of its own problems with advancing aridity. In the American West alone, 500 million tons of topsoil wash away into streams and rivers each year.

—Arid Lands

The Mountain People

Colin M. Turnbull 1972; 309 pp.

$9.95 postpaid from: Simon and Schuster Mail Order Sales 200 Old Tappan Road Old Tappan, NJ 07675 or Whole Earth Access

The Future of the Oceans

This book is full of wonderful facts. It is the first to present and analyze the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea ... perhaps the first global government of Third World and industrialized nations. It is well written with an extremely sophisticated sense of the marine resources, marine ecology, and marine-based economy of our largest bioregion: the vast ocean filled with fish, aquatic plants, mineral nodules, and petroleum power.

—Peter Warshall

Only four species of aquatic plants have been fully domesticated: the red algae Porphyra and Eucheuma and the brown algae Laminaria and Undaria. The main producer countries are China (Laminaria), Japan (Porphyra and Undaria), and the Philippines (Eucheuma).

Desertification of the United States, by David Sheridan (U.S. Government Printing Office), is out of print but crucial to understanding U.S. problems.

• For more on oceans, see the World Ocean Floor Panorama Map and Times Atlas of the Oceans (p. 14).

• The Rachael Carson classic on oceans:

The Sea Around Us: 1950; 221 pp.; $4.95 ($5.95 postpaid) from New American Library, 120 Woodbine Street, Bergenfield, NJ 07621.

Full domestication of aquatic plants passes through three stages: (1) prudent management of natural stocks (e.g., regulating the harvest seasons and harvest techniques);

(2) manipulation of the environment (e.g., improving substratum and fertilization and regulating temperature and light); and (3) control of the reproductive process, artificial propagation of seeds and spores, and selective breeding of the plant.

Approximately two million wet tons of seaweed are harvested annually from cultivated and wild sources. The potential for further production is without limit.

Japan employs eight thousand undersea coal miners who produce about ten million tons of coal from the oceans per year. The mines are too far away from shore to make tunneling from shore practical, so the Japanese built artificial islands from which to drive their shafts into the seabed.

In the 1970s, the German oceanographic ship Valdivia explored off the coast of Mozambique and discovered heavy sands at a depth of between twenty and 500 meters. These sands contain about 50 million tons of recoverable ilmenite, 1.5 million tons of rutile, and 4 million tons of zircon, all of which add up to ten times the present annual production of the industrialized world.

Land Use

THE ENDLESS BALANCING ACTS of civilization get played out on the land. Here f starvation, there economic collapse from oversupply. Here urban claustrophobia, there g rural loneliness. Human life dangles on a few threads — sunshine, rainfall and topsoil.

From these come plants, and the kind of relationship we have with green things defines who we are.

—Richard Nilsen

Soil and Civilization Edward Hyams 1976; 312 pp.


($16.45 postpaid) from: $tate Mutual Books 521 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10017 or Whole Earth Access

Soil and Civilization

Edward Hyams writes the first and best “watershed history” of ancient and present civilizations. Rather than focusing on the genius of Pericles or the naval talents of Themistocles, he focuses on the ultimate, long-term strength of Greece or any nation: its soil. He elegantly chronicles, for instance, how oak forest cutting led to topsoil erosion creating a subsoil economy (olives and vineyards) which made Athens dependent on naval trade to get topsoil crops (wheat). Includes the Euphrates and America’s dustbowl. If one book on history should be read by everyone, I would choose Soil and Civilization.

—Peter Warshall


The Egyptians were not obliged to discover manuring

before settling, not obliged to advance from soil/parasit- ism to soil-making in order to found cities. The Nile replaced every year what the Egyptians took out of it.

Many advantages of the Egyptian and of Mesopotamian environment have been put forward to explain the precocious rise of their urban civilizations, while the peoples of other regions were still held back in the simpler ways of Neolithic culture. But the attribute of the Nile valley, which it shared with the Euphrates-Tigris delta, and which assured to the Egyptian and Mesopotamian peoples their long lead in the progress towards civilization, was surely the one which enabled them to settle down and exploit the soils of their countries as soon as they had learnt to till them, and without having to find a way of re-making the soil every year.

Soil Erosion Sandra S. Batie 1983; 136 pp.


($10.50 postpaid) from: The Conservation Foundation

1255 23 rd Street NW Suite 200

Washington, DC 20037 or Whole Earth Access

Soil Erosion

No moralizing. No righteous insinuations that farmers or corporations are out to starve future generations by mining the nation’s soils. Instead, the political nitty-gritty: how terribly difficult it is to harmonize cash-flow problems (farm debt, land prices, fluctuating markets, federal subsidies, equipment purchases) and soil conservation practices. Learn how “targeting” erosion-control funds to the worst situations can slip into pork-barrel funding; how cross-compliance policies (eg., the feds insure crops against weather disasters in exchange for farmers’ following good erosion-control guidelines) lose control in times of high crop demand; how punishing farmers for sloppy land use practices has never worked; how incentives for farmers who rent must be different from those for farmers who own.

This book competently fills a vacant niche, the niche of America’s most important politics — saving its topsoil.

—Peter Warshall


Erosion not only robs farmland of its fertility, it also seriously pollutes the nation’s waterways.... Ironically, most Americans believe our soil erosion problem was resolved during the 1930s when severe droughts and dust storms swept across the prairies and midwestern soil accumulated on windowsills of the Capitol in Washington, D.C.... If Americans do not take seriously the accumulating evidence about the extent and conse-

quences of erosion, the country’s agricultural future may be undermined, perhaps not this decade or next, but sometime early in the twenty-first century.

Erosion is a natural process. When lands are covered by vegetation, the rate of erosion is slow, approximately 1 inch every 100 to 250 years, and is offset by the creation of new soil. But on lands devoid of vegetation ... erosion rates increase by magnitudes.

Ecology of Compost Daniel L. Dindal 1976; 12 pp.

25 cents postpaid from:

State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry Syracuse, NY 13210

Ecology of Compost

Backyard composting, brief and simple. Whether you have a window box or a whole farm, the principle is the same — take care of your soil and your soil will take care of you. Soils need to be fed just like people.

—Richard Nilsen


• Some soils need fertilizer or minerals before they’ll grow crops. A soil test kit can tell you if your soil needs help. This kit includes a Soil Handbook.

LaMotte Model EL Garden Guide Kit: Information free from LaMotte Chemical Products Co., P. O. Box 329, Chestertown, MD 21620

• See also “earthworms,” p. 82.

The Unsettling of America

Our land is more undone by our agriculture than by any other mischief. Farmer, poet, essayist Wendell Berry speaks to the matter with plain speech — it rasps the brain, leaves a memory of the thought. Don’t say it is no longer possible to do our farming right. Berry is.

—Stewart Brand

We need wilderness as a standard of civilization and as a cultural model. Only by preserving areas where nature’s processes are undisturbed can we preserve an accurate sense of the impact of civilization upon its

The One-Straw Revolution

By changing one of the grasses in his rice fields to another variety, Fukuoka started a process that brought his part of the ecosystem into a natural balance. On his farm he gets yields comparable to traditional farms’ but without plowing; he lets nature do the work. He simply plants and harvests — pretty revolutionary. The book describes his method. —Rosemary Menninger

Make your way carefully through these fields. Dragonflies and moths fly up in a flurry. Honeybees buzz from blossom to blossom. Part the leaves and you will see insects, spiders, frogs, lizards and many other small animals bustling about in the cool shade. Moles and earthworms burrow beneath the surface.

This is a balanced rice field ecosystem. Insect and plant communities maintain a stable relationship here. It is not uncommon for a plant disease to sweep through this area, leaving the crops in these fields unaffected.

And now look over at the neighbor’s field for a moment. The weeds have all been wiped out by herbicides and cultivation. The soil animals and insects have been exterminated by poison. The soil has been burned clean of organic matter and microorganisms by chemical fertilizers. In the summer you see farmers at work in the fields, wearing gas masks and long rubber gloves. These rice fields, which have been farmed continuously for over 1,500 years, have now been laid waste by the exploitive farming practices of a single generation.

See also New Roots for Agriculture, p. 85.

The classic on the domestication of plants, by a damned interesting man. Bless him, he annotates his bibliography. Plants, Man and Life: Edgar Anderson, 1952; 251 pp. $3.95 ($5.45 postpaid) from University of California Press, 2120 Berkeley Way, Berkeley, CA 94720.

Or Whole Earth Access natural sources. Only if we know how the land was can we tell how it is.

A part of the health of a farm is the farmer’s wish to remain there. His long-term good intention toward the place is signified by the presence of trees. A family is married to a farm more by their planting and protecting of trees than by their memories or their knowledge, for the trees stand for their fidelity and kindness to what they do not know. The most revealing sign of the ill health of industrial agriculture — its greed, its short-term ambitions — is its inclination to see trees as obstructions and to strip the land bare of them.

Meeting the Expectations of the Land

The title of this collection of essays about sustainable agriculture conveys an apt reversal. A line from Robert Frost might help: “The land was ours before we were the land’s.” The ideas here are visionary in that they look both forward and backward in time, but lest you think the book advocates a retreat to agricultural animism, it is worth emphasizing that these ideas are also very practical. You won’t find them in use on most American farms today because there the emphasis has been on productivity and profits.

Profits? Even if your news from the farm comes only from the TV, you know you can forget about “profits” in farming. And productivity? Sure, that’s there, but it is the same kind you find in a coal mine. When the coal is gone you shut if down and move on. When the topsoil is gone, or the soil is salted out from irrigation, where do you go?

You go to a kind of agriculture that can sustain; not only the land, but also the life on it and in it, as well as the people who work it and those who depend on them for food. This book is full of clues to how that kind of agriculture will work, by people like Gene Logsdon, John Todd and Gary Snyder. —Richard Nilsen

I once asked an Amish farmer who had only twenty-six acres why he didn’t acquire a bit more land. He looked around at his ten fine cows, his sons hoeing the corn with him, his spring water running continuously by gravity through house and barn, his few fat hogs, his sturdy buildings, his good wife heaping the table with food, his fine flock of hens, his plot of tobacco and acre of strawberries, his handmade hickory chairs (which he sold for all the extra cash he really needed), and he said, “Well, I’m just not smart enough to farm any more than this well.” I have a hunch no one could.

Seaweed in Agriculture and Horticulture

Unlike most fertilizers, seaweed is a renewable resource. Either sprayed on the leaves of plants (foliar feeding) or added to the soil, it can often be a single solution to many soil deficiencies — including trace elements. This British book has all the details. —Richard Nilsen

Seaweed in Agriculture and Horticulture W. A. Stephenson 1974; 241 pp.

$7 ($9 postpaid) from: The Rateavers 9049 Covina Street San Diego, CA 92126 or Whole Earth Access

Hugh Johnson’s Encyclopedia of Trees

Hugh Johnson 1984; 336 pp.


($19.73 postpaid) from: W. H. Smith, Publishers 80 Distribution Blvd.

Edison, NJ 08818 or Whole Earth Access

Hugh Johnson’s Encyclopedia of Trees

If the quest is for one volume on trees, this is the choice. Ace popularizer Hugh Johnson is a great organizer with a wonderfully personal writing style. Well captioned color photographs are included and there are 65 pages of ML tree species encyclopedia as well. A bargain of a book. —Richard Nilsen

■« The New Zealand Kahlkatea or ‘white pine’. Podocarpus dacrydioiaes, grows in swampy ground in both North and South Islands. Captain Cook measured a specimen with a clean bole to 90 feet.

Woodland Ecology

Seventy-three percent of the forest land in the eastern United States is held by private, nonindustrial owners, according to the author. He considers the eastern hardwood forest types and explains very basic woodland ecology and discusses the options a small owner has in deciding how to maintain and use his woods. The book includes an extensive appendix of references, well annotated, and a section on growing and using wood for fuel.

—Richard Nilsen

A Planter’s Guide to the Urban Forest

Woodland Ecology (Environmental Forestry for the Small Owner) Leon S. Minckler 1980; 241 pp.


($13.45 postpaid) from: $yracuse University Press 1600 Jamesville Avenue Syracuse, NY 13244–5160 or Whole Earth Access

Permaculture Institute of North America Membership $25/year (includes a subscription to The Permaculture Activist) from:

PINA 6488 Maxwelton Road Clinton, WA 98236

Friends of the Trees 1986 Yearbook Michael Pilarski, Editor 1986; 80 pp.

<strong>$4.60</strong> postpaid from: Friends of the Trees Society P. O. Box 1466 Chelan, WA 98816

TreePeople rallied the people of Los Angeles to plant one million trees in time for the 1984 Olympic Games. The city estimated it would take 20 years and $200 million to accomplish. TreePeople did it with volunteers in three years for less than $100,000. Out of that came this book, perfect for those interested in more greenery in any sized city.

any place.

A Planter’s Guide to the Urban Forest

TreePeople 1983; 96 pp.


($11.50 postpaid) from:


12601 Mulholland Drive Beverly Hills, CA 90210–9990

or Whole Earth Access

Permaculture Institute of North America

Permaculture Institute of North America (PINA) is expanding on the work begun in Australia by Bill Mollison. It was he who coined the term permaculfure, a contraction of ‘permanent agriculture,’ for a kind of ecosystem design that recognizes that sustainable land use is only possible within the context of sustainable and humane culture. Whether in a backyard or an entire watershed the goal is the same: to produce food and energy in ways that mimic the conserving stability and resiliency of natural ecosystems. There is a great emphasis on tree crops here, but fundamentally permaculture is asking many of the same basic design questions being raised at The Land Institute (see p. 85). Membership includes a subscription to their newsletter. The Permaculture Activist.

—Richard Nilsen

Land Spandrel: a space between buildings, improvements, and pavement that occurs, sometimes by accident, or oversight, because of the structure of urban land use rather than by design.


• railroad rights-of-way that are currently not being used to their fullest potential

• vacant lots

• land that abuts freeways, cloverleaves, and ramps

• abandoned alleys

• public school frontages or school yards

• areas adjacent to flood control channels

• side yards adjacent to public or private buildings

• steep slopes between roads or lots

• corner or triangular spaces in parking lots or areas between slots that are not used for parking

• areas under transmission lines in utility rights-of-way

• shopping malls or public plazas

Friends of the Trees 1986 Yearbook

The Friends of the Trees Yearbook is a rich source of information about planting trees and saving forests. A perennial seed exchange is included. The Yearbook is an excellent way to follow the news and the players in the international alternative forestry and sustainable agriculture movements, since most of the groups either advertise here or are reviewed. —Richard Nilsen

• For more on trees in cities, see The Granite Garden (p. 73). • For more on innovative systems of sustainable agriculture, see New Roots for Agriculture and The Land Institute (p. 85).

• See also “Trees” (p. 39), “Western Forests” (pp. 48–49), and “Eastern Forests” (pp. 50–51).




Chestnut Hill Nursery: Home of the Dunstan Hybrid Chestnut, highly resistant to the bark fungus that wiped out the American Chestnut early this century. Chestnuts used to be the dominant species of the eastern hardwood forest, and their comeback is underway here.

Catalog free from Rural Route 1, Box 341, Alachua, FL 32615

Lawson’s Nursery: Owner James Lawson describes his business as “just a hobby that has gotten a little out of hand.” He specializes in over one hundred old variety apples on dwarfing rootstocks.

Catalog free from Route 1, Box 294, Bau Ground, GA 30107

Miller Nurseries: Family owned operation offering fruits, nuts, berries, and some ornamental trees. Strong on winter-hardy varieties, especially grapes.

Catalog free from 5060 West Lake Road, Canandaigua, NY 14424.

New York State Fruit Testing Cooperative Association: This cooperative exists primarily to evaluate and introduce new varieties of fruit, but they also sell some

older apple varieties. Geared to serve commercial growers, but membership is open to all. Reasonable prices, even for individual trees.

Catalog $5 from Geneva, NY 14456.

Stark Bros.’ Nurseries and Orchards: One of the oldest and largest fruit nurseries in the country. They also sell nut, shade and ornamental trees and shrubs.

Catalog free from P. O. Box 2281F, Louisana, MO 63353–0010.

Southmeadow Fruit Gardens: Two hundred thirty-nine (!) rare and old apple varieties; also pears, peaches, apricots, plums, cherries, berries, and grapes. The catalog is a treasure-house of varietal information. Catalog $8; price list free; both from Lakeside, Ml 49116.

—Richard Nilsen


Membership $6/year (includes quarterly Pomona) from: POMONA / North American Fruit Explorers 10 South 055 Madison St. Hinsdale, IL 60521

North American

Fruit Explorers (NAFEX)

These folks are backyard orchardists, many with a lifetime of experience to share on everything having to do with fruit orchards. Their quarterly, Pomona, exchanges member information that is priceless. They exchange plant materials, have a lending library, and stay together by refusing to argue over the finer points of organic vs. nonorganic orcharding. This policy of sunny noncontroversy is occasionally disrupted by a delightful downpour of disagreement, but there is no scientific snobbery. Anyone with some experience is urged to share it and they will let it stand on its own merit. —Peter Beckstrand

As the result of genetic research performed in Germany in the 1920’s ... we now have a new soft fruit worthy of trial here in America, the Josta.

The Jostaberry plant is the result of a cross between black currant and gooseberry. It is far more vigorous than all existing varieties of either of its parents....

The taste of the Jostaberry is unique. The berries unite the refreshing acidity and the fine aroma of the gooseberry with the distinctly tasteable aroma of the black currant.... The berries are very suitable for jam and juice. They also freeze very well and can be stored for a long time without any loss of quality.

Ecological Fruit Production in the North

Do you live so high up or so far north that every time you look something up in a gardening book you’re right off the edge of the charts? If you are trying to raise fruit, this book should rank as a minor miracle. It is a self-published gem by two fruit farmers from Quebec who define “the North” as what’s above a line running from New York City through St. Louis to Santa Fe, and then up the spine of the Rockies and over to Vancouver. In addition, author Jean Richard explains a method of restorative pruning for mature trees that he learned as a kid in Switzerland in the 1930s. If apparently works wonders on old standard apple trees and is about as different as you can get from the open-center pruning most books describe.

—Richard Nilsen

In temperate and boreal climates the ultimate factor controlling a plant’s suitability is whether or not it will survive the winters. Is it hardy? ... Far too many northerners, on both sides of the border, have planted trees which having come from milder climate are simply not suitable for their area.... Furthermore, it is an infrequent but regular occurrence to have an extraordinarily cold winter which rigorously eliminates all the trees which are marginally hardy in an area. In northeastern North America, the winters of 1904, 1917, 1934, and 1981 were especially cold, and fit into this category of “Test Winters” — winters that test the real hardiness of a tree. In the Northeast, trees which have survived one or more of these onslaughts can be assumed to be fully hardy.

Ecological Fruit Production in the North

Bart Hall-Beyer and Jean Richard 1983; 270 pp.


($12.75 postpaid) from: Bart Hall-Beyer

R. R. 3

Scottstown, Quebec JOB 3B0 Canada or Whole Earth Access


This book neatly combines what you need to do with why it needs doing. Since beginners often equate pruning with vegetative barbarism, these explanations are most helpful. Fruit trees are covered as well as grapes, berries, roses, hedges, and other ornamentals.

—Richard Nilsen

• For more on selecting fruit trees see Designing and Maintaining Your Edible Landscape Naturally, (p. 69).

• For cultivating fruit trees see one of two regional HP books: Fruits, Berries & Nuts for the Midwest and East or Western Fruit, Berries and Nuts (p. 69).

• For buying fruit trees, see also Peaceful Valley Farm Supply (p. 85).


Michael MacCaskey and Robert L. Stebbins 1983; 160 pp.


($11.90 postpaid) from: HP Books

P. O. Box 5367

Tucson, AZ 85703 or Whole Earth Access

Bountiful Gardens Ecology Action 5798 Ridgewood Road, Willits, CA 95490.

| Organically grown heirloom vegetable seed; also herb, flower, and cover-crop seed. Catalog

I free.

K Butterbrooke Farm78 Barry Road, Oxford, CT 06483.

This co-op has the cheapest f prices for a basic selection of vegetable seed of any- H body — 35 cents per packet. Catalog free.

Good Seed

i Box702, Tonasket, WA 98855.

Open-pollinated vegetable seed, plus herb, flower, and cover-crop seed, all selected for the intermountain region east of the Cascades and west of the I Rockies. Catalog $1.

Short-season vegetable and herb varieties for the western mountains. Their seed testing and production are done from 5,000 to 7,000 foot elevation.

Catalog $2.

Well-designed catalog of vegetable seed adapted ideally for a cool 145-day- average frost-free season. Good germination and cultural directions, also recipes. Catalog free.

Native plant seed of both California and New England, wildflower mixes and native grasses; much of it rarely collected.

Catalog $.50.

Best source for baby vegetable varieties used in nouvelle cuisine restaurants. What’s new (to American gardeners) is here. Catalog $.50.

Sources of Native Seeds and Plants $3 from Soil Conservation Society of America, 7515 Northeast Ankeny Road, Ankeny, IA 50021.

Over 270 sources of wildflower, native grass, tree and shrub seed are in this 35-page pamphlet, as well as sources for native plant material and nursery stock.

Nicols Garden Nursery

1190 N. Pacific Highway, Albany, OR 97321.

Herb seed and plants, vegetable seed (large selection), some flower seed, plus beer- and winemaking supplies and dried herbs and spices.

Catalog free.

Full-color catalog of flower and vegetable seed from old and respected seed houses. See also two books they publish (p. 67).

Catalog free.

Plants of the Southwest

1812 2nd Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501.

Vegetable, flower, shrub and tree seed; also native grass and wildflower mixes. From and for the high southwest American deserts. Catalog $1.

Redwood City Seed Company P. O. Box 361, Redwood City, CA 94064.

Heirloom open-pollinated vegetable seed. Also herbs, tree seed, and books. Tiny print and dense with information.

Catalog $1.

Directory of Seed and Nursery Catalogs $3 from National Gardening Association, 180 Flynn Avenue, Burlington, VT 05401.

Close to 400 U.S. and Canadian mail order sources are included in this 14-page pamphlet. Updated annually.

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange

P. O. Box 158, North Garden, VA 22959.

Regional source for heirloom vegetable varieties adapted to the mid-Atlantic region. Good cultural instructions.

Catalog $2.

Stock Seed Farms RR 1 /Box 112, Murdock, NE 68407.

Native American prairie grasses and perennial and annual wildflower seed.

Preserving and duplicating the tall grass prairie. Price list free.

Bulk vegetable and flower seed for commercial growers. Huge selections, and they also sell small packets of seed to home gardeners.

Catalog free.

Seed, Bulb, and Nursery Supplies Free (with 40-cent SASE) from Rodale’s Organic Gardening Reader Service/ attn. Seed List, 33 East Minor Street, Emmaus, PA 18049.

This Tl-page list of U.S. and Canadian sources is updated annually.

Full-color catalog of an enormous selection of flower seed, plus vegetables. American branch ol one of the oldest British seed houses. Catalog free.

Vesey’s Seeds Ltd. York, Prince Edward Island, Canada COA IPO.

Vegetable and flower seed adapted to the shortseason requirements of Canada’s Maritime Provinces and New England.

Catalog free.

A World

Seed Service

J. L. Hudson, Seedsman;

P. O. Box 1058, Redwood City, CA 94064.

Rare seed from all over the world. As much an encyclopedia as a source of seeds, this catalog has tiny print and is a botanical gold mine. Catalog $1.

—Richard Nilsen

SAVING VEGETABLE SEEDS has taken on new meaning for some — saving unique varieties from extinction. The seeds can be heirlooms passed down by tribe or family. They can be commercial strains lost as seed houses disappear due to mergers and attrition. Since close to half of the roughly 6,000 vegetable seed varieties for sale in the U.S. are available from only one source, this is an alarming problem as smaller companies disappear. The response is mostly amateur and the benefits can be very practical, for these endangered varieties are often the best suited of any to the needs of home gardeners. —Richard Nilsen

The Garden Seed Inventory • Seed Savers Exchange

The Inventory is a piece of cataloging heroics: an alphabetical listing of each and every variety of nonhybrid vegetable seed for sale by seed houses in the U.S. and Canada. That’s 5,785 varieties from 239 wholesale and retail seed companies. So if you’re a gardener used to buying your favorite chili pepper seed from the same source for years — only this year it’s NOT THERE — you look that variety up and find out who sells it. If you’re a northern gardener faced with a short growing season, you scan the column that lists days to maturity for each variety of a kind of vegetable, and come up with whatever is quickest and best for your situation.

Seed Savers Exchange is the kind of good-works nonprofit outfit that people ought to leave money to in their wills. Run on a shoestring by Kent Whealy, it is the place where gardeners raising unique or endangered vegetables swap seeds. Many of the varieties have been passed down within families for generations. Here seeds are passed from the old to the young via the mailman. If you raise vegetables, consider joining in and adopting a variety or two.

—Richard Nilsen

Moon & Stars Watermelon Once nearly extinct, the legendary Moon & Stars watermelon is now being offered by about two dozen Members of the Seed Savers Exchange. After nearly a four-year search, it was finally located on a farm near Macon, Missouri. Several of the rare fruits are displayed here by Kent Whealy, Director of Seed Savers.

CORN/POP Zea mays

Bear Paw: CA SO Z — HAS — early, adapted to short growing season of Pacific Northwest, distinctive flattened tips of ears resembling bears’ paws, from Forest Shomer; Butter Boy: IL PL E — HAS — med-size kernel, great taste, plant falls over easily, didn’t pollinate well in 1985, bugs ate tassel; Butter Flavored: IA MA L — HAS — 085 days, 3–4 ears per 6’ stalk, large cream-colored seed; OH SI T — L.Q. — 090–100 days, creamy-white 5–6” ears, 5–6’ stalks withstood high winds & drought, fat kernels pop big & tasty, O.S. 83 Ml FE J who got it from PA farmer, in his family 100+ years.

—Seed Savers Exchange

Growing and Saving Vegetable Seeds r

This is a book for beginners with a completely self- descriptive title.

—Richard Nilsen

Moon & Stars is dark green and resembles Black Diamond, except for bright yellow spots which range from pea- to silver-dollar size. It is an incredibly beautiful garden plant.

—Garden Seed Inventory

Variety Name


Range of Maturities

Source Codes

065–075 AN BA 84 HE NI P2 RM SI 83 84 GE V2



—Garden Seed Inventory

Native Seeds/SEARCH

Native Seeds/SEARCH is a nonprofit rescue mission for

the food plants of native peoples in southwestern North America. The turf extends roughly north/south from Durango, Colorado, to Durango, Mexico, and west/east from Las Vegas, Nevada, to Las Vegas, New Mexico. The ethnobotany involved in searching out the survivors is as remarkable as the fact that so many varieties (over 230 for sale in the catalog) are still clinging to mostly marginal existences. For those interested in the work there is a newsletter, The Seedhead News. —Richard Nilsen

Native Seeds/SEARCH: membership $10/year (includes quarterly Seedhead News and 10% discount on seeds and publications); information free. 3950 West New York Drive, Tucson, AZ 85745.

The Garden Seed Inventory Kent Whealy, Editor 1985; 448 pp.

$12.50 postpaid

Seed Savers Exchange

Yearbook $12/year (2 issues) information free with SASE Both from: Seed Savers Exchange P. O. Box 70 Decorah, IA 52101 or Whole Earth Access

Growing and Saving Vegetable Seeds Marc Rogers 1978; 140 pp.


($9.95 postpaid) from: Garden Way Publishing/ Storey Communications Schoolhouse Road Pownal, VT 05261 or Whole Earth Access

Biotechnology and

Genetic Diversity

Genes are Earth’s most important resource. Genetic diversity is a prerequisite for abundant food and if is the ultimate reason for having confidence there will be food tomorrow and the day after.

That this is news to most people makes this an important book. Strategically designed for maximum impact, it is aimed at news writers and contains plain English, a good glossary, and an uncanny ability to demystify.

—Richard Nilsen

Biotechnology and Genetic Diversity

Steven C. Witt 1985; 145 pp.


($14 postpaid) from: California Agricultural Lands Project 227 Clayton Street San Francisco, CA 94117 or Whole Earth Access

Herbal Bounty

Long on information and short on hype, this book details how to grow, dry and use, 124 herbs. This is an excellent choice for beginners, and since the author has spent time in his library and in his garden, it is also a book that will not offend a botanist. —Richard Nilsen

A place of solitude created within an enclosed garden space dates to Roman times. Herbal borders leading to the peaceful space can be In waves of soft textures and subtle coloration.

The family, genus, species, and subgroups of species serve as the most useful reference points for herb gardeners.

The family can be likened to a broad group of motorized vehicles known as automobiles. There are several genera

The Herb Gardener’s

Resource Guide

Praise be to catalogers, those diligent people who take cardboard boxes full of envelopes, brochures, and addresses and transform them into neatly alphabetized booklets. Paula Oliver is such a person, and her Resource Guide contains over 500 entries, from nurseries and seed houses to botanicals and florist supplies. And for each listing the details are nicely tended to (wholesale/retail, mail orders, visitors, foreign orders). For anyone interested in herbs, I’d call it essential. —Richard Nilsen [Suggested by Portia Meares]


Borchelt Herb Gardens: 474 Carriage Shop Rd., East Falmouth, MA 02536. (617) 548–4571.

Seeds only. They offer more than 100 varieties of herb seeds. All are organically grown and hand-collected to insure viability and increase germination percentage. Detailed instruction sheet provided with each order. The seed list is quite informative and is available for a business-size SASE. Retail mail order only.

The Herb Quarterly: P. O. Box 275, Newfane, VT 05345.

Herb Suppliers

Folklore Herb Company/Sanctuary Seeds: Catalog free from 2388 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C., V6K 1P1, Canada.

Folklore sells bulk spices and botanical herbs, also teas, oils, food items, and books. Sanctuary sells culinary and medicinal herb seeds as well as nonhybrid vegetable seed.

Meadowbrook Herb Garden: Catalog $2. Plant and Seed List $1 from Rt. 138, Wyoming, RI 02898. Culinary herbs, teas, cosmetics, and books.

Richters: Catalog $2 from P. O. Box 26, Goodwood, Ontario, LOC 1A0, Canada, An extensive selection of herbs, alpine and wildflowers, and dye plants. Plants sold in Canada only; seeds sold everywhere.

Taylor’s Herb Gardens: Catalog $1 from 1535 Lone Oak Rd.,

in the family automobile including Chevrolets, Fords, Cadillacs, and Toyotas. In the genus Toyota, indigenous to Japan and naturalized throughout North America, is the species corolla. Thus for a specific organism in our hypothetical automobile family we have the binomial Toyota corolla.


Herbs should be dried in the shade. Direct sunlight will cause leaves to turn dark brown or black.... Rapid evaporation of the essential oil or changes in its chemical constituents may occur if an herb is dried at temperatures exceeding 90°F. If heat is forced too quickly over the outer cells of a leaf, those cells may harden before they can be replaced by moisture from the leaf’s inner tissue, thereby sealing moisture in the leaf and causing it to mold in storage. Air temperature should be kept relatively low at first (80° to 85°F.) then increased when the plant material is almost dry.

(802) 365–4392. A beautifully designed quarterly magazine for herb fanciers. HQ covers cultivation, cooking, herbal legend and lore, historical pieces, garden design, plant profiles, herb crafting, as well as offering excellent recipes and book reviews. Sample copy is $5. Brochure is free on request. Foreign subscribers welcome, but must add $2.50 to domestic rate. This elegant publication will be of interest to herb gardeners everywhere!

Well-Sweep Herb Farm: 317 Mt. Bethel Rd., Port Murray, NJ 07865. (201) 852–5390.

Plants, seeds, everlastings, wreaths, potpourri, books, and herbal gift items. One of the largest herb collections in the country, they offer 20 basils, 26 lavenders, 30 rosemaries, and 58 different thymes! Of special interest: violets from both Korea and Australia. A large display garden is open to visitors and they offer group garden tours by appointment. In addition, they offer lectures on herb gardening and everlastings during the fall and winter months. They host an annual spring and fall open house featuring crafts demonstrations, displays, tours, refreshments, etc. Retail sales, domestic only, by mail and from the farm. Catalog is $1 on request.

Vista, CA 92083. Herbs for cooking, smelling and healing sold as plants and seed. Good selection includes scented geraniums. They sell both wholesale and retail.

—Richard Nilsen

Also see Drugs: Plant Power (p. 220).

Also see Indoor Marijuana Horticulture and Sinsemilla Tips (p. 75).

Herbaceous plants with fibrous crowns (o«g. Aster, Chrysanthemum, Geranium, Hemerocallis, Lupine, Rudbeckia).

Park’s Success With Seeds • Park’s Success With Bulbs

<em>These two books from the venerable George W. Park Seed Company of South Carolina are handy when propagating. To a normal encyclopedic format of each species with a color picture of the fruit or bloom has been added a second color picture showing how each plant looks when small.</em> Success With Bulbs has photos of the bulbs themselves, so if the gladioluses get mixed up with the ranunculuses they can be identified and sorted. Success With Seeds has photos of each plant just after it has put out its first true leaves, thus ending all confusion between what is a baby plant and what is a baby weed. With each set of photos comes a description of what each plant looks like, what it is used for, where it can be grown, and how it is propagated. —Richard Nilsen

Also see pp. 230–231.

Park’s also has an herb book.

Park’s Success With Herbs: Gertrude B. Foster and Rosemary F. Louden, 1980; 192 pp. $9.95 ($10.95 postpaid) from George W. Park Seed Co., P. O. Box 31, Greenwood, SC 29647–0001 (or Whole Earth Access).

Plant Propagation

Plant Propagation clearly presents the tricks of the trade that make the difference between success and frustration. It is my basic reference for “how to” horticultural questions. Straightforward, nontechnical text and very helpful illustrations dispel the mystique surrounding plant propagation. Each procedure occupies facing pages. This allows the spiral-bound paperback to be folded and placed inside its see-through, plastic envelope so it may be used in the field without damage.

I qualify my praise with a caution against the book’s excessive recommendations of fungicide use. Many commercial growers face serious problems with resistant strains of fungi that have developed from just such practices. A concerted sanitation program and observation schedule are better strategies for many reasons besides being ultimately more effective. Otherwise, this is the best practical guide to plant propagation available.

—Edward Goodell

Crocus species and hybrids: Irldaceae, Mediterranean ► Europe and Africa, Near East.

Culture: Crocus do best in cool areas. Plant 2–4 inches deep and 4 inches apart in a well-drained soil of lbw fertility, in full sun or very light shade.... Spring blooming crocus may also be forced in pots. Set 5–6 to a 5 inch pot, using a well-drained medium and covering the corms 1 inch deep. Pre-cool in the cold frame for about 6 weeks, then bring indoors and grow in a sunny situation with a night temperature of about 50°F.

Note: One species of fall-blooming crocus, C. sativus, is now, and was in the past even more so, of commercial importance as the source of saffron. Derived from the dried stigmas, saffron is used to dye and flavor foods, and in olden times for medicinal purposes.

—Success With Bulbs

Germination: Sow outdoors 11/2-2” deep where plants are to grow after all danger of frost has passed. Sow bush varieties 2–3” apart in rows 18–24” apart and pole varieties 6–8” apart in rows 36” apart. Innoculate with a nitrogen fixing bacteria prior to sowing. Germination takes 6–10 days. Seeds may also be started indoors in individual pots 3 weeks before planting outside, maintaining a temperature within the medium of 70° during germination. Plant bush varieties successively every 2 weeks until 2 months before frost for a continuous crop.

—Success With Seeds

White Flower Farm

Wayside Gardens

Two excellent sources of ornamental plants. Wayside Gardens has a larger selection (including flowering trees) and White Flower Farm calls its catalog “The Garden Book” because it includes very chatty and detailed cultural information on the plant varieties that are sold. Both catalogs are worth having. —Richard Nilsen

The Garden Book: Catalog $5 from White Flower Farm, Litchfield, CT 06759–0050.

Wayside Gardens: Catalog free from Wayside Gardens, Hodges, SC 29695–0001.

Tomatoes are either determinate or indeterminate, and you can’t really call yourself a tomato grower unless you know the difference. The non-profit National Gardening Association has distilled, from its 250,000 members, knowledge about most of the important requirements of America’s favorite vegetables and fruits, and laid out superbly detailed instructions for growing them in this big, beautiful book. —Jeff Cox

Garden Way’s Joy of Gardening

When. I first thumbed thru this fat, glossy paperback it looked a little strange, or at least unorthodox. The traditional garden-book format of dense pages and crowded layout was missing, all the illustrations were in color, there was white space to relieve the eye, and it was so slick I wondered if maybe it was a sales brochure for Toyotas and the cabbages were just there for background. Not to mention the huge, dramatic headings that introduced sections, like “My 12-point system for fewer and fewer weeds each year” or “Celery — How I grow this challenging vegetable.”

Was it a garden book or another self-improvement plan?

I settled down for a more serious look and before long I was getting hooked on all kinds of stuff, like composting with alfalfa meal, “tunnel growing” — wire reinforced plastic formed into tunnels to make instant hot houses — and Raymond’s weed theory, which states that weed seeds sprout only in the top quarter inch of soil, so shallow cultivating zaps them but deep tilling just churns more up to the surface. Along the way I found a thorough grounding in garden basics with well-illustrated details on growing just about any veggie you’ve got desires for, from the traditionals like corn and tomatoes to the experiments that the seed catalogs induce in all of us, experiments that generally flop. There’s basic truths along with new in

How to Grow More Vegetables

John Jeavons did not invent the biodynamic/French intensive method of gardening, but he clearly qualifies as its chief popularizer, and this book boils the technique down to its simplest terms. It is organic gardening using hand labor, raised beds, close spacing between plants to eliminate weeds and conserve soil moisture, and heavy feeding and composting. It can produce very large yields in very small spaces, and is therefore applicable to many diverse situations. —Richard Nilsen

A good growing bed will be 4 to 12 inches higher than the original surface of the soil. A good soil contains 50% air space. (In fact, adequate air is one of the missing ingredients in most soil preparation processes.) The increased air space allows for an increase in the diffusion of oxygen (which the roots and microbes depend on) into the soil, and the diffusion of carbon dioxide (which the leaves depend on) out of the soil. This increased “breathing” ability of a double-dug bed is a key to improved plant health.

A slanted fence is a good way to keep deer out of the garden since their instinct is to try to crawl under a fence before jumping it, and they are less likely to jump a fence that is wide. A slanted fence can be 4 to 5 feet high, while a vertical fence must be at least 8 feet high to keep deer from jumping over it. Deer are also repelled by bags of human hair hung along the edge of the garden, or dried blood sprinkled on the ground, although both need to be renewed frequently.

sights and tips, and bygawd if he can grow peanuts and okra in Vermont then I’m going to try them again. So what if it looks like a Toyota sales brochure? Raymond has been working the soil for 40 years and his natural wisdoms are nice to have. —Dick Fugett


All my wide row crops planted from seed (except peas and beans) must be thinned out when they’re quite small — about 1/4 to 1/2 inch high. This is true for most methods of planting, but I consider it essential with wide rows because the plants are so numerous.

When the plants are 1/4 to 1/2 inch high, I drag the rake across the width of the row so that the teeth dig into the soil only about 1/4 to 1/2 inch. The teeth in an iron garden rake catch just enough seedlings, and pull them from the row.

I’ve found alfalfa meal to be about the cheapest, quickestacting activator for a compost pile. If you can’t find any at your garden or feed store, look in the supermarket for “Litter Green,” a kitty litter product that’s 100 percent alfalfa meal.

Every time I add new material to the compost pile, I dust it thoroughly with alfalfa meal and moisten the pile a little. Alfalfa meal is an excellent source of nitrogen and protein. It is made from alfalfa hay and is usually 14 to 16 percent protein.

• To ensure proper garden sun, use the Solar Card (p. 132).

• If you garden where seasons are short and winters are cold.

The Harrowsmith Northern Gardener: Jennifer Bennett, Editor, 1982; 216 pp. $19.95 ($21.45 postpaid) from Firefly Books, 3520 Pharmacy Avenue/Unit 1-C, Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, M1W 2T8.

Designing and Maintaining

Your Edible Landscape Naturally

Edible landscaping is a new term for an old idea. If is a reaction to the lawns and shrubs that make many suburban yards look so boring. Its goal is to integrate food plants into the landscape: specifically to liberate fruits and vegetables from rectangular prisons often hidden out at the back of the lot. Bring those salad herbs up and put them right outside the kitchen door where they will be tended and used. And put the peaches (dwarf) under a south-facing eave of the roof where they can enjoy maximum frost protection and warmth.

What used to be common sense was lost when people stopped growing any of their own food and ran out of time even to be in their gardens, let alone work them. That is changing, and these books suggest that vegetable gardening can also be aesthetic.

Robert Kourik has produced a classic homemade book in the best sense of the term. His mind works referentially and fortunately by publishing his own book he didn’t have to meet up with a linear-minded editor eager to streamline his work. The book is massive, detailed, and totally indexed. It is full ofcharts and graphs that allow the kind of comparing and decision-making that landscape designing is all about. There is extensive information on selecting fruit tree varieties and appropriate rootstocks.


<em>Trying to keep a young orange tree alive during a string of 20-degree nights and serious bug attacks had me looking for help, and when I asked my main nurseryman what to do, he reached back into the compact library behind the counter and pulled out his central citrus authority. It looked to me like another of the ORTHO series</em> so <em>I was anticipating a once-over-lightly approach, but instead there was a complete and thorough reference. The book was put out by HP Publishing in Arizona and was a most readable and informative volume, and led to my discovery of the wide range of their other gardening books.</em>

Country Wisdom Bulletins

Garden Way Publishing has an ever-expanding series of 32-page booklets that are worth knowing about. There are nearly a hundred of them now, mostly on specific aspects of gardening, cooking, and householding. Sample titles include “What Every Gardener Should Know About Earthworms,” “Grow the Best Tomatoes,” “Curing Smoky Fireplaces,” and “Attracting Birds.” They are great for people who like their information short and sweet, for kids, for teaching situations, and for nosing around a subject that’s new to you. —Richard Nilsen

Best of all, he is not dogmatic. If there are two schools of thought, say fill versus no-till gardening, he will explain the advantages and disadvantages of each in different situations. Like all gardening books, this one is written with a sense of place in mind (northern California), but Kourik is aware that your garden, right down to its microclimates, is unique. —Richard Nilsen

The amount of effort needed to sustain a landscape or garden is, perhaps, the single most important design consideration. Planting happens quickly, at the peak of the gardener’s enthusiasm. Maintenance usually ends up being crammed into busy, everyday life.

Another way to understand the sunlight patterns and the microclimates of your yard is simply to grow vegetables. Instead of designing a landscape just after moving into your new home, wait and observe the yard through a complete cycle of seasons. For at least a year, grow edibles in a number of spots that seem to have beneficial sunlight and climate. You will probably get a very good feel for the nuances of sunshine patterns, frost pockets, windy spots, wet soils, rocky soils, and other important information before designing your edible landscape. The placement of your first edibles may turn out to be ill- advised or just right.

The ORTHO similarity is genetic, for both operations were directly influenced by the Sunset garden book series that began in the ‘50s. But HP fried harder and surpassed the competition. Their books have more pages, more information, more color photos, and a middle-of-the-road approach to the chemical vs. organic philosophy. Currently 22 different gardening titles are offered. —Dick Fugett

HP titles include: Home Landscaping in the Northeast and Midwest; Southern Home Landscaping; Western Home Landscaping; Plants for Dry Climates; How to Grow Fruit, Berries & Nuts in the Midwest and EastWestern Fruit, Berries & Nuts; Vegetables; Perennials; Bulbs; Annuals; Trees & Shrubs; Citrus.

Reader’s Digest Illustrated Guide to Gardening

Reader’s Digest has trained its vast resources on gardening and produced an impressive book. The illustrations alone involved the work of 44 different artists. With captions providing step by step directions, they are frequently all that is needed for numerous how-to garden chores. And the oblong shape of the book keeps it flat and open while your hands are busy. The text explains more details than most people would have time for in a lifetime of gardening. My one reservation is the heavy reliance placed on synthetic pesticides and weedkillers — watch out here, or they will have you out there spraying everything from methoxychlor to paraquat. —Richard Nilsen

Sunset New Western

Garden Book

This continues to be the essential book for gardeners in the 11 western states. The 344-page “Western Plant Encyclopedia” illustrates each entry and keys it to 24 very specific climate zones. By acknowledging and incorporating the amazing diversity of western climates. Sunset has created a book that gets used.

—Richard Nilsen

CORMEL. While one to several big new corms are forming, smaller ones (cormels) are also being produced from the axillary buds on top of the old corm. The cormels will take two to three years to bloom, while larger corms will blossom the following year.

This is a children’s gardening book with heart and humor that’s full of projects that nurture curiosity and educate effortlessly. Read it to the little ones, give it to a seventh grader, and get it for yourself if you are new to gardening and leery of introductory books that “talk down.” This one won’t. —Richard Nilsen

3. Taproot arches to create tension.

Plants with low fuel volume: No plant will stop a fire, but homeowners can lower the risk by removing highly combustible brush from around the home, introducing low-growing plants with potentially high water content and low fuel volume, irrigating new plantings as needed, and grooming to prevent build-up ot potential fuel.


E. caffra (E. constantiana). Kaffirboom Coral Tree. Briefly deciduous tree. Zones 21–24. Native to South Africa. Grows 24–40 ft. high, spreads to 40–60 ft. wide. Drops leaves in January; then angular bare branches produce big clusters of deep red orange, tubular flowers that drip honey. In March or earlier, flowers give way to fresh, light green, often dense foliage. Magnificent shade tree in summer. Wicked thorns disappear as wood matures.

The Phantom Underground High Jumper

To properly root themselves, many seeds need to do some underground gymnastics when they sprout and become seedlings. The seed’s taproot must bend into a big arch before the seed can find energy to break out of the soil.

It’s easy to see this happen. Find a clear plastic container and punch a hole in the bottom for drainage. Fill the container with soil. Wrap black paper around the outside of the container. Black paper keeps out light that would confuse the roots about where “up” is.

Plant radish seeds near the walls of the container. Water them and wait a day. The next day remove the paper every four or five hours to watch for progress of roots. Do this every day for a week. Be sure to replace the paper around the container after you’ve looked.

• Gardening tools and supplies are on pp. 78–79.

• Also see Biology of Plant (p. 38).

Living with Plants

This botany professor has taken all of the how-to’s printed in current gardening books and woven them together with threads of why. It’s an incredibly complete and clear botanical textbook on gardening, landscaping, and houseplants. —Rosemary Menningen

Overwatering: Plants are much less obvious about having been overwatered than about being underwatered. Oversaturation usually occurs in pots without drainage holes or when water is allowed to accumulate in the saucer beneath the pot. The results are slow, insidious, and usually fatal.

The roots begin to suffer from lack of oxygen as the excessive water forces the air out of the soil and occupies all of the pores between soil particles. This lack of oxygen leads to metabolic breakdown similar to salt poisoning. Root hairs die and decay begins. The decomposition process uses the little remaining soil oxygen and produces excessive carbon dioxide, thereby increasing respiration failure by the roots, and more root tissues die.

Simon and Schuster’s Complete Guide to Plants and Flowers

A flower gardener’s encyclopedia, a seed catalogue’s companion, and a visual delight. Five hundred half-page color photos with graphic cultivation tips for common varieties of flowers, cactus, houseplants, and other ornamentals.

—Rosemary Menninger

Family: Amaryllidaceae. Named after the shepherd. Amaryllis, in classical poetry.

Place of origin: South Africa.

Descripiion: a monotypic genus, the species a showy, late-flowering bulb. Leaves strap-shaped, channelled, appearing in winter or early spring. Flowers large, funnel-shaped, 6 parted, rose-red or paler, sweet- scented, on stout 18–30 in. (45–75 cm) stems, before the foliage in autumn.

Flowering time: early autumn.

Use: in temperate climates, against sunny walls or as pot plants; in climates with mild winters, in small flower beds or borders.

Propagation: by division of the bulbs at the base of the mother plant.

Environment and light: full sun

Type of soil: plant bulbs 6–9 in. (15–23 cm) deep. Equal parts good fibrous loam, leaf-mould and sand.

<strong>Soil moisture: water quite sparingly, only as required.

Remarks: hardy. Cover with 1–2 in. (2–5 cm) soil. Reasonably hardy zones 5–8. Cover 9 in. (22 cm) of soil and give plenty of sun and shelter.</strong>

Gardening by Mail

Take one reference librarian with green thumbs, add one Kaypro computer and two years of work and — lucky for us — comes this amazing book. More than 2,000 mail order sources are ingeniously listed. Separate alphabetical lists of seed companies and nurseries are followed by a plant index, so that if you are looking for, say, Siberian Iris, you go to that heading and there are all the sources that sell them. Then comes a geographical index of the same sources, providing traveling gardeners with a ready-made tour guide. This same detailed attention is also given to garden supply companies, societies, libraries, magazines, and even one hundred gardening books.

—Richard Nilsen

Cyclamen Society c/o Dr, David V. Bent 9 Tudor Dr, Otford, Kent, England TN14 SOP (09592] 2322

Cyclamen Journal (2)

Cymbidium Society of America Mrs, Richard L, Johnston 6881 Wheeler Avenue Westminster, CA 92683 (714] 894–5421

The Orchid Advocate (6]

The Daffodil Society (UK) Ivor Fox

44 Wergrsve Rd., Twyford Reading, Berks, England

The Delphinium Society

Mrs. Shirley E. Bassett Takakkaw, Ice House Wood Oxted, Surrey, England RHB 9DW Delphinium Year Book

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

This is an outstanding source of information on nearly everything useful relating to plants, greenhouse, vines, bonsai, pruning, the lot. And a fine periodical. Plants and Gardens. —Stewart Brand

Plants and Gardens: Barbara Pesch, Editor. $15/year (4 issues; includes membership in Brooklyn Botanic Garden) from Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 1000 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11225.

Color In Your Garden

Have you ever watched somebody do something they were really good at and then asked them to explain how they did it? Words often fail. Arranging color in a garden is like that because It involves positioning plants both in space and in time, through changes of bloom and season. Penelope Hobhouse succeeds at sharing years of gardening experience and at explaining the whys of her very refined sense of what goes with what. She begins with a color wheel and basic theory and moves on to chapters with titles like “Clear Yellows,” “Pinks and Mauves,” and “Hof Colors.” Each chapter has a plant catalog arranged by season. The color photography is exceptional. —Richard Nilsen

The low tones of the deep purple lupin flowers (center) are echoed in the foliage of purple-leaved sage (lower left) in a wall border. Although contrast in lightness and darkness between the lupins and the pale pink papery-textured petals of the oriental poppy (left center) is extreme, nevertheless they both share characteristic redness, which remains distinguishable to the eye in the palest tints of pink, the darkest almost black reds, and the low smoky tones of textured foliage. Here we see two separate garden pictures. Sculptured gray leaves of artichoke (top right) (Cynara scolymus ‘Glauca’) prevent the dark lupins from seeming dull by enriching their color; at the same time the silver-gray leaves help to make the pale pink of the poppy flowers more brilliant, thus increasing the effects of contrast with lupin and sage.

Right Plant, Right Place

This is a very diligent book of lists, 21 in all, with categories that are either types of garden plants (“Plants with aromatic leaves”), or locations in the garden where they are to grow (“Plants suitable for crevices in paving”). Plants in each list are divided into sections running from sun tolerant to shade tolerant, and within each section they are presented in order of decreasing height. There is also extensive cross-indexing between the lists, and each of the more than 1500 plants has its own 2ki-inch-square color photograph.

The lady who did all this lives in Scotland and says in her introduction that she got into this when she acquired a garden needing an overhaul and couldn’t find a book like this to help her. I don’t think I’d like to do her grocery shopping, but she has produced an extremely useful book. The American editor is Fred McGourty, who has spent 15 years editing the “Handbook” series for the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. —Richard Nilsen

V. Sackville-West’s Garden Book

The Complete Shade Gardener

Shade seems a function of modern urban life. Scarce land is expensive, and architects who get to cram square interior feet onto tiny lots often have little time or inclination to consider what that does to the space outside. This author has the additional consideration of climate, since he gardens in Seattle, Washington. He says if got so bad one drippy August that toadstools sprouted on the carpet in his car. He takes all of these sufficient reasons not to garden and turns them into a wonderfully opinionated, and even humorous, display of all that shady sites can offer.

—Richard Nilsen

Aesculus Hippocastanum (Common Horse Chestnut). Heavy shade, invasive roots. The fallen leaves cake together in a slippery mass. And yet, I know of a perfectly successful shade garden composed of a small maple, rhododendrons, and woodland perennials in new soil beneath an old Horse Chestnut. The lesson here is an extendable one: almost any “bad” tree can be pressed into service as a shade garden canopy if you plant in fresh soil and provide sufficient moisture.

I am reading this book for the fourth time in two years.

V. Sackville-West wrote a weekly gardening article for the

London Observer for fourteen years and built up a tremendous following in England because of her great knowledge of plants and flowers, her unusual capacity for combining utter romance and hard practical advice, and her great wit, intelligence, and independence.

Color was the basis of the organization of her garden, with trees down to groundcovers in bloom in the same color range at the same time. She kept refining combinations, groupings of textures, shapes, and sizes.

The Garden Book is written in twelve chapters, one for each month, and is a great book for learning, for sheer entertainment, and for endless inspiration in your own garden. You may have trouble finding some of the plants she talks about, but you will never have to worry about ending up with any oversized fluorescent geraniums!

—Virginia Baker

V. Sackville-West’s Garden Book Philippa Nicolson, Editor 1968; 250 pp.

$9.95 postpaid from: Macmillan Publishing Co. Order Department Front and Brown Streets Riverside, NJ 08075 or Whole Earth Access

The Granite Garden

Very much in the tradition of Jane Jacobs, Ian McHarg, and Christopher Alexander, this author examines the role of nature in cities. The critique here is easy pickings, because cities, whether severely planned or done laissez-

Nature’s Design

If you are intent on landscaping without professional assistance, this is a great book to own. The emphasis here on using native plants can make sense for today’s

The grade around a tree can be lowered only if the roots of the tree are protected. This is done by maintaining the grade within the circumference of the drip line. Using lime, mark the drip line on the ground. Do the grading, but don’t cut within the drip line. When the excavation is completed, build a retaining wall around the tree at the drip line.

Dutch woonerf, a residential street with special traffic regulations where cars share the street with people and gardens.

faire, almost always end up wrong. The value of this book is in its balance between problems and solutions. Spirn quickly makes it apparent that healthy, workable answers to the dilemma of urban designs are not scarce commodities — techniques abound. What is lacking is economic and political will, and enough of a sense of tradition to allow for perseverance. —Richard Nilsen


The Dutch have developed a new type of street, the “woonerf,” that enhances the social role of the residential street. The woonerf (“residential yard” in Dutch) is a precinct with its own traffic rules: children and adults have precedence over cars and they use the entire roadway; cars must drive at a walking pace (about ten miles per hour). In the woonerf, distinctions between street and sidewalk are eliminated, and the resulting street space is shared by cars and pedestrians. The woonerf originated in Delft, where conventional streets were transformed by repaving them to eliminate curbs, by introducing obstacles like mounds, raised planters, and trees which forced drivers to wind their way around them, and by consolidating parking. The Dutch have created 800 woonerven in 200 cities and there is a long waiting list for future conversions.

gardens, since natives are both low maintenance and drought tolerant. The plants are divided into 12 ecological regions covering the continental U.S.

Smyser is a landscape architect and she manages to be both straightforward and patient with her explanations. The coverage of all the steps that go into making a landscape plan is especially well done. Additional sections cover plant selection, construction techniques, planting, and maintenance. —Richard Nilsen

Tree houses: A tree house may be anything from a few boards nailed together by ambitious children after reading Swiss Family Robinson to a guest house designed by an architect. They have been called arbors, bowers, crow’s-nests, roosting places, tree seats, and tree rooms. The common factor is that all are made above ground level and in or around a tree.

The Food and Heat Producing Solar Greenhouse

In the ten years this book has been available, it has become the one where you look First. For good reason too — somebody or other has actually done what’s shown, and there’s a lot shown. More than shown, really, because there’s also lots of how and why too. And a good bibliography with comment. And good photographs of proven details. And step-by-step instruction on both building and operating. In fact, the book is a marvel. Lots of love in it.


Since the first edition of this book, the Solar Room has proven itself to be one of the best buys in “BTUs for the buck.” Literally millions of American homes could save heating dollars immediately by the installation of a Solar Room....

Here is Steve Kenin’s explanation of his product: “The Solar Room is a device that turns the southern side of a home into a solar heater. Made of a special plastic, a

The Bountiful Solar Greenhouse

Books on designing and building solar greenhouses abound, but the scarce commodity until now has been an explanation of how to keep the plants inside them healthy and productive. Shane Smith helped start and has run the first large-scale solar greenhouse in America (Cheyenne, Wyoming’s Community Solar Greenhouse, 5,000 square feet and 100 percent passively solar- heated). He has a wealth of experience and a knack for straightforward explanation. Consider a major niche well filled. —Richard Nilsen

Plants use so much of the CO2 in the air that in sealed environments like a greenhouse, the level of CO2 may be depleted from 300 PPM to 100 PPM by noon. This can easily slow plant growth by 60 percent — not a pleasant thought. This phenomenon occurs only in winter greenhouses where there is no outside ventilation and the structure is sealed to the outside. CO2 depletion is also less in greenhouses with soils high in organic matter, due

This is simply the best single manual ever published about each phase of home mushroom cultivation. Other books cover some of the more essential aspects of mushroom growing, like compost preparation, growing room construction, and maintenance of environmental conditions for optimum yield, but The Mushroom Cultivator takes you further, into a deeper understanding of mushroom

Solar Room can supply 35 to 65% of home space heating needs. With heat storage and insulation options, its heating capacity is greatly increased. The Solar Room is available in kit form and is designed to be an exterior room, seven feet wide and as long as space permits; 20, 30 or 40 feet. The longer the Solar Room, the more heat is collected.

to the billions of microbes breathing in that rich, black, pulsing-with-life, humus-laden soil.

I recommend use of an organic mulch to bring CO2 levels to at least 1000 PPM — if not more. This enhanced level will help compensate for lower light and lower temperatures. It would be hard to find any other single low-cost thing you could do to make such a difference in food yield.

As the watermelons begin to develop on the vines, they will need support. The fruits can get so heavy they will rip the whole vine off the trellis. When a fruit is about tennis-ball size, slip it into an old nylon stocking and tie it securely to the trellis.

life. It includes a full course on the intricacies of “kitchen microbiology,” essential for isolating and maintaining your own strains of mushroom cultures and for turning them into spawn — the “seed” for your mushroom garden. You’ll appreciate the chapters on common microbial “weeds” and insect pests, and how to deal with them. Unlike many other writers on the subject, the authors are down on insecticides and fungicides.

Whether you want to grow agaricus, the common grocery-store mushroom, or exotica like shiitake, psilocybe, or the oyster mushroom, either as a weekend hobbyist or a small-business farmer, this is the manual you want.

, —Ted Schultz

In general, too much fresh air is preferable to insufficient air supply. However, fresh air displaces the existing room air which is then exhausted from the room. Unless this fresh air is preconditioned to meet the requirements of the species, one will be constantly disrupting the growing environment and thereby overworking the heating and humidification systems. For this reason the air circulation system should be designed to recirculate the room air. This is accomplished by a mixing box with an adjustable damper that proportions fresh and circulated air. In this regard CO2-tolerant species give the grower a distinct advantage in maintaining the correct environment because they need less fresh air for growth.

Success with House Plants

<em>The heart of this book is its most useful part — an A-Z guide to 600 house plants. Color illustrations accompany suggestions of varieties and instructions on care and propagation. Since this book was published some safer and less toxic remedies for house plant pests have come on the market (you can find out about them on p. 80). Otherwise this is a very comprehensive and useful book.</em>

—Richard Nilsen

The genus Begonia includes more than 2,000 species and hybrids, and they are as varied in appearance and habit as these numbers suggest.... Begonias range in size from tiny, ground-hugging creepers to stoutstemmed specimens 8–10 feet tall.

Because the genus is so large, it is generally divided into groups based on the differing storage organs or root structures of these plants. Some have fibrous roots (as most plants do). A second group consists of species in which roots grow down from a thick creeping rhizome. A

Sinsemilla Tips

• Indoor Marijuana Horticulture

Smoking and then growing marijuana once introduced a generation of Americans to gardening. There is still only one state (Alaska) where it is legal to grow and possess marijuana for personal consumption. Between drug law enforcement and the neighbor kid down the block, growers today are becoming experts at high-tech indoor cultivation. High-infensify discharge lights, hydroponic cultivation and even computer-controlled indoor environments are all available. Companies selling this equipment advertise in Sinsemilla Tips, which covers political news and the latest in cultivation techniques. Indoor Marijuana Horticulture is the best introduction to the wonderful world of electricity that makes total indoor growing possible — fans, lights, timers, moisture meters, and CO2 enrichment systems.

Commercial marijuana growing tends to be armed, dangerous, and locked in a symbiotic bear-hug with government. There but for the police would go the price and market share to the likes of Philip Morris, R. J. Reynolds, and individual growers. There but for the illegal growers would go the need for an entire paramilitary bureaucracy fighting a war it can never win. Meanwhile the Fourth Amendment continues to get whittled away at, and nobody gets the fax revenues from a multibillion-dollar industry.

—Richard Nilsen [Sinsemilla Tips suggested by Charles Kelly]

Technological breakthroughs and scientific research have shed bright light on indoor horticulture, by producing the 1000 watt metal halide and 1000 watt High Pressure (HP) sodium. High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps. Now, a reasonably priced artificial light source, providing the color spectrum and intensity necessary for marijuana growth, is on the market. With the HID lamps, a gardener may totally control the indoor environment. Together, these two types of HID lamps provide sufficient intensity, of the proper colors in the spectrum, to grow incredibly potent marijuana.


—Indoor Marijuana Horticulture


Mushroompeople is the best place for a grower and mushroom lover to begin. Mushroompeople are super-competent and have a computer help line for their customers. They specialize in shiitake, sell specialized strains for greenhouses or outdoors and give mushroom tours to Japan. Costs are lower than equipment described in The Mushroom Cultivator. The catalog has all the best books for mushroom growing, hunting in the wild, feasting and cooking.

—Peter Warshall

Harrowsmith from Canada established itself early on as the best of the new magazines dealing with country living. Beautifully designed and intelligently written, it has now spawned an American edition. Both cover cold-climate gardening, plus architecture, cooking, and environmental politics.

Hortldeas is a monthly newsletter gleaned from reading mostly technical bulletins at an agricultural library — in this case the University of Kentucky’s. Articles are cap- sulized for easy digestion and referenced for further investigation. It’s an extremely fertile source of new gardening ideas.

Horticulture is a venerable general-interest gardening magazine; it is occasionally a bit stodgy but has consistently good color photography. Because it is aimed at an affluent audience it is an excellent place to keep up with what’s new via the advertisements.

The National Gardening Association (see next page) has a rapidly changing and improving house organ called National Gardening. Backyard vegetable gardening is the subject, and readers furnish a good supply of new ideas and techniques. In a healthy attempt to live up to its name, there is steady coverage of solutions to problems caused by regional climates.

Rodale’s Organic Gardening has watched the mainstream creep ever closer to its once-isolated position, so much so that the family name was just recently added to the masthead. Keeping backyard fruits and vegetables healthy without synthetic chemicals is the main idea, but like Horticulture — or any magazine with a long and successful career — the trick is to keep the contents fresh and interesting. The solution here includes branching into ornamental horticulture and an ongoing discussion of sustainable or regenerative gardening and economics. —Richard Nilsen

Harrowsmith (Canadian Edition): Wayne Grady, Editor. $19 /year ($15 in Canada); 6 issues; from Harrowsmith, 7 Queen

Victoria Road, Camden East, Ontario, Canada KOK IJO.

(U.S. Edition): James M. Lawrence, Editor. $18/year (6 issues) from Harrowsmith, The Creamery, Charlotte, VT 05445.

Hortldeas: Gregory and Patricia Y. Williams, Editors. $10 /year (12 issues) from Hortldeas, Route 1, Box 302, Gravel Switch, KY 40328.

Horticulture: Thomas Cooper, Editor; $18/year (12 issues) from Horticulture, P. O. Box 2595, Boulder, CO 80322.

National Gardening: Ruth Page, Editor; $18/year (includes membership; 12 issues) from The National Gardening Association, 180 Flynn Avenue, Burlington, VT 05401.

Rodale’s Organic Gardening: Robert Rodale, Editor; $12.97 /year (12 issues) from Rodale Press, 33 East Minor Street, Emmaus, PA 18049

A few years ago, Sibella Kraus was a chef at Alice Waters’ well-known Berkeley restaurant, Chez Panisse. Kraus knew first-hand how difficult it was to find reliable sources of lovingly tended organic vegetables, and in 1983, she launched the Farm-Restaurant Project, to see if a link could be established between Bay Area restaurants looking for high-quality seasonal produce and growers willing to provide it.

The project was a huge success. Soon Kraus, working through Greenleaf Produce Co. of San Francisco, became the first food broker specifically for the fabled restdurants of the new cuisine. “When people start knowing who’s growing great food or wine, people start caring about that hillside, that valley, that watershed where it’s grown. Knowing where your food comes from enhances an ecological consciousness. You see that farmland should be treated like a resource, not a commodity.”
—Rodale’s Organic Gardening

For growers experimenting with ways to keep deer, rabbits, and other plant eaters out of the garden, Hortldeas reader Virginia Henrichs suggests Goodart’s (Star Route, Box 427, Milam, TX 75959) as a supplier of fox, coyote, and bobcat urine. Goodart’s sells equipment for fur trappers, who use urine to lure their prey. —Hortldeas

Researchers at Cairo University in Egypt report that adding sugar (presumably sucrose, table sugar) to Bacillus thuringiensis biological insecticide can increase its effectiveness in killing insect pests. Larvae of the spiny bollworm, Earias insulana, were used in the experiments, but the researchers suggest that sugar added as a feeding stimulant to B.t. might aid its effectiveness in controlling other lepidopterous pests as well. —Hortldeas


The latest in protective covers are “spun-bonded” blankets. So lightweight that they can rest directly on the plants, they protect against frost and warm the soil.

• A listing of 50 gardening magazines, society journals, and newsletters available by subscription can be found in Gardening by Mail (p. 71).

• The Brooklyn Botanical Gardens Handbook series (also on p. 71) is a valuable gardening periodical resource.

The Youth Gardening Book

Everyone knows that kids and gardens are a natural match-up, right? Wrong. I found out the first time I tried. Somehow gardens didn’t have as much pizzaz as video games and all the other diversions. If became a challenge that I’m still working on. I wish I’d had this book at the beginning to help out: it covers everything from motivation to garden design and is especially strong in stressing the fun of gardens with 25 pages of experiments, tests and special activities. Whether your garden partner is your own child or a horde of school kids you’ll find it a genuine ally. —Dick Fugett

Don’t impose your expectations on the gardeners. Kids don’t care too much about total yields. The experience of growing a radish is as important as the end product. A single radish is cherished by the child if she grew it herself. —The Youth Gardening Book

The Community Garden Book

This is like a yearbook on the current status of community gardening in the U.S. Many of the major programs are featured along with an overview of what’s been learned about preventing vandalism, setting up irrigation and composting systems, fundraising, and more. A neighborhood group could start a garden with this.

—Rosemary Menninger

A group that is high on enthusiasm, but low on budget, can make ends meet through creative scrounging. The items below are being used today in gardens across the country: Item Used tires

Plastic gallon jugs

Metal bed frames and springs Carpet scraps

Old window screens Gym lockers

American Community Gardening Association

The American Community Gardening Association and its publication, the Journal of Community Gardening, are in the business of promoting the practice of community gardening nationwide.

Most of the people who got the Association rolling actually manage or operate community agriculture projects in major cities. They know firsthand how a community garden can transform the mood of a neighborhood, change lives for the better and instill pride in the residents. —Shane Smith

Most organizations have a small core of dependable, but vastly overworked volunteers who have assumed many responsibilities. This core group usually remains small due to a winnowing out of volunteers who lack staying power and a pervasive belief that it is more effective and efficient to do it yourself. Teaching new volunteers can be time consuming and frustrating but the rewards can be profound and long term. Give others the chance to share greater responsibility and to experience the inner workings of your organization. Make this a top priority.

The National Gardening Association

The NGA began in 1972 by sponsoring community gardens in Burlington, Vermont. Today it is a 250,000-member national nonprofit organization with many useful and even unique publications. (See their book Gardening on page 68.) Although they rode to popularity on the high food prices of the 1970s, the NGA has always understood that gardening is more than vegetables. It is therapeutic, and when done by a community it is political. In addition to publishing a magazine (opposite page) and the two books on this page, they also offer a catalog of enabling hand tools for handicapped gardeners, a booklet on employee gardens for businesses, and a book on gardening for people in prison. Write them for a publications list and specific information. —Richard Nilsen

free from:

The National Gardening Association 180 Flynn Avenue Burlington, VT 05401

—The Community Gardening Book

Gardener’s Supply Company

Catalog free from:

Gardener’s Supply

Company 128 Intervale Road Burlington, VT 05401

Green River Tools

Catalog free from: Green River Tools 5 Cotton Mill Hill P. O. Box 1919 Brattleboro, VT 05301

Smith & Hawken

Catalog free from: Smith & Hawken 25 Corte Madera Mill Valley, CA 94941

Gardener’s Supply Co.

Green River Tools

Smith & Hawken

All three of these mail order companies stress qualify and useful innovation. Quality because it takes less material and energy to build one fool well than many tools cheaply. Cheap garden tools tend to break either themselves or your back and end up being expensive choices in the long run. The search for innovation and quality often leads abroad; many of the tools come from Europe and Japan. With rare exceptions, American manufacturers have abdicated the quality garden tool market.

Gardener’s Supply Co. grew out of Gardens for All in Vermont (now known as the National Gardening Association — see page 76). The catalog is aimed squarely at home vegetable gardeners, and in addition to tools features home canning equipment and organic pest controls.

Green River Tools is the unique one of the three catalogs, and its top-of-the-line selections make it the most expensive on some items. It matches high qualify with high idealism — for example, they do not sell teak gardening benches, currently a staple item in many catalogs. Instead you are politely advised that teak benches contribute to the destruction of endangered tropical rainforests and are offered American-made versions in white cedar or red oak. Green River is also strong on Dutch hand tools and features the revolutionary Ladbrooke soil block makers for propagating seedlings.

Smith & Hawken introduced American gardeners to the Bulldog line of English forks and spades, tools so well made they are likely to end up as items in wills. The catalog is aimed primarily at suburban horticulturists and also offers a fine selection of Japanese garden and flower arranging tools.

For such highly selective catalogs the amount of duplication among this trio is small; I suggest browsing through each of them. —Richard Nilsen

The Gardening Fork (on right) has English-style, square shaped tines while the Spading Fork (on left) has broader, flatter tines recommended for heavier soil.

Smith & Hawken e

Weeder (hori hori). I first saw this tool strapped to a farmer’s waist and thought it was a knife. Upon inspection, it turned out to be a knife-shaped weeder. This is a true grubber, a tool that can remove any rooted weed in the ground. It pulls, pierces, cuts and pries. Not a bad item for a camping trip either. Comes with case with belt

These unique season extenders perform an important double function — they protect young plants from the cold by night and shield them from excess heat by day. How they work is fascinating. During the day, the water absorbs heat, moderating temperatures inside the tepee. As the water cools down by night, it releases its heat slowly (as much as 900,000 calories of heat!). Even if the water begins to freeze, it releases more and more heat for better protection. Wall O’ Water protects plants from temperatures as low as JO°F!

—Gardeners Supply

loop. Weight: lO’/z oz. Blade length: 61/2”

#2700 $9.80 -Smith & Hawken

Hori hori

—Smith & Hawken

A Guide to Entrance Hole Sizes:

Use the guide below to select the right opening size for the bird species you want to attract:

1” — House Wren (a highly desirable species).

114” — Chickadee, Carolina Wren, Bewick’s Wren, Tufted Titmouse, Nuthatch, Downy Woodpecker.

IIA” — Tree Swallow, Bluebird.

2” — House Finch, Starling, larger Woodpeckers.

T/i” — Purple Martin, Crested Flycatcher, Flicker.

•The Necessary Catalogue of Biological Farm and Garden Supplies provides access to a wide range of tools, books, and supplies for biological or organic agriculture. Included are pest and disease controls, foliar nutrients, seed and composting inoculants, and soil amendments.

Catalog $2 from Necessary Trading Company, 640 Main Street, New Castle, VA 24127.

Drip Irrigation

Anything that saves a person time and money is bound to be popular; drip irrigation does both. Plastic tubing delivers water to each plant in a slow, steady drip. Timers 7 can further control how often you irrigate. The small army of drip irrigation manufacturers and products can be confusing. A solution is to shop at a store where you know and trust the salespeople. Or shop by mail order with the Urban Farmer. They specialize in drip irrigation and carefully select what they sell from more than 40 manufacturers. Their catalog lists components and also explains the basics of design and installation.

—Richard Nilsen


While drip irrigation was designed with commercial agriculture in mind, many have discovered that the advantages of this type of irrigation apply equally to landscaping and ornamental applications. Accurate amounts of water can be applied to the root zone of each plant. Weed problems are reduced, water is kept off windows and sidewalks and individual plants receive the type of watering they need to flourish.


A drip system gives healthy, fast-growing plants, and is very efficient in its use of water. Little is lost to evaporation, and walkways and areas between rows remain dry. This also reduces weed growth, and makes cultivation possible during and immediately after an irrigation cycle. Drip irrigation allows a large area to be watered from a small water source, since it uses water more slowly than other methods. The biggest savings for most home gardeners is time: they can now garden more ambitiously, and with an automatic system, travel and admire the gardens of the world.

Troy-Bilt Tillers

Garden Way Carts

Troy-Bilf tillers have a personality of their own — they’re built solid as a Russian dump truck for starters, besides coming with a well-written 200-page manual covering everything from tilling techniques to tune-ups and transmission tinkering. For good measure, the factory service department has a toll-free 800 number. When I’ve had to use it there has always been a competent and courteous response.

Troy-Bilt tillers range from three-and-a-half to eight

horsepower, and the larger models now have a power take-off which allows use of accessories — generator, log splitter, and shredder. Tiller prices go from $729 to $1,679, and there’s a unique pricing system in which hefty discounts are available in off season.

Troy-Bilt tillers are made by Garden Way Manufacturing Co., well known for their Garden Way carts. I’ve had mine for years and have lugged everything from bags of concrete to a fullsized refrigerator in it. Their success has spawned other big-wheeled carts — each of the catalogs on these pages carries a version. You won’t go wrong with a Garden Way cart, but you might save money by checking out the competition.

—Dick Fugett

The 6 HP H-60, our all-time most popular model.

Mainline Rotary Tillers

• See also Peaceful Valley Farm Supply (p. 85).

• If you need to pump, haul, or store water in order to garden, Domestic Growers Supply has a catalog full of tools and supplies.

Domestic Growers Supply: catalog $1 from Domestic Growers Supply, P. O. Box 809, Cave Junction, OR 97523.

Market gardeners, landscapers, or anyone who makes a living with a tiller will want to know about Mainline. This American company sells two kinds of high-quality Italian tillers made by S.E.P. and Goldoni. Thirty-three models are offered, ranging in horsepower from 5.7 to 18 and in price from $1,200 to $5,000. Some of the larger sizes are available in diesel. A key feature provides great versatility: the tiller comes off, revealing the power take-off spline,- the handles and controls pivot 180 degrees so the power take-off is pointed forward, and attachments hook on. They include rotary lawn mowers, sickle-bar mowers, snow throwers, sprayer

Mainline with 44” sicklebar attachment.

Mainline Rotary Tillers $1,200-$5,000 (33 models)

Information free from: Mainline North America P. O. Box 348 London, OH 43140


Rodale’s Color Handbook of Garden Insects

Anna Carr 1979; 241 pp.

$12.95 postpaid from:

Rodale Press 33 East Minor Street

Emmaus, PA 18049 or Whole Earth Access

Rodale’s Color Handbook of Garden Insects

More than 300 pests and beneficial insects leap from these pages in close-up color photographs. While your own worst enemy may not appear (because the insect world is far more varied than a single book can cover), a similar species is probably listed — along with organic controls, geographic range and life cycle data.

—Rosemary Menninger

Range.- throughout North America.

Description: Green with a light stripe; several hairs on each segment; % inch long. Adult: Brownish yellow moth with gray and brown marking; %-inch wingspan. Eggs: Laid in clusters on the leaves.

Life Cycle: Two to four generations. Pupae overwinter in the soil.

Host Plants: Bean, beet, corn, pea, strawberry.

Feeding Habits: Larvae spin light webs and feed within, dropping to the ground when disturbed.

Insect Predators: Various trichogramma wasps.

Natural Controls: Use Bacillus thuringiensis or pyrethrum for intolerable infestations.

Identifying Diseases of Vegetables

This book gives brief and nontechnical descriptions of the major diseases of common garden vegetables and illustrates each one with a high-quality color photograph. It does not prescribe cures of any kind, although from the explanations of environmental conditions that some diseases prefer — such as cool, wet weather or poorly drained soils — you may get clues as to what went wrong in your case. If this book needed a subtitle it would be “Keeping Ahead of the Fungi.” —Richard Nilsen

Insecticidal Soap

Soaps are made of fatty acids from plants and animals. There are hundreds of these fatty acids, and while most will get dirt off your hands, a select few will also kill insect pests yet not harm people, beneficial insects, or the plants themselves. Safer Agro-Chern has built an innovative line of products around these special soaps — the one for use against fruit and vegetable pests is safe to use right up to the day of harvest. Others kill moss and algae, powdery mildew, and fleas on pets. —Richard Nilsen

Identifying Diseases of Vegetables

A. A. MacNab, A.F. Sherf, and S.K. Springer 1983; 62 pp.

$8 postpaid from:

Agricultural Publications Department The Pennsylvania State University Agriculture Administration Building University Park, PA 16802 or Whole Earth Access

Insecticidal Soap

Information free from: Safer’s Inc.

P. O. Box 649

Jamul, CA 92035 or at your local garden supply store.

Reuter “Attack” Natural Pest Controls

Catalog free from: Reuter Laboratories 8450 Natural Way Manassas Park, VA 22111

Viruses and herbicides often cause leaf deformation that is most severe on new growth. Tobacco mosaic, cucumber mosaic, and 2,4-D are three common causes of these symptoms.

Tobacco Mosaic is caused by a virus that affects tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and related plants. Symptoms on tomato foliage include light- and dark-green mottling with curling and slight malformation of leaflets. Sometimes green fruit are mottled. Affected plants may be stunted. The virus is very persistent and infectious, and can be spread by merely brushing against plants. The virus is not spread by aphids.

Natural Pest Controls

Don’t insects ever get sick? Yes, if they eat the right bacteria. Scientists have discovered naturally occurring microbial insecticides for many garden pests like tomato worms and grasshoppers, and even one for mosquitoes and black flies. And since they are specific as to what they infect, they do not harm fish, honeybees, chickens that eat grasshoppers, your ripe tomatoes, or you. Reuter Labs sells 18 of these products under the brand name “Attack.” If you can’t find them at your garden store then write the company. —Richard Nilsen

• See Gardener’s Supply Co. catalog (p. 78) for more pest control products.

• For more on pesticide reform, see “Biohazards” (p. 107).



Introduction to Integrated Pest Management

Integrated pest management (IPM) has come into its own in the last 15 years as the shortcomings of reliance on synthetic chemical pesticides have become glaringly apparent — the bugs become immune to the sprays, which are oil based and expensive; natural checks and balances get wiped out, groundwater becomes contaminated, birds die, and people eat foods laced with carcinogens. This is an easy reading introduction to a system based on looking at pests in their total environmental setting via careful monitoring in the field and use of computer-built predictive mathematical models of insect behavior. Compared to using only chemical pesticides, IPM is gentle on the earth and frequently cheaper. —Richard Nilsen

Grape growers in California have learned that blackberry bushes have their beneficial aspects, especially in the control of an important insect pest — the grape leafhopper. Insecticides have often failed to provide effective control of the leafhopper, or their use has aggravated other pest problems such as spider mites. Entomologists had known that a tiny natural enemy, the parasitic wasp Anagrus epos, which lays its eggs in the eggs of the grape leafhopper, kept the pest under control in some vineyards — but not in others. Nobody knew why.

The riddle was solved when it was realized that the wasp spent its winters parasitizing a different insect on a different plant host. Since the leaves fall off grapevines in the winter and the grape leafhopper retreats to the edge of the vineyard and becomes inactive, the nonhibernating

parasitic wasp has no shelter, food, or means of survival in this environment. Nearby blackberry bushes, however, keep their leaves during winter and host their own leafhopper species all year round. Thus, the weedy blackberry patches were providing a winter home for this important natural enemy of the key grape pest.

Introduction to Integrated Pest Management

Mary Louise Flint and’ Robert van den Bosch 1981; 240 pp.

$19.95 postpaid from:

Plenum Press 233 Spring Street New York, NY 10013 or Whole Earth Access

Common Sense Pest Control Quarterly • The IPM Practitioner

Integrated pest management isn’t just for farmers and gardeners. It works on cockroaches, rats and clothes moths too. Plenty of techniques are known, and getting them to people who can use them are what these two newsletters are all about. The Quarterly is for a general audience and the subscription price includes one written consultation about a pest problem you may have of your own. Reprints of programs for safe and economical control of an amazing variety of pests are also sold — everything from mosquitos and head lice to poison ivy and lawn pests. The Practitioner is read by professional pest managers who serve the growing market of people demanding safe alternatives to chemical poisons.

—Richard Nilsen


For many years following the Second World War ... sheep were commonly dipped with dieldrin and related materials to protect them from skin parasites such as blow flies. Dieldrin has a natural affinity for wool, chemically bonding to the fiber. The result was moth protection that lasted the life of any woolen garment.... Because of food-chain contamination, many pesticides such as dieldrin and its relatives have been banned.... The result has been the recurrence of fabric-eating insects as major residential problems.

Clothes moths and other pests that damage fabrics sometimes make their homes in the abandoned nests of birds, rodents, bats, bees or wasps and in the carcasses of dead animals. These sources of moths need to be found and removed. Trapping, rather than poisoning, should be used to eliminate rodents. Poisoned rats or mice are too likely to die in inaccessible places in the walls of the dwelling, and these carcasses can feed fabric pests as well as flesh flies, which may then become pests within the house. —Common Sense

Chickens were used successfully as biological controls against grasshoppers in the Siskiyou National Forest in Oregon, where forest officials, rather than applying insecticide against an unusually large hatch of grasshoppers, fenced in a five-acre area containing valuable tree seedlings and stocked it with 175 chickens. At the start of the project, 200 to 600 grasshoppers per square yard were counted, but within a short time, the chickens had so reduced the grasshopper population that chicken feed had to be purchased. —IPM Practitioner

• Pesticide Hotline 800-858-7378.

This 24-hour seven days/week free phone line is operated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Texas Tech University in Lubbock. Everything from first aid for acute poisoning to advice about garden pests.

Rincon-Vitova Insectaries

Common Sense Pest Control Quarterly

William Olkowski, Editor $30/year (4 issues)

The IPM Practitioner

William Olkowski, Editor $25/year (10 issues) Publications catalog $1 All from: BIRC (Bio-Integral Resource Center) P. O. Box 7414 Berkeley, CA 94707

Mail-order bugs that eat bugs. They’re called beneficial insects, and ladybugs are best known. Also for sale here are bugs to control aphids, greenhouse whiteflies, and even a parasite to attack common flies that breed in livestock manure. —Richard Nilsen

Rincon-Vitova Insectaries

Catalog free from: Rincon-Vitova Insectaries P. O. Box 95 Oak View, CA 93022




EES DON’T NEED MUCH ROOM. You can keep them in a back yard, on a city rooftop, HET or in your neighbor’s empty lot. I’ve put mine in all three places over the years. I offer bees my clean and sturdy shelters more for the joy of having their fascination nearby than for the several gallons of honey a year they pay me as rent. They don’t bark, or

—Kevin Kelly

Capturing a swarm of bees can bring genuine adventure into your life, making it

—Dick Fugett

The Beekeeper’s Handbook

Diana Sammataro and Alphonse Avitabile 1986; 150 pp.


postpaid from: Macmillan

Order Dept.

Front and Brown Streets Riverside, NJ 08075 or Whole Earth Access

Here’s a book I wish had been around when I started working bees. The Beekeeper’s Handbook is a well-illustrated introduction covering most of the basics, from site location and equipment to the installation of package bees to basic management techniques. It’s the best beginner’s book I’ve seen, and most readable, so I won’t quibble about small stuff like the authors’ hang-up on mandatory chemotherapy.

With this book and some equipment you’ll be on your way. If you’re beginning, you’d do well to find a local beekeeper and thus benefit from someone else’s experience. More fun is to make contact with two local beekeepers. You’ll soon discover that they disagree with each other half the time — that beekeeping is an art, not a science. With this understanding, you’ll move forward with a more

flexible mind.

—Dick Fugett

The Hive and the Honey Bee

Gleanings in Bee Culture

The Hive and the Honey Bee

Dadant and Sons, Editors 4th edition 1975; 740 pp.


($17.30 postpaid) from: Dadant & Sons, Inc.

51 South 2nd Street Hamilton, IL 62341 or Whole Earth Access

Since the major technical breakthroughs in beekeeping — movable frames, wax foundations, and the honey extractor — were all made over 100 years ago, beekeepers today can devote their efforts to improving technique rather than trying to keep up with state-of-the-art equipment advances. So when it comes to bee books, it follows that the old can be as useful as the new, and sometimes more so.

Hive is still going strong after 40 years, now in a 7th printing of a 4th edition which was in fact inspired by a book published in 1853. It’s passed the test of time — if any single volume could be said to present the topic, this

GiBC has been published monthly for 113 years and appears to be permanent. It has current info on everything of interest to the hobbyist — from techniques, research and disease to books and equipment. —Dick Fugett

would be it.

—Dick Fugett

The first consideration in choosing the location of an apiary is whether or not there are sufficient sources of nectar and pollen near. Bear in mind that honey bees obtain most of their nectar and pollen within a half-mile radius, but can gather at distances of 1 to 2 miles, depending on the ruggedness of the country and to some extent on the prevailing winds. Even in the heart of large cities, there are often sufficient sources of nectar and pollen to provide for a limited number of colonies, and even to produce surplus honey. A city lawn, a back yard, a flat roof, a pasture on a farm, a grove of trees — all will be satisfactory locations as the occasion demands.

Can you describe the taste and aroma of your honey or honey from your state or region? Our language lacks unique words to convey an accurate sensation of taste. A few years ago Arthur Strang and I attempted to begin a description of some of the mid-Atlantic region honey sources. Here are some honey sources for you to ponder and perhaps confirm for yourself:

Water White Alfalfa Blossom Honey: Very sweet, smooth, faintly fruity flavor with a pleasing sugary bouquet. Basswood Honey: Sweet, slightly astringent flavor with a pleasing blossomy flavor.

Amber Blackberry Blossom Honey: Sweet, smooth, rich, roasted nut-like flavor with pleasing fruity bouquet.

Dark Buckwheat Honey: Sweet, smooth, nut-like flavor with a satisfactory fruity, nutty bouquet.

Extra Light Amber Sweet Clover: Very sweet, smooth, taint of cinnamon-like flavor with a pleasing sugary bouquet. Extra Light Amber Lima Bean Honey: Moderately sweet, slightly tart flavor with satisfactory weak blossom bouquet.

Gleanings in Bee Culture

John Root, Editor


(12 issues) from:

A. I. Root Company

P. O. Box 706 Medina, OH 44256

Mail Order Bees

Since bee supply stores are few and far between, mail order becomes a necessity. Each of the following dealers will send a free catalog on request. —Dick Fugeft

Walter T. Kelley Company, Clarkson, KY 42726.

Dadant Bee Supplies, Dadant & Sons, Inc., Hamilton, IL 62341.

Root Bee Supplies. A. I. Root Co., P. O. Box 706, Medina, OH 44256.

Unit #1, the “Honey-of-a-Hobby” kit, contains everything necessary for the beginner to start that first colony of bees except the bees themselves. This complete beekeeping kit contains: one standard beehive with a unique reversible entrance reducer, 10 frames, 10 sheets of Dadant’s Duragilt

The Freshwater Aquaculture Book

This book deals with just about anything that moves in fresh water and is big enough to bite — fish species plus frogs, crayfish, shrimp, and clams. Normally, to get the kind of comprehensive information this book contains you would have to go to several books, and most of them would be aimed at the fellow who wants to know how to go about raising 30 acres of catfish in ponds. But as with agriculture so with aquaculture: a small pond provides “the best combination of productivity and manageability.”

—Richard Nilsen

Raising Small Meat Aminals

If your average country vet doesn’t know too much about sick rabbits and chickens, that’s because he spends most of his time doctoring horses and cattle. Dr. Giammattei helps fill the void with this excellent book. There are 39 pages of diagnostic keys for various animal diseases, plus instructions on how to doctor your own flocks. Details on nutrition, housing, breeding, management, and butchering are equally well presented. —Richard Nilsen

Garden Way Livestock Books

Garden Way is the best single source for introductory books on raising back-yard animals. The size of your back yard determines which critterfs). A book each on poultry, rabbits, ducks, turkeys, goats, sheep, pigs, and cattle. —Richard Nilsen

Type of animal




Chicken broiler

$ .45

$ .55


Turkey roaster




Cornish game hen




Rabbit fryer








<em>Analysis of Savings on Home-Grown Small Meat Animals</em>

1. Approx, cost of home production per lb. of dressed carcass

2. Approx, retail price per lb. of dressed carcass

3. Savings on home-grown carcasses (%)

Raising Poultry the Modern Way: Leonard S. Mercia, 1975;

220 pp. $8.95 ($10.95 postpaid).

Raising Rabbits the Modern Way: Bob Bennett, 1975; 158

pp. $7.95 ($9.95 postpaid).

Publications list free. All from Garden Way Publishing/Storey Communications, Schoolhouse Road, Pownal, VT 05261 (or Whole Earth Access).

The Freshwater Aquaculture Book

William McLarney 1984; 583 pp.


($41 postpaid) from:

Hartley & Marks, Inc.

P. O. Box 147

Point Roberts, WA 98281 or Whole Earth Access

Stromberg’s Chicks & Pets Unlimited

For non-killed protein nothing beats milk and eggs.

For ordinary chickens go to local sources. For particular chickens, fancy ones, and geese, ducks, pigeons, turkeys, peacocks — plus everything to house and care for them

Murray McMurray Hatchery

— Stromberg’s.

Stromberg’s Chicks & Pets Unlimited


$1 from:

Stromberg’s Chicks & Pets

Pine River, MN 56474

Many kinds of chicks both plain and fancy, great service, a catalog that’s an education in itself, and good prices. They also respond quickly to questions — we got an individual reply to ours in less than a week.

—Daryl Ann Kyle

Murray McMurray Hatchery

Catalog free from:

Murray McMurray

P. O. Box 458

Webster City, IA 50595

Raising Small Meat Animals

Victor M. Giammattei, D.V.M.

1976; 433 pp.


postpaid from: Interstate Printers and Publishers

19 North Jackson Street

P. O. Box 50

Danville, IL 61843–0050 or Whole Earth Access

Earthworm Buyer’s Guide • Worms Eat My Garbage

• Medicines, equipment, grooming supplies and accessories for horses, cats, dogs and rabbits. Good prices. Wholesale Veterinary Supply: Catalog free from P. O. Box 2256. Rockford, IL 61131.

• Also see “Pets” (pp. 144–145).

Down here at the bottom, underneath all this livestock by-product, are the earthworms, happily turning waste into compost. Get some and they’ll do if for you.

Worms Eat My Garbage tells how to keep worms in a box to transform your kitchen organic garbage into humus.

—Richard Nilsen

Earthworm Buyer’s Guide 1986–87 (A Directory of Earthworm Hatcheries in the U.S.A, and Canada): Robert F. Shields, 1986; 64 pp. $3 ($4 postpaid) from Shields Publications, P. O. Box 669, Eagle River, Wl 54521 (or Whole Earth Access).

Worms Eat My Garbage: Mary Appelhof, 1982; 100 pp. $7.95 postpaid from Flower Press, 10332 Shaver Road, Kalamazoo, Ml 49002 (or Whole Earth Access).

As a newcomer to the equestrian scene, I found this book particularly helpful. It covers everything but the riding: selecting a horse, choosing a stable, horse health, tack, apparel, events, and organizations. In the Whole Earth Catalog genre, it’s an excellent resource book for books, magazines, and all sorts of products for both English and Western riders. —Patricia Phelan


King’s Saddlery: The best catalog for the working cowboy and all Western riders. They manufacture ropes and saddles and have a large selection of bits.

Catalog free from King’s Saddlery, 184 North Main, Sheridan, WY 82801.

Miller’s: This classy catalog offers tack and accoutrements ‘for those riders of English persuasion. Lots of handsome apparel.

Catalog $2 from Miller’s, 235 Murray Hill Parkway, East Rutherford, NJ 07073

Libertyville Saddle Shop: Such an overwhelming selection of everything for all sorts of riding that it’s difficult to order unless you already know what you want.

Catalog S3 from Libertyville Saddle Shop, P. O. Box M, Libertyville, IL 60048.

—Patricia Phelan and Pamela Cowfan

The Manual of Horsemanship

This is the classic book of English riding — on the flat and jumping fences. The first third of the book is devoted to riding skills (equitation). The rest is “horsemastership” — the care of the horse and the equipment involved. The text and illustrations are good for young or novice riders.

—Pamela Cowtan

This is the horse magazine of the American Cowboy, probably second only to Reader’s Digest in subscriptions in ranchland. Includes a little of everything from rodeo fashions and twelve-year-old horsegirls looking for penpals, to new product evaluations and general coverage of all important national horse shows. It is quarter horse biased because the cattle industry is too, but every October it prints a special “All Breeds Issue” in which access information is published for all the various registries in this country. If you own a pleasure horse, here is your mag. If you plan on getting a horse when you get the rest of your shit together, you can do some nice picture-shopping while you wait. If you are scared of horses but like boots and hats, here is your mail-order marketplace.

—J. D. Smith


Practical Horseman

For those who ride English. There’s lots about proper form, the hunt, and other activities associated with East Coast equitation. —Patricia Phelan and Pamela Cowtan

Practical Horseman

Pamela Goold, Editor $19.95/year (12 issues) from: Practical Horseman Subscription Service Dept. P. O. Box 927 Farmingdale, NY 11737–0927

• And then there are the big ones, the ones that do real work, the ones that can take the place of machinery. Find out how this part of the horse world is doing.

The Draft Horse Journal: Morris Telleen, Editor. $14/year (4 issues) from The Draft Horse Journal, P. O. Box 670, Waverly, IA 50677.

The Farming Game

Farms <em>and farmers have been disappearing in large numbers in America since the 1950s. The Farming</em> Game explains the arithmetic that has greased this economic slide, and also suggests strategies for people interested in surviving this trend and farming in the 1980s. Bryan Jones has a style reminiscent of Will Rogers — an ear for ironic humor, political savvy, and a simmering contempt for bureaucratic institutions (big banks, government, universities). His lectures on profit and advice on diversification are the perfect antidote for romantic agrarian notions. This is a book that any beginner will need and anyone with experience will nod at knowingly.

—Richard Nilsen •

“Hell, Ed, who ya tryin’ to kid? You’d be the first dumb bastard plantin’ corn if it was worth ten cents a bushel. Ya got the habit bad as anyone I know. The few birds you ain’t killed yet start chirpin’ in the spring, an’ you’ll wax that tractor a coupla times, fire ‘er up, an’ go plant corn. It ain’t your fault. It’s just like heroin, or overactin’, or any other kind of bad habit, is what it is.”

Peaceful Valley Farm Supply

If for some absurd reason I had to do all my agricultural shopping with just one catalog, Peaceful Valley Farm Supply would be the one. With it I could buy a BSC tiller, Speedling Transplant Flats or beneficial insects for pest control. Or Fawn fescue grass seed (by the pound or the sack), earthworm castings or a bristlecone pine tree. More than 475 varieties of plants are for sale in the current catalog, including the Floyd Zaiger line of genetically dwarfing fruit and nut trees. The emphasis is on ecologically sound products and the service is friendly.

—Richard Nilsen

Peaceful Valley

Farm Supply

11173 Peaceful Valley Road

Nevada City, CA 95959


Same materials as Jiffy-Pots but molded into strips for easy handling and inserting into trays. Separate easily for planting.

214” square pots. 12 pots per strip. Pack of 3 strips (36 pots): $2.35 (1#) Case of 200 strips (2400 pots): $75.00 1’A” square pots. 12 pots per strip. Case pf 400 strips (4800 pots): $71.65 1%” square pots . 12 pots per strip. Case of 300 strips (3600 pots): $79.50

• This magazine is “dedicated to putting people, profit and biological permanence back into farming by giving farmers the information they need to take charge of their farms and their futures.” It is run by a non-profit organization and is the best single source for economically sound alternative techniques for commercial farmers.

The New Farm: George DeVault, Editor; $15/year (7 issues) from Regenerative Agriculture Association, 222 Main Street, Emmaus, PA 18049.

New Roots for Agriculture • The Land Institute

New Roots for Agriculture takes conventional agricultural wisdom and stands it on its head. The problem is not organic versus chemical methods, but rather the plow versus sod: plow and your soil will erode; leave the earth’s vegetative skin undisturbed and the soil stays in place.

By way of illustration, Wes Jackson begins by describing a rainy Sunday drive through the Mennonite country of south-central Kansas. These are among the best ecological farmers in business — land stewardship is even a basic tenet of their religion — yet the streams run black with soil from their freshly seeded fields. It’s an image that percolates through the rest of the book, because if these are our “best” farmers, then how much mud is in everybody else’s streams?

Jackson’s solution is to imitate nature, and in this his method resembles Fukuoka’s (see The One-Straw Revolution, p. 61). Instead of raising annuals and churning up the soil every year, plant perennials and let the plant roots hold the soil where it belongs. Instead of monocultures like wheat, plant polycultures that mimic the native prairie flora. With perennial polycultures the trick is to get the yield high enough to make this method feasible.

Will it work? Nobody knows, because most all the research so far has gone toward perfecting annual crops. At the Land Institute outside Salina, Kansas, Jackson and his wife Dana and staff are busy testing perennial native grasses. Follow their developments through The Land Report. From their tiny test plots may come grains for the future. For now, New Roots for Agriculture is an eloquent and disturbing book. —Richard Nilsen


I think we must acknowlege that humans can be expected to be wicked and stupid for a long time to come. And though there is no reason the land should not be punishing our evil and error, there is also no reason why the land should be the principal loser as it has been since till agriculture began. The task before us, therefore, is to build an agriculture that is resilient to human folly, an agriculture that rewards wisdom and patience, an agriculture in which the land remains resilient but not silent during those excursions toward some dangerous unknown, dangerous because we have become too enamored with our own cleverness and enterprise.

—New Roots for Agriculture


A slim, quarterly catalog of books and software doesn’t seem like a big deal at first, but this is an almost unbelievably useful service, long needed. The agAccess folks offer to sell “every agricultural book in print,” and to find you a reference on virtually any agricultural subject. The catalog consists of expert reviews of various publications and computer software programs useful to farmers. Though accenting the organic and generally eco-righteous, the service covers all sorts of cultivation — wen turf for golf courses. It’s run by nice people too.


Gaining Ground: The Renewal of America’s Small Farms (by J. Tevere MacFadyen, 1984):

The author lets the farmers explain the myriad issues that face small farmers working toward economic viability. This book is about people as well as agricultural issues, and it provides a charming and thorough forum for both. Good reading for anyone interested in the small farm vs. agribusiness debate. 242 pages, hardcover. $16.95.

E IT NEIGHBORHOOD OR NATION, the ideal community remains elusive. What turns out to be most important after spiritual matters are attended to is political and economic permission (some call it acceptance). You have to be resolute, clever, and lucky to make any advance; community is always work-

Land-Saving Action

The last decade has seen a tremendous expansion of private-sector preservation of open space lands. This book, with chapters by 29 experts, embodies the experience that ten years has produced, and will serve as a bible for anyone who loves a piece of land enough to want to find out how to save it. —Richard Nilsen

Most land trusts are actually not trusts at all in the legal sense, but are nonstock corporations organized for char-

Preservation Organizations

The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy is responsible for preserving over two million acres of land, as well as innumerable rare and endangered plants and animals. For my money, they manage their purchases with the best network of volunteer and professional land stewards. Recently, The Nature Conservancy has gone international because many of the birds we protect here winter south of the border. “To save them here, they must be saved there as well. ” A fringe benefit of joining is a 4-color, top-notch quarterly.

—Peter Warshall

The Nature Conservancy News: Sue Dodge, Editor. $)0/year (6 issues) from 1800 North Kent Street, Arlington, VA 22209.

Land Trust Exchange

Most land preservation groups tend to be small, volunteer, community oriented, and with very specific tasks in mind. Land Trust Exchange serves as a national clearinghouse for all of them. Their National Directory lists more than 500 groups by state. You can also find out if a group exists where you live and learn about other written material they distribute by writing them.

—Richard Nilsen

National Directory of Local and Regional Land Conservation Organizations: $12 postpaid from Land Trust Exchange, P. O. Box 364, Bar Harbor, ME 04609.

The Trust for Public Land

TPL does not hold land permanently and it is not a membership organization. Instead it buys threatened

Building an Ark

The nuts and bolts of wildlife preservation, by an exemplary land saver for The Nature Conservancy. The techniques of property are used to make sufficiently cherished land no longer be property in the buy and sell sense.

—Stewart Brand

A right of first refusal is an option, not an obligation. You don’t have to buy the property when it becomes available. Thus for a nominal fee you have purchased:

1. The right to know that the owner of an important tract is considering an action that could jeopardize the natural features you wish to protect.

2. Thirty days or so to negotiate with the owner before he can sell.

itable purposes. A genuine trust is usually established by an individual transferring property to a trustee and is administered under conditions stated in a trust document. In contrast, the corporate form used by land trusts allows much greater flexibility in involving interested individuals, obtaining contributions, and managing holdings.

land and then resells it to public agencies for open space. It is designed to represent the public interest in the “here today, gone tomorrow” world of real estate transactions. Open space is where you find or create it, and for TPL this includes inner city lots. Three hundred thousand more spacious acres have been transferred nationwide.

—Richard Nilsen

The Trust for Public Land: Information free from The Trust for Public Land, 82 Second Street, San Francisco, CA 94105.

Ducks Unlimited

This 560,000-member organization has been responsible for the preservation of more waterbird breeding grounds (especially marshlands) than any government or other group. Working internationally (ducks haven’t learned about Canadian, U.S., and Mexican boundaries), Ducks Unlimited restores, manages, and purchases wetlands throughout North American waferfowl flyways.

—Peter Warshall Ducks Unlimited: Membership $20/year from 1 Waterfowl Way, Long Grove, IL 60047.

Izaak Walton League of America

An old conservation group with a distinct midwestern twang. Rooted morality. Never upstarts. They are hard, persevering workers who maintain, protect, and restore soil, forests, water and air. A wholesome 50,000 members. Publishes Outdoor America and has an endowment fund to purchase unique natural areas.

—Peter Warshall

Izaak Walton League of America: Membership $20/year from 1701 North Fort Myer Drive, Suite 1100, Arlington, VA 22209.

3. Usually, the ability to talk to the person who made the offer, to discern his attitude toward protection, and thus the ability to gauge how he would manage it if you let him go ahead and buy the property.

4. The ability to make an offer.

Dedication is the strongest protection tool discussed in this book, increasing protection offered even through fee acquisition in two ways. First, a county clerk cannot lawfully record articles of dedication unless they contain terms protecting the land against modification or encroachment. Secondly, all nature preserves acts contain clear language protecting dedicated properties against condemnation or conversion.

Earth First!

Out on the front lines of eco-defense is Earth First!. “No compromise in the defense of Mother Earth!” Direct action against the machinery (not people) and eco-theatre is their modus operand!. Because many environmental groups have become top-heavy with managerial salaries and glossy promotions, Earth First! attracts more youth and makes more efficient use of limited funds.

—Peter Warshall

Earth First! (The Radical Environmental Journal): Dave Foreman, Editor, $15/year (8 issues) from Earth First!, P. O. Box 5871, Tucson, AZ 85703.

Sierra Club

The Sierra Club has many parts which provide different services. They have integrated their politics with the Big Boys so well that sometimes I think the leadership loses touch. This occurred, for instance when the Sierra Club supported a huge water project in California (the Peripheral Canal) which its membership overwhelmingly hated and its defense fund was essentially trying to half. The Sierra Club is also the “hated” symbol for those who feel environmentalists are commie extremists. Caught in all these cross-currents, they can use more input and support from their membership. The voice of John Muir needs a 1980s broadcast system.

Sierra Club: Membership $29/year (includes 6 issues of Sierra Magazine) from Sierra Club: 730 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109.

• Environment defenders can augment their political effectiveness by applying the strategies and tactics shown on pp. 104–105.

• For a novel approach to affordable housing in cities, see the Institute for Community Economics and theirCommunity Land Trust Handbook (p. 110).

Riparian corridor on The Nature Conservancy’s 1,500-acre Kern River Preserve in California. The endangered yellow-billed cuckoo breeds here, and 200 other bird species have been sighted. This Is one of the last intact remnants of riverside woodland in the state.

The strength of Audubon since 1905 has been its naturalist backbone. More than any other environmental organization, its members actually know the animals and plants they try to conserve. Not only that, they seem to love their knowledge with early naturalist enthusiasm. The educational aspects of Audubon are truly admirable. Their politics vary locally and, if you contribute, it’s good to earmark your contribution for a particular purpose, especially for specific sanctuaries. —Peter Warshall

National Audubon Society: Membership $30/year (includes 6 issues of Audubon Magazine) from National Audubon Society, Membership Data Center, P. O. Box 2666, Boulder, CO 80322.

The Conservation Foundation

Runs an eco-mediation “Dispute Resolution Program” to bypass lawyers, courts, and the big bucks (see mention of their book on next page).

In groups like the Environmental Defense Fund, National Resources Defense Council and Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund (not the same as Sierra Club) hardnosed lawyers keep Congress and the courts from slouching and swallowing even more eco-destruction, pollution, and

Environmental Defense Fund: Membership $20/year (includes 6 issues of EDF Letter) from EDF, 1616 P Street NW, Washington, DC 20036.

Natural Resources Defense Council: Membership $10/year (includes subscription to Amicus Journal and Newsline Newsletter) from NRDC, 122 E. 42nd Street, New York, NY 10168.

Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund: Information free from 2044 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94115.

Environmental Impact Assessment • The Environmental Impact Statement Process

The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is one of the most remarkable examples of participatory democracy alive in the United States. It’s perhaps the most viable political tool in this catalog and has brought together scientists, citizens, corporate executives, congressmen, and lawyers in an unprecedented manner, forcing humans to consider the consequences of their acts.

Unfortunately, the EIS has stopped few projects, and it’s currently under attack by the Reagan administration. But it has slowed a percentage, with the benefit of reducing environmental damage and, at times, development costs. It gives Americans a say in projects that they subsidize with their taxes and must live with long after the developer goes home. These two books are still the best introduction. —Peter Warshall


Inspired by Ed Abbey’s The Monkey Wrench Gang, Ecodefense sports proven techniques of tree spiking, road spiking, disabling heavy equipment, fence cutting, trap clearing, lock jamming, billboard trashing, and sundry skills of propaganda, camouflage, sneaking around, escape and evasion, and the like. Fascinating stuff; best not to skim and fry, but really study before trying — for two good reasons. One is that monkeywrenching mostly takes place in country where retribution is not only in the courts but also by direct action: you get the living shit beat out of you. The second is that monkeywrenching the

A bridge timber spike and single jack hammer for use with very large trees. Smaller spikes are fine for general use and can be driven In with a heavy standard hammer.

Conservation Directory

From the publishers of Ranger Rick (p. 386) comes a useful catalog of private and public organizations, governmental agencies, and officials (like Senators or department heads) concerned with natural resources, wildlife, and their management. Anyone trying to coordinate their activities (such as stream restoration for fish) with other groups or wanting to know all the conservation groups within their state or trying to contact the relevant Washington authority can use this catalog.

—Peter Warshall

Kentucky Bass Chapter Federation:

(An organization of Bassmaster Chapters, affiliated with the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society, to fight pollution, assist state and national conservation agencies in their efforts and to teach the young people of our country good conservation practices. Dedicated to the realistic conservation of our water resources.)

President: Alex Thomasson, 333 Jesselin Dr., Lexington, KY 40503 (606, 278-4018/232-3795) _

Conservation Directory 1986 Rue E. Gordon, Editor 1986; 302 pp.


($17 postpaid) from: The National Wildlife Federation

1412 Sixteenth Street NW

54. Does the table of contents list at least the following seven elements required by CEQA, as distinct sections? (Section 15085(b))

(a) The environmental impact of the proposed action

(b) Any adverse environmental effects which cannot be avoided if the proposal is implemented

(c) Mitigation measures proposed to minimize the impact

(d) Alternatives to the proposed action

(e) The relationship between local short-term uses of man’s environment and the maintenance and enhancement of long-term productivity

(f) Any irreversible environmental changes which would be caused by the proposed action should it be implemented

(g) The growth-inducing impact of the proposed action —Environmental Impact Assessment

wrong target is grotesquely counterproductive; you have not only to be right every single time, but conspicuously right, or you’re just another random vandal making everyone else feel sick about being alive. The book constantly warns about knowing your target cold before making a move, and if in doubt, don’t. —Stewart Brand

Tree-spiking is an extremely effective method of deterring timber sales, which deserves to be employed far more widely than heretofore. Mill operators are quite wary of accepting timber which has a likelihood of contamination with hidden metal objects — saws are expensive, and a “spiked” log can literally bring operations to a screeching halt, at least until a new blade can be put into service. The Forest Service is nervous enough about tree spiking that it has failed to publicize past incidents, for fear that the practice might spread.


Authoritative and glossy. This Sweden-based magazine is the voice of establishment international environmentalism. When I was working a couple of years ago on an article about genotoxins — the flood of new chemicals that cause cancer and gene damage — Ambio was my most indispensable source of up-to-date information.

—Stewart Brand


Don Hinrichsen and Kai-Inge Hillerud, Editors $32/year

(6 issues) from: Pergamon Journal, Inc. Maxwell House Fairview Park Elmsford, NY 10523 • A survey of a decade of eco-mediation with an interesting appendix of case studies.

Resolving Environmental

Disputes: Gail Bingham, 1985; 250 pp. $17 postpaid from The Conservation Foundation, Dept. QQ, 1255 23rd Street NW, Washington, DC 20037.



Gimme some numbers! And that’s just what you get from these folks as they attempt to discover and understand the flow of energy and resources through society. They’re doing our homework for us. —JB

The World Game Membership $25/year (includes newsletter) Global Data Manager (MS-DOS, CP/M) $77 postpaid

• = 45 million people = 1 % of humanity —The World Game

All from:

The World Game

The World Game

“To make the World work I for 100% of Humanity I in the shortest possible time I Through spontaneous cooperation I Without ecological offense I Or the disadvantage of anyone.”

<em>Buckminster Fuller initiated the World Game in 1969 as one means of accomplishing this worthy goal. The idea is that with enough data on world resources and their distribution (including accumulated technology and problem-solving skills), the world’s citizens will do what’s best for all. Fuller assumed that once if was obvious that there was enough of everything to go around, people</em>

would stop fighting wars and get to work making the world work — if not as a utopia at least not continuing the current suicidal path. World Game is still developing. Recent sessions use an enormous basketball-court-size map in order to more easily visualize various strategies as they are suggested by participants. A formidable software database called Global Data Manager allows individuals to play with the numbers on their PCs. Universities and the UN are beginning to pay attention to this attempt at manipulating global data. In many ways, it’s a giant version of the other work shown on this page. There’s hope for us yet. —JB

University City

Science Center 3508 Market Street #214

Philadelphia, PA 19104

Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)

Since its humble beginnings in 1982, RMI (Amory and Hunter Lovins, props.) has shown the way in energy and resource management research; I’ll let them explain themselves:

“Because the problems of the world cannot be solved by piecemeal thinking, the interdisciplinary staff of 20 emphasizes synthesis. RMI has documented, for example, how least-cost energy strategies can inhibit nuclear proliferation, abate acid rain, save wild rivers, rescue troubled utilities, cut electric rates, forestall the CO2 threat to global climate, make farms and industries more profitable, rebuild distressed local economies, and save enough money to pay off the National Debt by 2000.”

Fact is that RMI has actually done much of the above, or

The Regeneration Project

This project is based on a simple truth: if you import products, food, and energy into your area, you export money out of your local economy. Not good. Not efficient. Dumb, even. The Regeneration Project offers the analytic and organizing skills to counter such forces. The idea is to maximize conservation where possible, then minimize imports by making, repairing, or growing what you need locally, locally. The project is increasingly successful because it works — not surprising with the hand of Rodale involved. —JB

As the Project studied dozens of individual states, a startling pattern emerged.

Virtually every state — including many of our most agriculturally oriented states — “imported” a vast amount of the food they consumed. This not only placed their states in a vulnerable position; it also caused a dollar drain that weakened their overall economy.

• See also “Biohazards” (p. 107), “Conservation” (p. 45), and land preservation groups (p. 86).

• See also Permaculture (p. 62) and Sustainable Communities (p. 113).

• See The Ecologist and Audubon (p. 27) for more on environmental politics. at least made a good start. A host of corporations and governments have taken their advice to heart because it’s based on the same information and methodology used by conventional analysts (who have not been paying attention). I recommend the RMI newsletter highly, though it makes many of us sound like lazy bums by comparison. The RMI record is both a marvel and an inspiration.

• -JB

A sample “supply curve” from Peter Butler’s recent research shows that installing 1-gallon toilets, faucet aerators, and 2-gallon/minute showerheads without charge would cost Aspen, Colorado minus $5 million in 20-year present value, because the energy savings on hot water would more than pay for the whole program. The actual benefit would be bigger: the city wouldn’t have to expand its water and wastewater systems.

The Local Economy Inventory serves to match local businesses with local suppliers in order to replace costly imports coming into a region. It comprehensively surveys all enterprises and institutions in a region. It covers both primary and secondary material inputs as well as waste products that may have potential economic value.

The Alkies have been working on sustainable technology and agriculture for about 15 years now and doing a good job of it too. Recent work includes a composting greenhouse and designs for eco-righteous housing that’ll appeal to builder/developers as well as owners. They offer lots of classes, consulting services, and a host of publications. The quarterly newsletter always seethes with interesting action, much of it backed by strict scientific methodology — one reason NAI has been so successful.


New Alchemy Quarterly

Kate Eldred, Editor $35/year (4 issues; membership) Publications list free both from: New Alchemy Institute 237 Hatchville Road East Falmouth, MA 02536

Peace Corps


free from: Peace Corps 806 Connecticut Avenue Room P-301 Washington, DC 20526

42 VAN ILLICH ONCE COMMENTED rather impolitely that righteously inclined Americans would do I j more good if they worked at local U.S.A, problems instead of imposing themselves on foreign hosts. I I (My own experience abroad agrees; I suspect a contribution of my air fare money would have done V more good than I did.) Nonetheless, there are certainly places where spirited yet humble application of expertise can help. If you want to get into this line of work, the Peace Corps is probably your best bet, but there are many other possibilities — especially church groups. “Doing time” is one of the best ways to learn.

—J. Baldwin

Appropriate Technology Microfiche Reference Library Information free Library in case $695 fiche reader $250–350 (postage and handling varies by destination) Appropriate

Technology Project Volunteers in Asia, Inc. P.O. Box 4543 Stanford, CA 94305

Peace Corps

If the Peace Corps were ten percent as effective in saving the world as its ads imply, then the fact that 110,000 volunteers have now returned from overseas would indicate that world salvation was in the bag. However, Peace Corps ads are more effective than the Peace Corps itself. So despite the genuine and highly publicized successes of the rare “super volunteer” — the term we had in Ecuador for the one guy who beat the odds — the third world is more deeply mired in poverty, oppression, and debt than when JFK launched the organization in 1961.

Also, Peace Corps remains forever aligned with U.S. foreign policy, e.g., it has returned to Grenada, and is long gone from Nicaragua. So why join an outfit that marches to the same beat as the State Department and has no significant effect on lessening the woes of the underprivileged? Because the Peace Corps offers something that isn’t emphasized in their ads, and definitely isn’t available here at home — a close look at under-

development, or life at the bottom of the food chain. Understanding how the rest of the world lives can be a mind opener.

Should you take the gamble, realize that the charm of native life will disappear the first day you see the village you’ve been assigned to; but you’ll still receive basic language training, an excellent salary (by your coworkers’ standards), a month’s vacation each year plus travel allowance, access to good medical care, and finally a $175 readjustment allowance for each month of service when you return home.

In other words, you’ll experience the living conditions and poverty that the world’s majority lives in, without having to really eat it. I know of no other organization that can offer such an opportunity, and anyone interested in languages, politics, and the human condition, or just serious travel (as opposed to tourism) should consider this option.

Don’t plan on changing the world though, just yourself.

—Dick Fugett

Appropriate Technology Microfiche Reference Library

No less than 1000 of the best appropriate tech books and documents — about 140,000 pages — have been micro- fiched to fit into a small suitcase. A simple 120 AC, 240 AC, or 12-volt (vehicle battery) fiche reader accompanies this deluge of information. Instant library! Affordable, too; the price of all this is about five percent of the real books, not to mention the cost of shipping and storing them. More than 100 countries have partaken of this opportunity so far.

This powerful idea was hatched by Ken Darrow of VIA (Volunteers in Asia). He has a book coming out soon (but too late for our deadline) containing sharp reviews of all 1000 of the fiched books. Watch for the Appropriate Technology Sourcebook in late ’86. If you work overseas, you need this book and the library. Spread the word. —JB


For 25 years. Volunteers in Technical Assistance has been a reliable source of expert advice and an experienced stack of publications. You don’t join VITA as you would

the Peace Corps, for instance, but you can make your special knowledge available through them. Their record of action is inspiring; see for yourself in VITA News. —JB

VITA cooperated with another group to develop a method for making these stove fuel briquettes from agricultural residues such as stalks and straw.


Margaret Crouch, Editor $15/year (4 issues) from: Volunteers in Technical Assistance 1815 North Lynn Street Suite 200

Arlington, VA 22209


Networking and information exchange is the name of the game, and TRANET (from TRANsnational NETwork for appropriate/alternative technologies) has done it better and wider for ten years now. The quarterly newsletter has good reviews of pertinent books plus lots of news excerpts. Lively and effective despite a bit of ‘70s character, TRANET is the place to look first to see what’s going on globally among people taking control of their own lives. —JB


Dan Behrman, Editor $30/year (4 issues) from: TRANET

P.O. Box 567

Rangeley, ME 04970


Stands for Intermediate Technology Development Group, founded by the late E. F. Schumacker of Small is Beautiful fame (p. 184). They’ve executed successful projects all over the world, and publish some of the more useful literature available on alternative technologies. —JB

Intermediate Technology Development Group of North America, Inc: Information free from 777 United Nations Plaza, Suite 9A, New York, NY 10017.

Private bus systems cost half as much as public ones to move the same number of people in many Third World cities, the World Bank’s transport adviser comments in The Urban Edge (World Bank, Room K 908, Washington, DC 20433, USA — free to developing countries, $25/year elsewhere). Private lines succeed in places like Hong Kong and Seoul while public systems run in the red (Sao Paulo’s takes $90 million a year in subsidies). Newsletter also mentions paratransit innovations such as Manila’s jeepneys and bus convoys in Sao Paulo that hope to move 21,000 passengers an hour.

Covert Action

Information Bulletin

The actions and covert actions of the intelligence agencies of the world affect us every day — usually in ways unknown to us. CovertAction Information Bulletin has been keeping tabs on our own spies since 1978 and has earned a bucketfull of criticism from those same spies for its efforts.

I look to CAIB for information running counter to the received truths of our pundits and quiescent press corps. CAIB has its own axes to grind (of a largely leftist variety) but that doesn’t lessen its fundamental value. If you want to begin discerning the difference between information and disinformation, between the aboveboard and the underhanded, CAIB is a good place to start. —Jay Kinney

In the early 1970s, Gelli’s goal in Italy was to destabilize the political system in such a way that the right wing, already under his direct control or influence, would acquire power with popular support. To bring this situation about, Gelli, in concert with other shady rightwing characters, organized the “Strategy of Tension.” Terrorist acts, such as the bombing of the Rome-Munich express train in 1974, and the Bologne railway station bombing in 1980, were organized and carried out by

The Puzzle Palace

The Puzzle Palace is a monumental reporting feat on the National Security Agency, the most secret government agency America has ever had. Organized in 1952 as a codemaking and codebreaking agency, the NSA has also tapped and translated foreign radio, scanned satellite signals, and burglarized offices. It’s gathered intelligence on organized crime and Cuba (for President Kennedy), and Vietnam protesters and drug dealers (for Johnson and Nixon). It has tried to completely avoid public scrutiny and legal constraint; it’s the kind of agency that can only exist in a government that feels it is at war. I got lost sometimes in the book’s voluminous detail, but it’s a necessary book and I’ll forgive some denseness. It’s our first glimpse of the police that Ivan lllich foresees for the electronic highways of the future. I’m grateful that James Bamford stuck with his topic and that Houghton Mifflin (the hardcover publisher) and Penguin fought what must have been considerable pressure to suppress it. —Art Kleiner •

Because of NSA’s vacuum cleaner approach to intelligence collection — whereby it sucks into its system the maximum amount of telecommunications and then filters it through an enormous screen of “trigger words” — analysts end up reviewing telephone calls, telegrams, and telex messages to and from thousands of innocent persons having little or nothing to do with the actual focus of the effort. Thus if an organization is targeted, all its members’ communications may be intercepted; if an individual is listed on a watch list, all communications to, from, or even mentioning that individual are scooped up. Captured in NSA’s net were communications about a peace concert, a communication mentioning the wife of a U.S. senator, a correspondent’s report from Southeast Asia to his magazine in New York, and a pro-Vietnam War activist’s invitations to speakers for a rally.

• Covert politics are the last straw to some folks; general avoidance of governmental interfence — anarchy — is one answer. The Loompanics catalog (p. 142) has some interesting reading on the subject.

the rightwing groups. The bombings were investigated by the intelligence agencies under Gelli’s control, which placed responsibility for the bombings on leftwing terrorists.

The strategy of tension envisioned that numerous “leftwing” bombings and acts of terrorism would build popular support for extreme antiterrorist legislation in the name of national security. Antiterrorism laws would then allow Gelli’s supporters in the military and intelligence agencies to target leftwing groups with few legal restrictions. (Sergei Antonov is now in an Italian jail under the authority of an Italian antiterrorist law which permits the imprisonment of suspected subversives and terrorists for up to five years without a trial.)


What Richard Hofstadter characterized in 1965 as the “Paranoid Style” in American politics — the nativist notion that we are being manipulated and subverted by secret conspiracies — dates back to the earliest days of our country when a furor against supposed Illuminati skullduggery exploded in 1798. Since then, popular scapegoats for domestic ills have included Freemasons, Papists, immigrants, and more recently Communists. The penchant for fingering secret enemies is hardly exclusive to the U.S. — the Nazis rode to power in Germany by exploiting fears of Reds and Jews, after all — but it may be only in America that this world view has been able to bloom into its lushest, most mutant varieties.

Critique, a small, handsomely typeset biannual subtitled “A Journal of Conspiracies and Metaphysics,” is sort of a social Organic Gardening for those who cultivate this realm of suspicious imagination. Recent topics have included Hollow Earth theories, perpetual motion, Nazis and UFOs, the Bilderbergers, the secret Muslim Brotherhood, and of course the ever-popular Illuminati and Freemasons.

What rescues Critique from terminal crankiness and makes if potentially worth your attention is editor Bob Banner’s even-handed objectivity. Throwing the journal’s pages open to competing theories, scenarios, and musings, Banner favors none over any other. Critique provides a rare forum for hearing out accusations (wild and otherwise) that would probably just fester beneath the surface of the American psyche if left to their own devices.

I can’t claim total detachment regarding Critique — it’s printed a couple of my reviews — but I find it a generally delightful antidote to the myopic seriousness of most political fare. You may too. —Jay Kinney


The techniques of psychotherapy, widely practiced and accepted as a means of curing psychological disorders, are also methods of controlling people. They can be used systematically to influence attitudes and behavior. Systematic desensitization is a method used to dissolve anxiety so that the patient (public) is no longer troubled by a specific fear, a fear of violence for example. A progressively more graphic depiction of violence in the movies and on television desensitizes the viewer, especially young people, to real-life violence....

Thus, The Day After and Special Bulletin could leave many viewers so numbed by a sense of hopelessness and helplessness that they could succumb to deep apathy with regard to anything that has anything to do with the prospect of nuclear confrontation.

The New State of the World Atlas

Put this next to the superb Times Atlas of World History (p. 17) as by far the most provocative atlas of contemporary history. Understanding leaps to your eye when you survey a map such as “No. 26: A Sort of Survival,” where arrows and numbers show the torrents of dislodged humans sluicing across continents and oceans (100,000 from Argentina to Spain since 1976? 130,000 from China to Hong Kong in 1979 alone?). Wonder what nations have political prisoners, the death penalty, or routine torture? —

Worldwatch Institute

This is the best single source for understanding the problems that face our planet. Worldwatch Institute examines the kinds of economic and environmental issues that politicians by their very nature have a tough time grappling with, and it suggests solutions in a politically even-handed and unhysterical way. Five to six papers on specific subjects are issued yearly and these become an annual book called State of the World. —Richard Nilsen

Amnesty International

It’s always a shock to learn that God is not interested in your pain. The best you can hope for is the help of other people.

The use of torture is steadily increasing worldwide. It is difficult to find out about and nearly impossible to check. So far the only deterrent is public opinion. That requires a respected international investigative organization. Amnesty International delivers.

Torture is a runaway phenomenon — far from preventing fanaticism, it increases fanaticism, which leads to more torture, and so forth. It will not cease until indeed it becomes as universally unthinkable as slavery. If we’re going to have an intelligence and espionage establishment, let it work on this one.

You can participate in Amnesty International with donations, letterwriting campaigns, and attention to their various publications. [Amnesty Action, sundry special reports, and their book Torture In the Eighties.} —Stewart Brand

Amnesty International Annual Report $10.20 postpaid Publications list free

All from: Amnesty International USA 322 8th Avenue New York, NY 10001 check map No. 25. Wonder where the gold is, the unemployment, the nuclear weapons, the nuclear reactors, the jobs, the separatist movements, education, the worst slums, the degrees of inflation, the degrees of population growth, the degrees of pollution?

A fascinating hour here, and all the world news you see will begin to make sense.

(Note: Our black-and-white reproduction does no justice to the highly effective color coding in all the maps.)

—Stewart Brand

Tobacco causes more death and suffering among adults than any other toxic material in the environment.... The worldwide cost in lives now approaches 2.5 million per year, almost 5 percent of all deaths. Tobacco kills 13 times as many Americans as hard drugs do, and 8 times as many as automobile accidents. Passive smokers (those who must inhale the smoke of others’ cigarettes) are perhaps three times likelier to die of lung cancer than they would be otherwise. —State of the World


A state of siege has been renewed in Paraguay as a matter of routine every three months for the past 29 years, although since 1978 it has been limited to the Central Department. In Amnesty International’s view the state of siege, combined with the wide powers of the police and the inability of the judiciary to achieve independence from the executive, has facilitated the persistent torture and ill-treatment of political prisoners.

The government’s failure to acknowledge arrests promptly and to give information regarding place of detention put prisoners at particular risk of torture during early stages of detention. Amnesty International has received frequent reports of prisoners tortured in unacknowledged detention for days or even weeks before being transferred to official detention and being allowed visits.

The methods of torture most commonly alleged to have been used were the following: picana electrica (electric cattle prod); pileta, where the victim’s head is plunged into a tank of water, which is sometimes polluted with excrement, until a sense of asphyxiation is induced; beatings, particularly on soles of feet with truncheons; cajones, prolonged confinement in a box or other restricted place — positions used are: feto, in which the victim is forced to remain for hours at a time in foetal position; the guardia, where the victim is placed upright in a large box with holes to enable him or her to breathe; secadera, in which the victim is wrapped in a plastic sheet and placed in a metal cylinder; and murcielago. suspending the victim by the ankles. —Torture in the Eighties

<em>I can imagine few things less inviting than reading Pravda, the official newspaper of the Communist Party of the Soviet union, over breakfast each morning. However, if you are looking for the official Soviet version of the news (and for interminable transcripts of Party Congress speeches), this is the place. Curiously enough, if you are looking for unexpected insights into Russian culture, Pravda is also worth checking out. You’re likely to discover that prime-time TV fare in Moscow consists of I. Smoktunovsky reading</em> verses from <em>Pushkin! Since the English-language edition of Pravda has been turning up on some newsstands lately, you may be able to locate a recent copy nearby.</em>

As an alternative glimpse into the official news, Floridabased Pravda Pulse provides a bi-weekly eight to ten page newsletter condensing and excerpting the previous month’s articles. Pravda Pulse also reprints news items from Tass and Soviet radio, as well as the satirical cartoons of Krokodil, the Russian humor magazine.

—Jay Kinney [Pravda suggested by Brian Siano]


Managers caught distorting results quite often explain their “slyness” like this: “Well, sure, I may have added something, but then I worked it out.” As they say, just a white lie. It must be firmly declared that the law does not recognize a single valid reason that would justify deceiving the State. The so-called “objective” difficulties with the delivery of materials and completed articles are also used as arguments of justification. Upon checking they quite often turn out to be the result of partners going easy on one another, inabilities, and at times a lack of desire to use legal means to influence violators of State discipline....

A criminal case brought against several workers of the Rostov Province Trade Administration can be cited as a serious warning. Former administration head K. Budnitsky found “like-minded” individuals within the RSFSR Trade Ministry, and for a bribe obtained favorable apportionments of transport, technological equipment, supplementary funds for textiles, clothes and shoes, and corrections of commodity circulation plans. Those taking bribes, as well as those doling them out, will be held criminally responsible. —Pravda

• For a contrasting view, see The Wall Street Journal (p. 312). • World politics are better understood when science news is considered as a primary force. See pp. 26–27.

NACLA Report on the Americas • MERIP Middle East Report

Latin America and the Middle East: two hotspots, one near, one far. Their usual coverage in the media is as running sores of strife and woe. These two magazines take a different tack, attempting to describe the regions with depth and sympathy. The North American Congress on Latin America and the Middle East Research and Information Project are nonprofit research groups whose forte is political and economic analysis. NACLA’s reports tend to be journalistic looks at the effect of U.S. foreign policy south of the border, while MERIP’s have a somewhat stiffer academic stamp. Both have moved beyond the “Third Worldism” of the 60s New Left to a more considered approach where the complexities of real world politics are given their due. I recommend both for unexpected insights.

—Jay Kinney

In the marketplace in Omdurman, a large bazaar city across the Nile from Khartoum, there is a special section of the market totally controlled and regulated by women. They are often economically autonomous, and they extend this autonomy into the domestic sphere (unlike the market women of Kumasi in Ghana). They are able to do this through the collective power they have built within their various kin networks as an extension of their workplace. Also, many of them live within walking distance of the market and are at their workplace most of the day, turning the work site into a temporary residence replete with a social network. The interface of kin, residential and occupational networks gives the collectivity of the women’s market the potential for mobilization....

Behavior encouraged in the zaar gives women a rare chance for uninhibited entertainment and drama. At the zaar ceremonies I attended, the protagonists entered states of trance and the possessed exhibited bawdy or lewd behavior not acceptable in Sudanese society. These are often occasions for transvestism and sexual roleswitching, with male homosexuals often acting as functionaries, and women playing male roles and being erotic toward other women. Those possessed by their spirits may also insult the males of their family and wear outlandish costumes. But the benefits are even more profound:

There is ample evidence that women actively use this network to form friendship and patron-client relationships, to promote economic transactions, and to offer and gain services. Moreover, once established, the network tends to extend well beyond the actual activities of the cult itself. The reciprocity principle is quite strongly institutionalized in the Northern Sudan.

• —MERIP Middle East Report

Before engaging the enemy in the Third World, the advocates of low-intensity conflict must convince the Pentagon bureaucracy, civilian officials and other government agencies of their case. They must win over key decision-makers — both political and military — in the security establishments of their foreign allies. And, increasingly, they must complement this internal debate and diplomacy with a full-scale effort to rally the U.S. public behind the policy.

Low-intensity conflict is also radical, however, in the comprehensiveness of its approach. It draws on a wide- ranging study of the different elements of conflict, few of which are strictly military. Researchers at think tanks and universities attempt to analyze and mimic the politicomilitary structures of revolutionary movements; others study the “backwards” tactics of guerrilla warfare, which invert traditional military rules of engagement, or delve into anthropology and social psychology; others still, like Britain’s Brig. Gen. Frank Kitson, dwell on the British and French colonial experiences, and propose sophisticated police states as the means for preventing insurgencies.

—NACLA Report on the Americas

Whole Earth Security: A Geopolitics of Peace

Ninety-three pages. The most original analysis of the nuclear impasse in print, leading to the most realistic and hopeful policy. The new terrain of battle contains the transformation of impasse into sight.

A masterpiece. —Stewart Brand

With the advent of planetary warmaking, security strategy has been based on the militarization of the commons — the ocean depths, the atmosphere and orbital space. With the enclosure of the planet by warmaking systems, security itself has become indivisible, a commons in its own right. Common security has ceased being utopian and unnecessary and become both possible and necessary.

The arms control process has stimulated weapons innovation by encouraging the search for new “bargaining chips” to be traded off at the next round of negotiations. Less able to express itself with quantitative growth, the military turned with renewed vigor to qualitative growth and to areas of weapons technology beyond the existing restraining treaties. Superpower arms control to date is like treating an infection with just enough antibiotics to make the grosser symptoms disappear, soothing the patient’s worries, but driving the remaining, now strengthened contagions into more vital, less accessible organs.

The next several hundred, if not thousands, of years of human history could be decisively shaped in little more than an hour. The time span of decision making has become shorter at the point of inception and longer at the point of consequence. Only by dismantling the technical apparatus of planetary holocaust can the scale of consequence be brought into line with the responsibility.

Gandhi on Non-Violence

You might as well go straight to the fountainhead and listen to the piercing words of the humblest servant of nonviolence, Mahatma Gandhi. No one else’s example in modern times has so radically shifted so many people’s lives (mine included) as this “half-naked” saint. The late Thomas Merton, a Christian monk with his own inspiring life of nonviolence, selected the few statements Gandhi wrote down of his experiment in truth for this slim volume. As Gandhi said, “Nonviolence cannot be preached. It has to be practiced.” —Kevin Kelly

Reading Gandhi’s words is scary. They will start something in your mind and break down barriers of “that’s impossible” and then you don’t know what your life will do. New British officials in old India were told, “Stay away from Gandhi. He’ll get you.” Don’t speak to him personally, were the instructions, don’t listen to him speak from a crowd. Because he said “always ally yourself with the part of your enemy that knows what is right” and he knew how to do it. He also knew that what is right is inherently possible, and he’ll make you think that, too.

—Anne Herbert

To me it is a self-evident truth that if freedom is to be shared equally by all — even physically the weakest, the lame and the halt — they must be able to contribute an equal share in its defense. How that can be possible when reliance is placed on armaments, my plebian mind fails to understand. I therefore swear and shall continue to swear by non-violence, i.e., by satyagraha, or soul force. In it physical incapacity is no handicap, and even a frail woman or a child can pit herself or himself on equal terms against a giant armed with the most powerful weapons.

The Evolution of Cooperation

The “Prisoner’s Dilemma” is a situation where two individuals can choose to cooperate with each other or not cooperate (defect). If they both cooperate they each get three points. If they both defect they each get one point. If one cooperates and one defects, the cooperator gets zero and the defector gets five. Axelrod uses this nonzero-sum game to explain the arms race, international relations and the interaction of regulatory agencies with those they regulate.

First the good news: in a population of individuals interested in their own welfare, where no central authority exists, it pays to cooperate. Cooperative rules “won” over noncooperative ones in simulated iterations.

Now the bad: in the same situations it also pays to be provokable (to defect in retaliation). Rules that were totally cooperative without retaliation did not win.

There is little value for complexity here. The best strategy is simple enough to be readily recognized by another player. No strategy is a winning strategy by itself. It can only be judged by its interaction with other strategies.

—Judith Brophy

The universe in a grain of sand. The grain is a mathematical/ sociological paradox, much studied, called “Prisoner’s Dilemma.” The universe is the one we might survive into if these lessons are believed and applied. Scholarly tour- de-force. —Stewart Brand

The foundation of cooperation is not really trust, but the durability of the relationship.... Whether the players trust each other or not is less important in the long run than whether the conditions are ripe for them to build a stable pattern of cooperation with each other.

Non-Violence in Great Nations?

If they can shed the fear of destruction, if they disarm themselves, they will automatically help the rest to regain their sanity. But then these great powers will have to give up their imperialistic ambitions and their exploitation of the so-called uncivilized or semi-civilized nations of the earth and revise their mode of life. It means a complete revolution.

I do not appreciate any underground activity. Millions cannot go underground. Millions need not.

We have all — rulers and ruled — been living so long in a stifling, unnatural atmosphere that we might well feel in the beginning that we have lost the lungs for breathing the invigorating ozone of freedom.

Under no circumstances can India and England give non-violent resistance a reasonable chance while they are both maintaining full military efficiency.

Non-violent opposition:

1) It implies not wishing ill.

2) It includes total refusal to cooperate with or participate in activities of the unjust group, even to eating food that comes from them.

3) It is of no avail to those without living faith in the God of love and love for all mankind.

4) He who practices it must be ready to sacrifice everything except his honor.

5) It must pervade everything and not be applied merely to isolated acts.

Soldier of Fortune

Repulsive, ghoulish, brutal, sickening. That’s war. And that’s often the response to this notorious magazine that serves as a clubhouse for self-avowed mercenaries and gung-ho warriors. The talk is of guns and guns and bigger weapons, strategies, and heroics. Us against them. But war is really the enemy we should be fighting. Know thy enemy, portrayed unflinchingly in these pages.

—Kevin Kelly

Terrorism Training ...

The opening of Iran’s new “College of Information and Security” was approved 19 January by Iranian officials in a high-level Tehran meeting.... A class of 250 will begin training in April, various SOF sources report, who say instruction will prepare students for careers in Iranian intelligence — and terrorism.... Fifty and possibly more students will come from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, sources told the magazine.

There’s little doubt the Warsaw Pact powers will be our opponent should another major conflict occur, and our entire defense doctrine is based upon that premise. How can we best prepare our troops for that possibility? Simple. Create our own pseudo-Soviet adversary, train him with Soviet doctrine, arm and equip him with Soviet gear, and pit him against our own regular Army forces.

The War Atlas

The current placement and strength of armies and weapon systems; the fruits of wars already waged; the flow of the arms trade — all these rather dry yet scary statistics are here converted into handsome, multicolored maps which effortlessly make the obscure clear. If, like me, you’ve been questioning whether we really need yet another dozen or two books examining the arms race and nuclear dilemma to the point of utter redundancy, you’ll probably find The War Atlas conveys most of the same information in a much more interesting form.

—Jay Kinney

How to Make War

Did you ever wonder what would really happen if our navy and the Russian navy went to war? Or perhaps you would like to know just how much a war would cost (monetarily). Whatever your interest, if it concerns the implements, components, and probabilities of war, James F Dunnigan has covered it in How to Make War. I couldn’t put this book down. It makes the defense budget debates much more transparent and infuriating. —Hal Ham

Most men do not enter combat thinking they will be killed or injured. In warfare during this century, the odds of serving in the infantry during combat and being uninjured have been less than one in three. If potential recruits knew their chances, it would be much more difficult to get anyone into the infantry.

Indeed, given a choice, many would volunteer for any other branch of the armed forces to avoid the infantry. Most other branches are no more dangerous than civilian life. Even the armor and artillery branches offer a better- than-even chance of seeing a war’s end uninjured.

The cost of fighting a war today will be substantially higher than for peacetime operations. This is largely due to the high cost of ammunition. Currently a ton of conventional ammunition costs about $7000. A ton of missile munitions costs over half a million dollars. Some improved conventional munitions (ICM) cost ten times more than standard shells and bombs. The high cost of the more expensive munitions represents two things. One is the greater developmental cost. Second, their greater complexity requires much more labor during manufacturing. Under wartime conditions, economies of scale could reduce their cost by five or more times. Still, the price of an average ton of munitions could still be $22,000 or more.

Drones and remotely piloted vehicles (RPV’s) are pilotless aircraft. A drone flies a preprogrammed course, sometimes with onboard navigation equipment to correct any flight deviations. An RPV is controlled from the ground. With electronic warfare becoming ever more intense, the advantages of the drones over RPVs have increased. An RPV’s link with its ground controller can be jammed. A drone is impervious to such jamming.

The rationale for such aircraft is simple; you don’t lose a pilot if a drone is shot down.... However, there is a major problem. One man’s technological breakthrough is another man’s threat. Drones threaten to take away pilot jobs. Few people in the air forces will come right out and say this. But halfhearted enthusiasm for drones can be traced back to pilots’ unease over their becoming too effective. This is ironic, as the air forces themselves had to fight similar prejudice in their early years.



THESE DAYS many people try to avoid our formal court system as they might avoid a rabid skunk. The hopelessness of resolving any dispute through civil litigation has spawned a considerable industry dedicated to solving disputes in other ways. Mediation is a principal alternative. Disputing parties arrive at their own solution with the help of a mediator who has no power to impose a

decision but is skilled in helping the parties do so. The adversary system encourages people to overstate their claims and often results in bitter lying contests, decreasing the likelihood the disputants will ever have a constructive relationship. But for mediation to succeed, both parties must agree that their most important concerns have been dealt with; they end in a win-win, rather than a win-lose, posture.

Getting to Yes

Roger Fisher and William Ury 1981; 163 pp.


($12.95 postpaid) from: Houghton Mifflin Co.

Attn.: Mail Order Wayside Road Burlington, MA 01803 or Whole Earth Access

Today there are over 200 community-based groups formed to mediate disputes (for a list, contact the National Association for Community Justice, 149 9th St., San Francisco, CA 94103). Some deal with landlord-tenant disputes, others with domestic problems, and many such as the truly creative Community Board Program in San Francisco, focus on the sorts of corrosive neighborhood disputes that have never been handled by the formal court system because there was no profit in doing so. —Jake Warner

Getting to Yes

This book on negotiation comes as a great personal relief to me and may well to you. I’ve always avoided situations that involved bargaining because of all the dishonesty that seemed to be required. When I was forced, by life, to bargain anyway, I usually did poorly, which reinforced my reluctance. All that is now cured by this modest 163 pages of exceptional insight and clarity.

The point is to negotiate on principle, not pressure — on mutual search for mutually discernible objectivity, patiently and firmly putting aside every other gambit. The book is a landmark, already a bible for international negotiators but just as useful for deciding which movie to see tonight or which school to send the family scion to.

Getting to Yes is a model in every way of ideal how-to writing. —Stewart Brand


A good case can be made for changing Woodrow Wilson’s appealing slogan “Open covenants openly

arrived at” to “Open covenants privately arrived at.” No matter how many people are involved in a negotiation, important decisions are typically made when no more than two people are in the room.

A variation on the procedure of “one cuts, the other chooses” is for the parties to negotiate what they think is a fair arrangement before they go on to decide their respective roles in it. In a divorce negotiation, for example, before deciding which parent will get custody of the children, the parents might agree on the visiting rights of the other parent. This gives both an incentive to agree on visitation rights each will think fair.

A good negotiator rarely makes an important decision on the spot. The psychological pressure to be nice and to give in is too great. A little time and distance help separate the people from the problem. A good negotiator comes to the table with a credible reason in his pocket for leaving when he wants. Such a reason should not indicate passivity or inability to make a decision.

The Community Conflict Resolution Training Manual

There are hundreds of mediation groups in the U.S. Some specialize in a narrow type of dispute. Others are the quasi-official arms of juvenile or domestic relations courts. (California and several other states require court-sponsored mediation of all contested child custody lawsuits.) Perhaps the group with the broadest vision of the full range of disputes is the Community Board Program, founded and directed by Roy Shonholtz. Headquartered in San Francisco, this organization has helped start similar groups in two dozen other communities. They offer topnotch training sessions (run periodically at different locations around the country), designed for both community people and professionals. (For information call 415/ 552–1250.) These folks also publish a number of newsletters, manuals, and videotapes. —Jake Warner

More Effective Listening Techniques

• Stop Talking: You can’t listen while you are talking.

The Mediation Process

This is the best and most accessible general text in the field. I particularly like if because there is relatively little material on the general wonders of mediation, but lots of specifics on how mediation sessions should be conducted. Although Moore probably overdoes it a bit when he divides a typical mediation info twelve stages (a half dozen would surely serve as well), I found it a real learning experience to follow him through each. —Jake Warner

• Empathize: Try to put yourself in the other’s place so you can understand what he is trying to communicate and why it matters to him.

• Ask Questions: When you don’t understand, when you need more explanation, when you want to show that you are listening, ask. But don’t ask questions to embarrass or show up the speaker.

• Be Patient: Don’t rush people; give them time to say what they have to say.

People in Conflict Will Use the Panel Process When:

• The benefits of resolving their dispute through conciliation are apparent.

• They believe that they can resolve their conflicts by using the Panel process.

• They are convinced that their conflict should be resolved, and that neighborhood conciliation is their best alternative.

• They realize that the program will respond to their dispute quickly and at no cost.

• There are dozens of local mediation-oriented newsletters popping up, but this is the best.

Mediation Quarterly: John Allen Lemmon, Editor. $25/year (4 issues) from Jossey-Bass, Inc., 433 California St., San Francisco, CA 94104.

Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality

Boswell nails down history with scrupulous scholarship, using a wide variety of source materials to explore the problematic relationship between the Christian church and homosexuality. Changing, evolving attitudes towards sexuality, from the pre-Christian era through the middle ages, portray homosexuality as a natural expression caught in a social crisis. The introduction and appendices are invaluable historical documents. —Aaron Shurin

Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality

John Boswell 1980; 424 pp.


postpaid from:

University of Chicago Press 11030 South Langley Ave. Chicago, IL 60628 or Whole Earth Access

Antinous. Roman, second century A.D. (?). One of the best of many surviving statues of the young man from Bithynia loved by the Emperor Hadrian. Antinous was drowned in the Nile in 130 A.D., and the grief-stricken emperor honored his memory by founding cities, establishing games, and erecting statues in his name throughout the empire. (Courtesy of Museo archeologico nazionale, Naples).

Jack the Modernist

Robert Gluck’s post-modern prose is all a reader could ask for: wryly self-conscious, full of careening rhythms and inventive formal approaches, love-laden, psychologically probing, and politically smart. Gluck writes about sex with the unabashedness of Genet and the perceptiveness of Proust. Always before him is the integration of eroticism and the social issues that feed it. —Aaron Shurin

• The best weekly coverage of gay and lesbian current events. Politically progressive.

Gay Community News: G. Gottlieb, S. Poggi and L. Hayes, Editors. $29/year (50 issues) from GCN, 167 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02111.

• Political and cultural reporting with colorful features and interviews.

The Advocate: Lenny Giteck, Editor. $39.97/year (26 issues) from The Advocate, P. O. Box 4371, Los Angeles, CA 90078.

Another Mother Tongue

Poet Judy Grahn traces gay cultural history from the legends and vocabulary of gay life, bringing new meaning and cohesiveness to same-sex experience. Dykes and Faggots (she celebrates these words, revealing their etymology and power) have served as shamans in various cultures throughout history — including our own. They flame; they burn; they change themselves and the world.

—Jeanne Carstensen

That’s literally what dike means — balance, the path. The name of the goddess Dike of Greece, who was old Gaia’s granddaughter, meant “the way, the path.” And her social function was natural balance, the keeping of the balance of forces. With her two sisters Eunomia (“Order”) and Eirene (“Peace”), she was present at the birth of Hermes. The three sisters were known as the Hours and were worshipped in conjunction with Demeter as a foursome, mostly by women.

A Legal Guide for Lesbian and Gay Couples

Anyone who’s entered into a business with a friend without signing a contract knows what pressure that can put on a personal relationship. This book approaches lesbian/gay relationships with the same concerns — how to deal with money, time, and parental issues before they become problems. And its information on financial agreements, wills, and child custody and support is as useful for unmarried straight couples as it is for gays.

Included are case histories, sample contracts, and established legal precedents (including, for example, what precedents the Marvin vs. Marvin case established). But the book is especially valuable for its simple language and tone of loving concern — it is about how to keep it together. —Annette Jarvie

The legal position of lesbian and gay students has changed dramatically — and for the better — in the past decade. One striking example is the court order which required that a gay high school senior be allowed to attend his school’s senior prom with his male date. The rights of students to speak, form organizations, and sponsor activities, all explictly lesbian- and gay-oriented, have been firmly established by the courts.

The Lesbian Path

This anthology draws on the work of over thirty of America’s finest lesbian writers, including Judy Grahn, Susan Griffin, Audre Lorde, and Jane Rule. The stories offer a range of always-true tales, exploding the boundaries of traditional autobiography, and proposing a view of lesbianism as more than a sexual or political fact: it’s a way of being

in the world. —Aaron Shurin

The Lesbian Path

Margaret Cruikshank 1985; 219 pp.


($9.95 postpaid) from: $ubterranean Co.

Box 10233

Eugene, OR 97440 or Whole Earth Access

Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions

This collection, which is Steinem’s first book — she’s been too busy as an organizer and journalist for the last twenty years to write one before now — is a better place than most to begin to learn what feminism is today.

Gloria Steinem may be one of the finer human beings around, a noble exponent of an epochal cause. Start with her courage: in surviving, without self-pity, an arduous childhood (see “Ruth’s Song”), and the slings and arrows aimed at her as America’s Best-Known Feminist (“Introduction”). Add to that her unyielding insistence on justice for all, her constant awareness of the contributions and concerns of women and men of color, and her attention to the economic inequity between the dominant minority and the diverse majority. Then there’s her intelligence and discernment (evident in “Erotica vs. Pornography”); a generous compassion (which notes the fender, bitter commonalities among women as different as Alice Walker, Pat Nixon, and Linda Lovelace); and a devastating wit (“If Men Could Menstruate”), and you’ve got yourself a true champion, one who humbly disavows any exceptionality.

Isn’t that just like a woman? Read her.

—Stephanie Mills

Men who want children must at least find women willing to bear them. That seems little enough to ask. And governments that want increased rates of population growth must resort to such humane measures as lowering infant mortality rates, improving health care during pregnancy, distributing the work of child rearing through child care


A quarterly magazine covering the same unwieldy beat as Sisterhood is Global, Connexions gathers reports from women around the world on one theme (e.g. Media: Getting to Women or Women and Militarism) for each issue. The diverse voices and concerns of women from both industrial and nonindustrial countries convey the real challenge of an international women’s movement — creating not just common theory, but understanding that spans continents. The best place to begin without having to buy a plane ticket. —Jeanne Carstensen and equal parenthood, and lengthening the productive lives of older people.

Obviously, this ultimate bargaining power on the part of women is exactly what male supremacists fear most. That’s why their authoritarian impulse is so clearly against any sexuality not directed toward family-style procreation (that is, against extramarital sex, homosexuality and lesbianism, as well as contraception and abortion). This understanding helped feminists to understand why the adversaries of such apparently contradictory concerns as contraception and homosexuality are almost always the same. It also helped us to stand up publicly on the side of any consenting, freely chosen sexuality as a rightful form of human expression.

Sisterhood is Global

This book is almost overpowering. A formidable (838 pp.) anthology cum almanac, it presents articles on the conditions of women’s lives and their movements as understood by contributors from seventy different countries. The contributors employ a variety of genres — from rather dry sociological prose, to colloquial accounts of organizing experiences, to impassioned pleas for support of revolutionary movements, to folktales, to bitterly funny political nonsatire.

All these are prefaced by entries sketching the demography, government, economy, “gynography,” “herstory,” and mythography of the countries represented. What emerges is a picture of ubiquitous injustice being met by widespread awakening and activism. Robin Morgan’s powerful introduction brilliantly focuses on the implications of global feminism, a vision of startling possibility.

—Stephanie Mills

How many women know it is now possible for a women’s group or an individual woman to register a human rights violation complaint (which can include battery, rape, job discrimination, deleterious “cultural” practices, etc.) directly by confidential or standard letter to the Secretariat of the Commission on the Status of Women (in care of the Women’s Unit, United Nations Center, Vienna, Austria) — and that every complaint requires a formal investigation by the Commission, requiring in turn a response from the national government involved?

We must — and can — demystify the channels to power, in order to travel them.

Dreaming the Dark

<em>Sfarhawk is a witch, and Dreaming the Dark is a thoughtful exposition of paganism — the timeless and eternally new “old religion,” witchcraft, which was the religious practice of men and women before god was extricated from immanence, unsurprisingly becoming a patriarch in the process. The politics of male sky-god religion parallel the politics of female oppression, which is why it is no coincidence that a lot of good churchmen once tortured hundreds of wise women (and men) to death in order to confirm spirituality as the franchise of a masculine elite. In spite of all that, magic never died. Dreaming the Dark is convincing propaganda against hierarchy of any sort, religious or temporal, and for high anarchy. It’s also a straightforward introduction to the philosophy and practice of magic.</em>

Starhawk’s magic is a spiritual path, a tried-and-true method of nonegocentric self-realization and community building; a practice of awakening and acknowledging the divine power immanent within each of us, that awakening not mediated by hierarchy, that power not apart from human beings.

Starhawk synthesizes insights from psychology, sociology, history, and religion, and in her appendix on the witchburning times of the “Renaissance” achieves brilliance without resort to detailing the horrors of that era. Dreaming the Dark is the most effective argument I’ve seen that the personal is the political. Hence it points to the way of integrity. On that way, we must dream, not deny, the dark in life, the dark in us, and hallow the earthly, Hfegiving

The Second Stage

The Second Stage continues the obdurately fair appraisal of the relationship between the sexes begun twenty years ago in The Feminine Mystique. Fair in that Betty Friedan doesn’t let women off the hook. She foresees a positive synthesis emerging from the women’s movement and proclaims that it is not for women only. So she doesn’t exempt men from the opportunity to change, either.

There’s a lot to quibble with in Friedan — she’s straight, she has odd blind spots around lesbianism, race, culture, and ecology, and she extrapolates from the present in a rather linear way. She is, however, aware of the extent to which the megainstitutions like the State and Capitalism have gone haywire, and that makes for a fairly meaningful larger context.

Attitudes aside, though, the valuable thing about Friedan is that she exerts herself and derives her conclusions and prescriptions from reality: she reports research on the positive psychological (and physical!) consequences of feminism; she discusses surveys in which women recount their experience and opinions of their changing working and parenting arrangements. In addition to recounting other peoples’ discoveries, Friedan has traveled widely and observantly and made some of her own. Her account of what’s going on at West Point now that women are being admitted is an arresting example.


Produced by a collective, each issue of Heresies is a special: Feminism and Ecology, Third World Women, Women Working Together, and Sexuality have been among their subjects. Some of the material is a grind — theoretical, rhetorical stuff on feminism as a subject. Some of it is revelatory, especially that dealing with feminism as a practice or perspective. Everything they publish has consequence, and the art they include is striking — images that hit home.

There are scores of excellent feminist magazines, from powers of sex and gender. If we continue to alienate and project those parts of our being, they will turn on us and we will perish, shattered.

The how of dreaming the dark is simple, interesting, and valuable. During her ten years in a coven, and through her work as a therapist and political activist, Starhawk has developed an organic sense of group and individual psychodynamics. She stresses our mortal need for community, offering what others might term a systems theory or family therapy approach to social change. She relates her understanding in good instruction on fostering the life and work of any group, sharing her experiences in therapy, in the craft, and in jail for her protest, with unstinting selfhonesty. Persons of all genders, religions, and politics interested in healing self or planet would do well to avail themselves of this extraordinary text. —Stephanie Mills [Suggested by Evy Gershon]

We must demand that our politics serve our sexuality. Too often, we have asked sexuality to serve politics instead. Ironically, the same movements that have criticized sexual repression and bourgeois morality have themselves too often tried to mold their sexual feeling to serve the current political theory. This tradition includes nineteenth century revolutionary ascetism, the New Left’s demand that women practice free love (meaning sex without involvement), the fear of lesbianism in the early women’s movement, and the mandatory separatist line taken by some in the later women’s movement. Too many generations have asked: What do my politics tell me I should feel? The better question is: What do I, at my root, at my core, desire?

The Second Stage, if not a completely visionary book, is an essential one. It is both forward-looking and cautionary. Assessing the moment and the future, Friedan points out that the improved access to opportunity enjoyed by today’s career women (many of whom disclaim feminism) was hard-won by feminists a decade ago, and is now jeopardized by reactionaries. It never hurts to be reminded that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.

—Stephanie Mills

Do they really want to force women to have more children? Do they really want to outlaw abortion? Or do they want to keep pushing it as a diversionary issue, twisting and manipulating the agonizing conflicts people can’t help facing now, about the costs and problems of having children, and their own values of life — diverting the rage away from those who profiteer from inflation, with sexual, “moral” red herrings? But the power of their campaign, and the rage they are able to divert against those who speak openly and honestly about the choices all must make now, comes, at least in part, from the pain and the deep insult to their human core that people may be truly experiencing as they are manipulated deeper and deeper into the depersonalizing material rat race, losing control of their lives. The very rhetoric of the first stage “pro-abortion” campaign exacerbated or played into that rage.

stately small-press literary journals to scholarly quarterlies to outraged tabloids to the rangier, avant-garde offering of Heresies. Its inclusion here as the sole representative of all that rich cultural activity is not to anoint it as the best of the lot (although it is very good), but to advance a personal favorite as exemplary of a whole realm of riches.

I suggest you prowl for a personal favorite, too.

—Stephanie Mills


IVIDING THE POLITICAL REALM up into Left and Right is a legacy of the French Revolution and, like the guillotine, not always applicable to the modern world. Nevertheless, until someone comes up with a better set of pigeonholes, we are stuck with the Left/Right metaphor, and most activities and actors in the political realm end up falling on one side of the fence or the other.

The conceit of this two-page spread is that the following selection of magazines serves as a rough introduction to the spectrum of the Left and Right. This is similar to trying to boil the world’s cuisines down into a half

dozen fast food restaurants. It’s both an interesting exercise and an impossible task, and should be read with no illusions about its completeness. —Jay Kinney


<em>The Nation</em> and <em>The Progressive</em> are the two best general magazines on the American Left. They are also two of the oldest national magazines — of any political stance — still being published. <em>(The Nation</em> was founded in 1865 and <em>The Progressive</em> in 1909.) Long considered “liberal,” both magazines have responded to the languishing disintegration of liberalism by broadening their purview to include democratic socialism as a serious option.

As a weekly, The Nation provides timely commentary on late-breaking news. Alexander Cockburn’s slash- and-burn Press criticism column is particularly provocative. The Progressive’s forte on the other hand is longer analytical articles presented with striking black-and-white graphics.

its overt stumping for socialism. The writing in ITT is intelligent, nonsectarian and nonrhetorical, and includes good coverage of popular culture. If a good case for socialism can be made in the late ’80s, it’ll likely be in In These Times.

Though the Guardian’s subtitle, “the independent radical newsweekly,” sounds similar to ITTs, the Guardian is a distinctly different entity. Progressive in the ’50s, New Left in the ’60s, Marxist-Leninist in the ’70s, the Guardian has tended to reflect the changing tilt of left activists from era to era. These days, the Guardian has cut back on the rhetoric, undergone a much-needed graphic redesign, and tempered its penchant for revolutionary dogmatism. If pinned down under duress, the Guardian would probably still call itself communist, though the word doesn’t surface often in its pages.


Even farther to the left we run into the anarchists who may not like Capitalism but hate governments even more. Open Road is the most accessible, regularly published anarchist paper in North America. Since

The Progressive Erwin Knoll, Editor $16.97/year (12 issues) from: The Progressive 409 East Main Street Madison, Wl 53703


its inception several years ago, Open Road has reported on a variety of anti-authoritarian activities ranging from anti-nuke demos to Native American struggles to bombings by alleged revolutionaries.

With “terrorism” so much in the news, OR is one of the few publications that prints communiques from leftists undertaking armed actions.

On the far-left fringes of the far left is the Fifth Estate. Starting out in Detroit as one of the seminal underground papers of the ’60s, FE evolved into a unique radical publication defying any easy label. Suspicious of any ‘ism’, despairing of the bitter fruits of industrial civil-

ization, and with grave misgivings about the role of words and numbers themselves in warping human consciousness,

FE publishes brilliant, if wordy(I), critiques of

nearly everything.


2 Hr. Free Parking Graduation Present from Mall of Malls to all Shellville grads!
Bring diploma for proof lor validation.

—Th» Fifth Estate

• For another look at political extremes, check “Covert Action”(p. 91).

• Supplies for anarchists may be found in the Loompanics catalog (p. 143).


Suspected of being moribund only ten years ago, conservatism and the GOP have experienced a wave of popularity during the ’80s that has left the Left gasping for air. As indicative of this phenomenon, the following two publications spent much of the ’70s as wistful outsiders, but have increased in influence and prestige in recent years.

Human Events, “the National Conservative Weekly,” is touted as one of Ronald Reagan’s favorite publications and is a good place to go to gain insight into the perspective he represents. With conservatives in power the tabloid gives particular attention to Capitol affairs, though national and international news and issues are also covered.

The American Spectator spent the ’70s handcrafting its mix of snide humor, biting opinions, and copious book reviews in Bloomington, Indiana. In recent years it has moved to Arlington, Virginia, as its editor, R. Emmett Tyrrell,

Jr., has risen from obscurity to become a nationally syndicated columnist.

With a format roughly similar to the New York Review of Books, The American Spectator delivers a wholly conservative assemblage of wit, bile, and criticism.


Libertarians prefer to consider their philosophy of minimal government and maximum liberty as being beyond both Left and Right. However, what distinguishes most contemporary libertarians from the anarchists on the left is the libertarians’ enthusiasm for nonregulated “free enterprise” economics. With that in mind, Reason magazine in California and Laissez Faire Books in New York can be arguably included with others on the Right.

A lot of libertarian publications have come and gone in the last decade, but Reason (subtitled “Free Minds and Free Markets”) has stuck it out. Some good investigative reporting, a selection of columns (including one on investments), and both slick paper and slick design make this a very readable magazine.

Laissez Faire Books is a modest bookstore in lower Manhattan with a sizeable mail-order business. It claims to have the “world’s largest selection of books on Liberty” which is probably an accurate claim if you define Liberty as synonomous with libertarian politics, the Austrian school of (“free market”) economics, and Ayn Rand’s Objectivism.

Far Right

Finally, the Spotlight, published by the Liberty Lobby, is the best place to get a handle on the surge in support of the far right in middle America. By turns populist, anti-Zionist (its critics say antisemitic), isolationist, and anti-communist, the Spotlight claims a bigger paid circulation than any other publication on these pages. Photo features on paramilitary groups like the White Patriots Party rub elbows with articles on embattled doctors touting alternative cancer cures and investigative pieces on organized crime. It’s an explosive mix you should be aware of. —Jay Kinney

Rules for Radicals

Saul Alinsky 1971; 224 pp.


($4.95 postpaid) from:

Random House Order Dept.

400 Hahn Road Westminster, MD 21157 or Whole Earth Access

Lobbying on a Shoestring Judith C. Meredith and Linda Myer 1982; 160 pp.


Rules for Radicals

Toward a science of revolution. Much radical literature is aimed at fighting. This book is aimed, by an expert, at winning. —Stewart Brand

• .

Always remember the first rule of power tactics: Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.

The second rule is: Never go outside the experience of your people. When an action or tactic is outside the experience of the people, the result is confusion, fear, and retreat. It also means a collapse of communication, as we have noted.

The third rule is: Wherever possible go outside of the experience of the enemy. Here you wantto cause confusion, fear, and retreat...

The fourth rule is: Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.

The fourth rule carries within it the fifth rule: Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, who then react to your advantage.

The sixth rule is: A good tactic is one that your people enjoy. If your people are not having a ball doing it, there is something very wrong with the tactic.

The seventh rule: A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag ...

The eighth rule: Keep the pressure on, with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose.

The ninth rule: The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.

The tenth rule: The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.

Lobbying on a Shoestring

Nuts-and-bolts advice for lobbying your state legislature. This well-organized step-by-step run-through is especially geared to the Massachusetts legislature, but much of its advice is applicable to most any state government. Reproductions of typical documents and irreverent cartoons relieve the text and help make it a pleasure to read.

—Jay Kinney •

Of the thousands of bills introduced in each legislative session, only a handful address public issues. Is your bill one of these?

Your bill is a public issue if almost everyone (1) has heard of it, (2) knows it’s being debated in the legislature, (3) has an opinion on it, and (4) knows who the players are on each side.

About ninety percent of the bills in the legislature address nonpublic issues.

Don’t assume that bigger is always better in the game of passing legislation. Working on big public issues appears glamorous, but these fights are often the hardest to win because the opposition mobilizes so forcefully against them. (The old law of Newtonian physics: To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.) Often it’s easier to succeed in lobbying for bills addressing nonpublic issues. If you keep quiet, these bills may arouse no opposition and will pass unnoticed.

($8 postpaid) from: Massachusetts Poverty

National Center for Policy Alternatives (NCPA}

Law Center 69 Canal Street Boston, MA 02114 or Whole Earth Access

Formerly known as the Conference on Alternative State and Local Policies, this public policy think-tank and resource center was established in 1977 to provide innovative policy ideas for state, city, county and town governments. The organization produces reports and legislative pro

posals on farmland preservation, energy conservation, pension fund investment, economic development and more. If also schedules regular national seminars and publishes a quarterly newsletter, Ways and Means.

—Tim Redmond

The Almanac of American Politics

Who did what, where, when. For each state and congressional district a recent political history; for every Senator and Representative, a profile, ratings by political interest groups (who their friends and enemies are) and their voting records on key issues; and federal funds spent in each district. Know your representatives in Congress.

—Diana Barich


Publications list free

Ways and Means

Scott Johnson, Editor $1 5/year: (4 issues) both from:


2000 Florida Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20009

The Almanac of American Politics 1986

Michael Barone and Grant Ujifusa 1985; 1593 pp.


($30.95 postpaid) from: National Journal 1730 M Street NW

Washington, DC 20036 or Whole Earth Access

Elected 1982; b. Nov. 11, 1940, Brooklyn, NY; home, Greenbrae; Brooklyn Col., B.A. 1962; Jewish; married (Stewart).

Career Stockbroker, researcher, 1962–65; Journalist, Pacific Sun. 1972–74; District aide to U.S. Rep. John Burton, 1974–76; Marin Cnty. Bd. of Sprvsrs., 1976–82, Pres., 1980–81.

Offices 315 CHOB 20515, 202-225-5161. Also 450 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco 94102, 415-556-1333; 823 Marin, Rm. 8, Vallejo 94590, 7O7-552-O72O; and 901 Irwin St., San Rafael 94901. 415-457-7272.

Committees Budget (17th of 20). Task Forces: Defense and international Affairs; income Security; State and Local Government. Government Operations (14th of 23 D). Subcommittees: Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources; Intergovernmental Relations and Human Resources. Select Committee on Children, Youth, and Families (8th of 15 D). Task Force: Crisis Intervention.


1984 Liberal 86%






5) OK School Pray AGN

6) Limit Abortions AGN

7) Approve ERA FOR

8) Pass Imm Reform AGN

9) Cancel MX Missile FOR 10) Halt Aid to Contras FOR 11) Incr Aid to El Sal AGN 12) Supp Nuclear Freeze FOR

League of Women Voters

This volunteer organization has come to stand for citizen participation in responsible and responsive government. Its nonpartisan stance allows the League to concentrate on researching the facts about candidates and issues and getting them out to voters. For local to national issues, their publications catalog is a useful first stop in the search for answers. —Richard Nilsen

Simplified Parliamentary Procedure. Robert’s Rules of Order condensed and simplified in an easy-to- understand pamphlet. Newly revised. 1979, 12 pp. 75<.

Letting the Sunshine In: Freedom of Information and

How to Lobby Congress

Abundant, detailed savvy on effective use of Washington, DC. Affecting national policy is not impossible, merely difficult. —Stewart Brand

The Press Aide also edits the Congressman’s newsletter to his constituents. This so-called newsletter is thinly disguised political propaganda designed to inform the electorate on the Member’s activities in Washington. It is usually a four-to eight-page pamphlet; until recently, it

Center for Innovative Diplomacy (CID)

Omnipresent: the nuclear threat, and the feeling that there’s nothing to be done about it. Given the unresponsiveness of national politicians to disarmament proposals, that feeling is mostly right. The occasional nuclear free zones just don’t make me feel that safe.

Stubborn CID believes that local governments should act in international affairs; citizen participation in “municipal state departments” would empower localities to challenge national politicians. CID’s newsletter and frequent special reports hash out the vision and strategy. They also have a manual, Having International Affairs Your Way, on how to be a citizen diplomat. Here’s one route to making changes for the long haul. —Jeanne Carstensen

According to the Logan Act, no U.S. citizen may “directly or indirectly” correspond with or meet with “any foreign government ... with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government ... in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States.” Any citizen who violates these rules awaits up to three years in jail and a five thousand dollar fine.

The Logan Act remains a living testament to our government’s resistance to citizen diplomacy and, indeed, all democratic participation in foreign policy. So long as the act exists, it is a potential snakepit that someday can — and will — be used against citizen diplomats. If citizen diplomacy is to become a regular tool for American foreign policy, we should prepare to jettison the Logan Act once and for all.

• For tracking current alternative political theories and tactics, and for glimpsing the shape of future politics — both national and international — try this newsletter.

New Options: Mike Satin, Editor, $25/year, (12 issues) from: New Options Incorporated, P. O. Box 19324, Washington, DC 20036.

Open Meetings. Provisions of the federal laws: how citizens can take advantage of them. 1977, 4 pp. 65<J.

Know Your Community. Guide to help citizens and organizations interested in change take a good look at the existing structure and functions of their local government. 1972, 48 pp., $1.75.

The Nuclear Waste Primer. New edition. Contains basic information on sources and types of radioactive waste. Outlines past and present government waste management programs and describes future policy options and opportunities for citizen participation in the decision process. 1985, 90 pp., $5.95.

has always been written in the first person singular and the Congressman has been characteristically egotistical about his accomplishments on behalf of his constituency. Usually, these newsletters will consider half a dozen issues and will often have pictures of the Congressman meeting with various groups. An extremely effective way to promote your issue is to have a feature article on it included in a Congressman’s newsletter. It’s free, it reaches over fifty thousand people by first-class mail and it’s the closest thing to a free lunch you’ll find in Washington.

Information U.S.A.

This mammoth directory is dedicated to “all federal bureaucrats” and makes the point that 710,000 members of this much maligned profession are actually information specialists. The premise at the heart of the book is simple: “somewhere in the federal government there is a free source of information on almost any topic you can think of.” A book that opens doors and gives the name, address, phone number and price list behind each one.

—Richard Nilsen

Consumer Product Safety Commission


Up to 10 copies of the following publications are available free by writing to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, DC 20207:

Children’s Sleepwear (Fact Sheet No. 96)

Holiday Safety No. 7T (teacher’s guide on decorations, toys and other gifts) CPSC Publications List

Wake Up! Smoke Detectors (available also in Spanish) Wood and Coal Burning Stoves (Fact Sheet No. 92) Hair Dryers and Stylers (Fact Sheet No. 35) Urea Formaldehyde Foam Insulation — Information Packet Hat Tips for Hot Shots on Skateboarding Safety (illustrated brochure)

Environmental Protection Agency

Data Experts

The following experts can be contacted directly concerning the topics under their responsibility.

Bottled Water, Home Purifiers/Frank Bell/202-382-3037

Acid Precipitation/Mike Maxwell/919-541-3091

Asbestos in Buildings/William Cain/202-684-7881 Groundwater Protection/Jack Kelley/405-332-8800 integrated Pest Management/Darwin Wright/ 202-426-2407

Watershed Management/Lee Mulkey/404-546-3581 Fishkills/Ed Biernacki/202-382-7008

How Can I Help?

Ram Dass and Paul Gorman approach charitable service as a liberation from the prison of self and separateness, and as a solution to the inarticulate loneliness we feel when we lack a connection to others. The anecdotes are the best part here, and the reader wants more of them. Between people’s stories, the authors narrate simple psychology directed to the helping professions.

—Sallie Tisdale

There’s one thing I’ve learned in twenty-five years or so of political organizing: People don’t like to be “should” upon. They’d rather discover than be told.

The basic social institution is the individual human heart. It is the source of the energy from which all social action derives its power and purpose. The more we honor the integrity of that source, the more chance our actions have of reaching and stirring others.

How to Make Meetings Work

It always amazes me how a group of otherwise pleasant people can go collectively insane as soon as they get in a meeting together. Anyone who suffers through the wrangling and frustration of poorly run meetings will find this book very useful. I particularly like its emphasis on achieving consensus, a worthy goal that lots of people talk about without knowing much of how it can be achieved.

—Linda Williams

The very presence of the group memory has many beneficial effects. It provides a physical focus for the group.

Women Winning

The advent of women as candidates for elected offices in America began in earnest in the 1970s. This book conveys the excitement of a new group reaching out for elected political power and also includes strategic and organizational advice that candidates of either sex will find valuable. The author is a Democratic Party committeewoman and a seasoned veteran of six years in the Maine state legislature. —Richard Nilsen

Over the past decade most women candidates have underemphasized the planning stage of campaigning.... You can develop a solid strategy at the outset if you follow these fundamental principles:

1. Know your message.

2. Know the issues.

3. Know the voters.

4. Know the limits of your resources.

Once you’ve determined what your message will be, your brochures, newspaper interviews, radio spots, balloons, door hangers, and all your other campaign materials should be designed to deliver your message to the voters.

Rather than sitting in a closed circle around a conference table, channeling their energies toward each other, the members sit in a semicircle and automatically focus their energies on the problem as represented by the group memory. This simple change can make a tremendous difference.

NE OF MY FAVORITE STORIES about local politics goes back to the late 1970s, when Abbie k Hoffman was living under an assumed name in a small town on the St. Lawrence River in I upstate New York. The way Abbie tells it, he read in the newspaper one day that the Army ‘ Corps of Engineers had plans to blast a new shipping channel right through the section of

the river that ran by his home. The project would involve dynamiting several small islands and opening an environmentally sensitive stretch of waterway to major shipping.

Hoffman decided to risk blowing his cover and start fighting the plan. For weeks, he went around and knocked on his neighbors’ doors and urged them to write letters opposing the project to the Corps and to their legislators. But time after time, the working-class river folk declined to get involved. “They kept telling me,” Hoffman explained, “that there was nothing they could do — that nobody paid any attention to them. All they knew was that winter was coming and they needed firewood. All they cared about was their damn chainsaws. ”

Suddenly an idea came. Hoffman put on a tie, took $20 cash down to the local newspaper and placed a classified ad that read: “FREE CHAINSAWS. The Army Corps of Engineers has unexpectedly amassed a surplus supply of 200 19-inch chainsaws in top condition, and will give them free to the first 200 citizens who send a suitable self-addressed shipping carton with a request letter and postage, to the Army Corps of Engineers, Syracuse, NY.”

Within a week, the Corps office was flooded with hundreds of large shipping crates and letters requesting “surplus chain saws. ” Nobody could figure out who had placed the ad, or why, but the event attracted national media attention. It was also a sensation in Hoffman’s tiny community — everywhere people were talking about it.

That week, Hoffman repeated his doorknocking rounds. But this time, he had a different message. “What do you mean, nobody pays attention to you?” he asked. “What about those chainsaws? Look at the fuss you can make just by writing a few letters. ” That, of course, was the beginning of a potent citizens’ group “Save the River” — and the beginning of the end for the Corps channel widening plans.

There’s a lesson there for everyone: nothing brings a community to life like a tangible demonstration of its own latent power. —Tim Redmond

The Reporter’s Handbook

Most good reporting starts when a reporter smells that something’s wrong. But you don’t have to be a professional reporter to follow your nose. Anyone can help stop a local abuse by tracking down the facts, but it often means an extended hunt down a frail of paper and interviews. This manual for following that trail is an encyclopedic directory in itself, listing dozens of documents, agencies, and reports that you might never hear about any other way. Put together by a group of experienced investigative journalists, it’s one of the few college textbooks that’s fun to read. —Art Kleiner


You’re methodically researching your project on the ridiculously expensive monorail the county wants to build at the new zoo when your editor starts flailing his arms and hollering at you. The police desk has an update on a bust at a disco last night. It turns out they found in the back room 10 bales of marijuana, 20 kilos of cocaine and 100,000 Quaaludes. A Colombian citizen was among those arrested.

The cops are cooperating with the Drug Enforcement Administration, not with you. They’re giving out nothing beyond the arrest sheets.

There are a hundred unanswered questions: Who owns the disco? What else does this person own — land, buildings, cars, boats, airplanes? What’s the disco owner’s economic background? Has the owner ever been accused of a crime? Does the owner use corporations to hide behind? Is there a limited partnership involved? Who are its investors? How much did they invest? Who’s in business with this person?

Public records will answer every one of those questions for you in a few hours.

Waste to Wealth

This is the most exciting of many publications from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (p. 108). Taxpayers pay $10 billion a year for waste disposal — not counting the costs of cleaning up leaky landfills. Waste to Wealth defends the 100 percent pollution-free alternative of finding ways to re-use garbage. Ground-up old tires (crumb rubber) become rubber products once again; recycled scrap plastic becomes virgin plastic for another loop of consumer use; discarded industrial oils fuel homes.

—Peter Warshall

Scrap Tire Collection and Transfer

Tires are usually collected for a fee by junk dealers, recappers, and municipal waste collectors and then disposed at the local landfill. Recycling offers savings from disposal costs, but the crumb rubber manufacturing plant (CRMP) must take into account the cost of collection which is a major expense. While any variety of collection schemes can exist, it is probably best to (1) allow generators to collect and tip their scrap rubber at a set cost per tire at the CRMP or (2) levy a larger charge to pay for collection costs. For purposes of calculation, we will assume a charge for tipping at the CRMP; and that the CRMP does not have any collection equipment. Further, local market conditions will determine the charge per accepted tire.

Profit from Pollution Prevention

Bucky Fuller said for years that pollution is just good stuff in the wrong place at the wrong time. This Canadian book offers hard evidence that not only can many pollutants be controlled but that the control can produce income. Experience has proven over and over that without economic incentive, polluters won’t do much. Turns out that even with economic incentive, they won’t be much inclined to do much until convinced. This book examines a host of common industrial polluting materials and practices. Alleviation tactics are discussed. For many nasties, successful case studies are presented. If you need to deal with a polluter, this book should be included in your homework. —JB

Garbage Reincarnation

This classroom manual on garbage recycling is the gem at the bottom of the trash heap and like all great “activity” books for kids, a book every adult will learn tons from. The authors are champions of human energy over the false application of high technology.

—Peter Warshall

Making a small scale replica of a sanitary landfill will give you a better understanding of what a sanitary landfill is and how it’s made. You will experience some of the problems that must be dealt with by landfill operators when you see subsidence taking place and leachate being created right in your own mini landfill.

High-Grade Magazines

BioCycle is close to my feces-fertilizer-farm-food-feces revolving vision. It features my favorite Compost Guru, Clarence Golueke. I once thought their bumper sticker should read: “Have You Hugged Your Humus Today?” Herein, the creators of America’s long-term wealth.

Resource Recycling focuses more on heavy metal; if they could, the editors would probably mine old landfills. For the moment, the magazine works closely with industrial producers exploring ways for the consumer and companies to both profit by reuse and waste reduction.

—Peter Warshall

BioCycle: Jerome Goldstein, Editor. $43/year (10 issues) from BioCycle, Box 351, Emmaus, PA 18049.

Resource Recyling: Jerry Powell, Editor. $20/year (7 issues) from Resource Recycling Magazine, P. O. Box 10540, Portland, OR 97210.

To Burn or Not to Burn

Modern incineration plants require a guaranteed volume of garbage, squeezing competitive recycling operations out of the market. They also produce toxic gases and a residue ash which must often be buried in hazardous waste landfills. The ILSR (see above) and the Environmental Defense Fund (see p. 87) are the groups most informed. EDF’s To Burn or Not to Burn does a thorough and instructive cost-benefit comparison of garbage burning and recycling for New York City. —David Finacom

To Burn or Not to Burn: Dan Kirshner, Adam C. Stern, 1985; 101 pp. $20 postpaid from Environmental Defense Fund, 444 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016.

A computer network for recyclers.

RecydeNet: Modem (609) 641–9418; 300 Baud, 8 data bits, 1 stop bit, no parity; Factsheet $1 from Association of New Jersey Recyclers, P. O. Box 625, Abescon, NJ 08201.

Worldwatch Papers, number 23, 36, and 56 (p. 92) give the global overview.

Love Canal

<em>Lois Gibbs describes herself — “before Love Canal” — as a typical “dumb housewife,” preoccupied with raising her children, keeping a tidy house, and pursuing her hobbies. In December 1977, three months after her</em> son <em>started kindergarten, he developed epilepsy and a lowered white blood</em> count. Soon <em>afterward, she read in the local paper that her son’s school had been built on an abandoned chemical dump, where Hooker Chemical and Plastics Corporation had dumped over 43 million pounds of toxic industrial wastes before selling the site to the school board for one dollar. Mrs. Gibbs’ battle to transfer her son to another school grew into all-out war against local, state, and federal governments, resulting in national publicity and — finally — a federal order to relocate some one thousand families whose homes had become deathtraps. The Love Canal battle alerted the nation to the hazards of thousands of toxic time bombs hidden across the country by negligent, unscrupulous industries.</em>

—Carol Van Strum

Hazardous Waste in America

The compendium of information about the particular components of the 80 billion pounds of hazardous waste materials generated annually by American industries — 350 pounds per year for each inhabitant of the U.S. The book includes a directory of 8000 toxic dumps located in all 50 states; a field guide to locating undisclosed waste sites; a selection of case studies of toxic dumps and their tragic human toll; an excellent “citizen’s legal guide to hazardous wastes”; and an intelligent, emphatic discussion of the political, legal, practical, and philosophical solutions to a toxic nightmare that is all too real.

—Carol Van Strum

The cream of the crap, so to speak. —Peter Warshall

Some wastes are effectively immortal; their toxic qualities are intrinsic to their elemental structure. The heavy metals are in this category, and, in a different sense, so is asbestos, whose toxicity is a function of its physical structure, which, for practical purposes, is indestructible. Some radioactive wastes, particularly uranium and plutonium, retain their radioactive properties for so long that we should also view them as immortal.

A second group of wastes is semi-mortal. Destruction or degradation occurs in the environment, but very slowly. Chlorinated hydrocarbons, especially complex ones, are semi-mortal in natural environments, but can be destroyed in high-temperature incinerators.

A third group of toxics is very short-lived or mortal, including acids and bases and other strongly reactive materials like cyanides, which are rapidly destroyed or neutralized in the environment.

Citizen’s Clearinghouse for Hazardous Waste

Founded by Lois “Love Canal” Gibbs. Assists grassroots struggles about waste clumps. “Organize” is their battle cry and they’re the best. Everyone’s Backyard is their quarterly. CCHW’s Action Bulletin covers the nation. Good reviews and access. A wonderful spirit of hope and rightful action exudes from their clamoring. Just what tons of toxic goop requires. —Peter Warshall

Citizen’s Clearinghouse for Hazardous Waste: Membership $15/year (includes 4 issues of Everyone’s Backyard and periodic Action Bulletins) from Citizens Clearinghouse for Hazardous Waste, P. O. Box 926, Arlington, VA 22216.

Be careful you don’t step in any goop.” We showed him some of the holes. He got a sinus headache from the walk across the canal. He said he felt it immediately. As we went across the canal, we found one of those black holes that is so deep that you can’t get a stick to the bottom of it. You pull the stick out and see black gunk its entire length.

We showed him the barrel that was coming to the surface right near Debbie Cerrillo’s swimming pool and the hole with the black gunk in her yard. Pete Bulka lived next door to Debbie. Pete had been complaining to the City of Niagra Falls for a long time, but nothing was ever done. Pete explained how his sump pump had to be replaced every few months because it corroded. The county health commissioner wanted to cap everyone’s sump pump because they were pumping chemicals from the canal into the storm sewers and then into the Niagra River. He acted as if it were the citizens’ fault that they were pumping poison into the river, that it was better that it just stayed in people’s basements.

Biohazards: Concerned Groups

Federation of Homemakers, Inc. The homemaker bloodhounds that sniff out poisonous hanky-panky in foods, drugs, and cosmetics. To protect their families they police the FDA. The group where Ralph Nader seeks advice.

Membership $10/year (includes 4 issues of their newsletter) from Federation of Homemakers, Inc., P. O. Box 5571, Arlington, VA 22205.

Environmental Action. The national political lobby that created Earth Day. Coordinated efforts on the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Occupational and Safety Act, Toxic Substances Control Act, etc. Best magazine.

Membership $20/year (includes 6 issues of Environmental Action) from Environmental Action, 1525 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036.

National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides (NCAMP). Be it insecticide, herbicide, rodenticide, or fungicide, NCAMP has the long and short of it. A broad-spectrum coalition (farmers, churches, labor, health, homemakers and politicos) who stress less damaging alternatives like Integrated Pest Management (see p. 81). Pesticides and You is their most potent newsletter.

Membership $10/year (includes 5 issues of Pesticides and You) from NCAMP, 530 Seventh Street SE, Washington, DC 20003.

Society for Occupational and Environmental Health. The academic neutral forum has conferences with papers like “Sperm Count Suppression in Lead-Exposed Men” and “Spontaneous Abortion and Type of Work.” Mainly for higher income brackets, but their knowledge is a powerful aid to all workers who contract an occupational disease.

Membership $50/year (includes 6 issues of The Archives of , Environmental Health Journal and 4 issues of the SOEH Letter) from Society for Occupational and Environmental 11 Health, 2021 K Street NW, Suite 305, Washington, /1

DC 20006. /?

Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides g (NCAP). More action. NCAP takes the broadest political overview of pesticides on the planet. Their muckraking is a bit too anxious to get me bloody scared, but they’re here to inform and help and they do if well. Publishes Journal of Pesticide Reform and , great info on herbicide spraying in forests. L Membership $12/year (includes 4 issues of Journal of

Pesticide Reform) from Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, P. O. Box 1393, Eugene, OR 97440.

—Peter Warshall

Animal Liberation

This powerful and meticulously reasoned book is credited with sparking the recent animal rights movement in America. Not simply a documentation of ill treatment, it is also a skillfully presented case for animal protection.

All of the chemical products we use, from cosmetics to oven cleaner, are tested on living animals. Death for these animals comes after days, weeks, or even months of pain. Factory farms are equally bad; millions of calves, chickens, and other animals spend their lives in tiny cages just larger than their bodies. The factory farms and laboratory horrors Singer exposed ten years ago remain prevalent.

Copies of Animal Liberation are being left inside laboratories — not on the bookshelves, but in empty cages, replacing animals liberated by raiders in the night.

—Bradley Miller


The core of this book is the claim that to discriminate against beings solely on account of their species is a form of prejudice, immoral and indefensible in the same way that discrimination on the basis of race is immoral and indefensible....

The Animals’ Agenda

The Animals’ Agenda is a must for anyone interested in keeping up to date on animal rights. Independent of any particular animal organization, the magazine freely explores the issues and controversies behind the headlines, and offers a unique and open forum for participation to all parties concerned. —Bradley Miller


Karen, 38, a health care worker in a large eastern city, is one of the members of the Animal Liberation Front who broke into the Head Injury Clinical Research Center at the University of Pennsylvania in May 1984. In the most widely-publicized break-in of its kind, the ALF stole more than 60 hours of videotapes of experiments and initiated an exhaustive campaign that led ultimately to the Center’s closing.

Here’s where the action is:

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA):

The vanguard of the animal rights movement. These gutsy and articulate activists have made the name PETA synonymous with “landmark victory.” In five short years this group has developed a track record which puts most older and wealthier organizations to shame. Saving laboratory animals has been their focus. PETA is directly responsible for halting numerous government-funded animal experiments. —Bradley Miller

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals: membership $20 (includes quarterly newsletter; information free from PETA, P. O. Box 42516, Washington, DC 20015.

Humane Farming Association (HFA)

Expanding the boundaries of animal protection, HFA is spearheading a campaign against the intense confinement and brutal treatment of farm animals.

—Bradley Miller

Humane Farming Association: membership $10 (includes quarterly newsletter); information free from 1550 California Street/Suite 6, San Francisco, CA 94109.

The Fund for Animals

If someone is threatening to make dog food out of wild horses in Nevada ... call the Fund for Animals.

—Bradley Miller

The Fund for Animals: membership $15 (includes quarterly newsletter); information free from 200 West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019.

International Primate Protection League (I PPL)

The murder of IPPL advisor Diane Fossey is but one tragic example of the risks primate protectors face. Harassed by lawsuits from chimpanzee dealers and threats of violence from black market smugglers, IPPL continues its valiant struggle to protect the Earth’s primate species. They also run a sanctuary for primates rescued from abusive institutions. —Bradley Miller

International Primate Protection League: membership $10 (includes quarterly newsletter); information free from IPPL, P. O. Box 766, Summerville, SC 29484.

Buddhists Concerned for Animals

If you hang around Buddhists all day, by and by you hear yourself making an interesting pair of statements:

“Sentient beings are numberless.”

“I vow to save them.” —Stewart Brand

Buddhists Concerned for Animals: membership $10 (includes quarterly newsletter); information free from 300 Page Street, San Francisco, CA 94102.


These days communes are not what they used to be. To find out what they are becoming, read this journal, which has been around as long as the oldest ongoing commune has. —Kevin Kelly

The benefits of collective economies have included not only economic security within the group and insurance in the labor of one’s brothers and sisters against illness, injury and old age. They have been full employment, work lightened by comradery, rotation in jobs to avoid boredom and to learn new skills, and involvement with technology on a human scale.

The Illusion of Utopia

Two thousand years of experimentation have proven communal societies ineffective in the attempt to realize a general utopia. From the Jewish Essene monastic community on the shore of the Dead Sea a century and a half before Christ to the Chinese People’s Communes which were abandoned in 1982, both voluntary and involuntary communitarianism have been frustrating routes to utopia.

Twin Oaks permits the accumulation of labor credits by individual members. This means that I can work 55 hours one week, say, instead of the required 48, and bank the extra 7 until I want to use them for vacation. I can take my vacation either here on the farm or elsewhere. In either case the vacation time I’ve earned by working

“over quota” is in addition to the IVi weeks the community gives every member each year outright. The average Twin Oaker by these means takes 7 weeks of vacation per year.

Community Referral Service

A) Communities seeking new members publish their circumstances in this complete directory. B) Potential members seeking to join an established commune can shop for a suitable one. C) Those searching for other commune-bent individuals connect up. Friendly service.

—Kevin Kelly

Builders of the Dawn

This comprehensive gathering of interviews, guidelines, and analyses proves that experience more than theory is designing the current evolution of American communes. Pass through this accumulated advice first if you are headed for an intentional community. Dwell here if you intended to manage one. —Kevin Kelly

Another problem is the astounding amount of bureaucracy needed at Twin Oaks to operate its labor credit system fairly. Its government is more centralized than it needs to be, according to some members. “If you want something here,” member Martha commented,

“there are a million committees to go through.”

Some comparisons: ‘60s Communes/‘80s Communities
1960s 1980s

• Freedom and “doing your own thing” most important value; “laying a trip” on someone is a cardinal sin

• Few rules, restrictions, or expectations; largely unstructured; “work only if you feel like it”; spontaneity highly valued

• Mainly alternative lifestyle and values — drugs, rock and roll, “free sex”

• Non-exclusive; usually anyone with same lifestyle can join

• Visitors not always requested to contribute money or labor; no formal guest programs

• Return to a romanticized rural past; rejection of technology; few communication links with society

• Return to innocence of childhood; rejection of responsibility

• Cooperation with others and “the good of the whole” important; everyone needs to contribute his/her share; erratic behavior less acceptable

• Agreed-upon rules and expectations; fairly structured work and financial requirements

• Variation in lifestyle in different communities — ranging from alternative to middle-class professional

• More restrictive about membership — must be harmonious with group and committed to group’s purpose

• Visitors usually requested to contribute money and/or labor; more structured guest programs

• Closeness to nature highly valued, but appropriate technology also welcomed; more communication links with society (telephone, TV, radio, some computers)

• Generally more mature and reponsible adult attitudes; valuing some balance of playfulness, although sometimes too serious


Charles Betterton, Editor $12/yr. (4 issues) from:


Journal of Cooperation 105 Sun Street

Stelle, IL 60919

The New Age Community Guidebook

Bobbi Corcoran, Editor 1985; 112 pp. $8 postpaid from: Community Referral Service P. O. Box 2672 Eugene, OR 97402

Builders of the Dawn

Corrine McLaughlin and Gordon Davidson 1985; 372 pp.


($14.70 postpaid) from: $tillpoint Publishing P. O. Box 640 Meetinghouse Road Walpole, NH 03608 or Whole Earth Access




F. Lansing Scott, Editor $18/year (4 issues) from:


1135 SE Salmon


Used to be we’d check RAIN to see if we’d missed anything new in appropriate technology. (We hear they checked us for the same reason.) Now that appropriate tech is pretty much settled into a groove, RAIN has a new subtitle: “Resources for Building Community.” It’s about as good a resource as you could imagine, and certainly the first place you should look for information on community and neighborhood building all over the world. The new staff carries on the RAIN tradition of accurate, proven information presented with erudite commentary.


“Raising Money from Churches,” by Gary Delgado, Grassroots Fundraising Journal, February 1986,

$3.50/issue, $20/year from: Grassroots Fundraising Journal, P. O. Box 14754, San Francisco, CA 94114

With shrinking government resources and intense competition for foundation dollars, many nonprofits are looking around for new sources of support. In this article Gary Delgado, director of the Center for Third World Organizing, provides a basic introduction to securing support from local churches and national church organizations. He is particularly effective in spelling out what you need to know and do at each stage in the process. The article also provides access information on related publications and some national church funding resources. This seven-page article is the best guide I have seen for community groups exploring church support for the first time.

Institute for Community Economics Information free

<strong>Community Land Trust Handbook</strong>1982; 224 pp.


($7.05 postpaid) Both from: ICE

151 Montague City Road Greenfield, MA 01301 or Whole Earth Access

Institute for Community Economics (ICE)

ICE helps local groups form community land trusts. In Dallas, Texas, 11 neighborhood groups have banded together to buy up vacant urban lots. Houses scheduled for demolition are moved onto the lots. The land trust owns the lots; individuals own the houses and lease the land. This keeps the land off of the speculative real estate market so that the only increases in price are from inflation or improvements to the houses. Result: affordable housing for low-income people. The Handbook explains how to do it in your neighborhood. —Richard Nilsen •

To most people, private is a very attractive word. It is strongly associated with the privacy and security of the home. However, much private land in America is not owned by people who live on it. Most land today is concentrated in the hands of a relatively small part of the population (75 percent of the privately held land in America is owned by 5 percent of the private landholders). And absentee ownership is increasingly common.

Going Co-op

If my group of 14 aspiring homeowners had read this book before we purchased the seven-unit apartment building we turned into a co-op a few years back, we would have saved a lot of time and energy. Going Co-op is a solid, readable, nuts-and-bolts introduction to creating your own housing cooperative: selecting and financing the building; working out the legalities; keeping things democratic; and setting group policies, for example, the crucial issue of buying in and selling out. It includes a sample set of co-op bylaws (very important) and a sample occupancy agreement (even more important). I just wish the coauthors had placed more emphasis on the fact that even the best of contracts don’t hold co-ops together —- friendships do. —Michael Castleman

Grading Old Houses

As mentioned in Chapter 8, the Cedar Riverside PAC, with the help of a local contractor, developed a system for grading the condition of old houses. It was used to determine which houses were worth rehabilitating. and serves as a starting point for more specific redevelopment planning. The point system used in the evaluation sheet was designed specifically for the Cedar Riverside situation and may need to be modified for other localities.


Poor 34 to 75

Fair- 76 to 82

Fair 83 to 89

Fair+ 90 to 95

Good ”96 to 100

Good 101 to 106

Good + 107 to 116


Good Fair Poor A. STRUCTURAL

1. Foundation 20 10 0

2. Windows 15 10 0

3. Siding 10 7 4

4. Roof/soffets 10 7 2


1. Heating 10 7 2

2. Electrical 10 7 7

3. Plumbing 10 7 2



1. Floor plan 7 6 5

2. Ingress/egress 7 6 5

3. Wall surfaces 10 7 2

D. SITE 7 6 5

Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR)

A co-op is assessed property taxes as a single building. In many cities this means co-ops pay lower taxes than condominiums, because condominium units are assessed individually.

Co-op members may also be eligible for the personal income tax deductions enjoyed by other homeowners. They are allowed to take their share of the deductions for the co-op’s mortgage interest and property taxes. For many co-op members, this may mean a net reduction of 10 to 30 percent of their monthly housing costs.


Statement o( Income and Expenses


Gas Electricity Water

$ 2.249



For the Year Ended December 31,




Repair and maintenance



Gross potential carrying charges




Less: Vacancies




Net carrying charges


Real estate tax




Interest expense








Management lee


Other income


Administrative expense


Total income


Total expense


Sample Co-op Income Statement

Net Income (Loss) (J 7,360)

Going Co-op

William Couglan, Jr. and Monte Franke 1983; 249 pp.


($11.45 postpaid) from:

Harper and Row 2350 Virginia Avenue Hagerstown, MD 21740 or Whole Earth Access

ILSR’s goal: self-reliant urban communities that can generate income from within rather than suck from the resource tits of rural communities. They’ve established a good reputation in waste-recycling (see p. 106) and they’re active in other areas as well. —Peter Warshall

Institute for Local Self-Reliance Membership $35/year Publications list free

Both from:


2425 18th St. NW

Washington, DC 20009

• A monthly listing of community jobs and internships. Community Jobs: David Guttchen, Editor. $12/year (12 issues) from 1319 18th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036.

• The whole fleamarket schtick, plus a directory of where they are. Flea Market America: Cree McCree, 1983; 180 pp. $8.50 postpaid from W. W. Norton, 500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110.

• For information on conservation land trusts, see p. 86.

• See p. 89 for more on self-reliance.



The Small Community

People could probably have very interesting times, lifetimes, even, following the precepts laid out in this good old (vintage 1942) book. There are definite ways and means of developing community, it says — certain things are known, and there are rules to play by.

Author Arthur Morgan wrote forthrightly, with a (now) rare sense of assurance about his values. Indeed, his elegant sense of honor seems quite out of place amid the pragmatisms, corruptions, and complications of our time. But his straightforward aspiration to human greatness, democratic practice, fine culture, and high ideals, coupled with the belief that these aspirations can best be fulfilled in the small community, makes resoundingly good sense.

Because the creation of that context is of such great importance, Morgan provides a spare but definitive guidebook. He covers a lot of ground, talking about the appropriate scale of communities, economic self-reliance, skills banks, the importance and liabilities of regional planning, and provision for the community welfare, among many other topics. The only problem is that it all adds up to working in groups, which might tear us away from our VCRs and other toys. —Stephanie Mills

I would call this book a recipe for civilization.

—Kevin Kelly

Selfishness nearly always is organized in the community. Unless unselfishness and public interest also can be organized, they can have little chance.

Where community life is dissolved and the only remaining sense of social identity is with vast societies, such as great nations, serious-minded young people who wish to be socially effective often measure their small powers against national or world movements, and develop a feeling of frustration and futility. On the other hand,

Small Town

A little magazine bound to be useful to any community large enough to have a town hall. It’s about character, controlled growth, and planning. —Stewart Brand

One proposal, funded with a grant through the Wyoming Main Street Program, provided a 50% match for design costs incurred by merchants engaged in restorations. This approach gave merchants enough incentive to hire professional assistance, but simultaneously committed them to complete the project. Since the merchants paid 50% of the design costs, little public outcry occurred concerning the use of grant funds.

The Small Community

Arthur E. Morgan 1984; 313 pp.


($11 postpaid) from: Community Service, Inc.

P. O. Box 243

Yellow Springs, OH 45387 or Whole Earth Access

The Barter Network Handbook

Another one of those slightly fusty do-gooder manuals, but the subject is one that, like open-air farmers’ markets and (sometimes) recycling centers, can do a lot to connect a community. Sometimes you barter goods, but mostly people barter services; either way, you leave the IRS out of it. Village economics in an urban world, self-rewarding.

—Stewart Brand

Tom Glynn, assistant to the commissioner of the IRS, has


where they are members of small communities they have opportunities to deal with problems within their grasp. They can be realists and can be effective within the community, and so can have a feeling of validity denied them when their primary relations are to vast social aggregations.

Young people look about them, half-consciously wondering what kind of world it is into which they are born. If they see favoritism and political manipulation, with the best people of the community timidly unwilling to expose themselves by vigorous political activity, the young people of the community will have learned their lesson.

Their school textbooks may discuss civic righteousness, but they will know that is only make-believe. The realities are before their eyes. They will be convinced that they live in a world of arbitrariness, favoritism, and special interests, and that they must be like the world they are in. On the other hand, whenever young people see integrity and a businesslike attitude in business management, they are likely to decide that the world they live in is like that, and they will act accordingly.

conceded that many of the informal barter arrangements that take place between friends and neighbors carry no tax liability, since they fall into the category of “favors.” ... The IRS has ruled that members of barter “clubs,” who receive credits valued at $1 each for services they perform, must report them as income when they are received, even though they may not make use of them until a later time. Credits possessing no monetary or “time-spent” income, however, have not been covered by any IRS rulings to date.



Small Town

Kenneth Munsell, Editor


(6 issues) from:

Small Towns Institute

P. O. Box 517

Ellensburg, WA 98926

The Barter Network Handbook

David Tobin and Henry Ware 1983; 69 pp.


($9.45 postpaid) from: Volunteer Readership 1111 North 19th Street

Arlington, VA 22209 or Whole Earth Access



LANNERS SEEM TO BE getting better at tempering idealism — not by selling out, but by developing environmentally and socially effective designs that can attract financiers. Don’t lose hope yet! —J. Baldwin


How The Other Half Builds

Witold Rybczynski et al. 1984; 89 pp.


($8.00 Canadian) postpaid from: Center for

Minimum Cost Housing 3550 University Street Montreal, Quebec H3A 2A7, Canada or Whole Earth Access

How the Other Half Builds

“Existing informal sector housing, often termed slums, represents a solution rather than a problem.” This is a radical concept to many theoretical low-income housing planners, but not to its author, Witold Rybczynski; he’s well- known for puncturing the ineffectual arguments of self- righteous do-gooders. The basic premise is simple: In order to determine what to plan as housing for the poor, find out what they need; to find out what they need, go see what they’ve done without the aid of planners. You’d think this would go without saying, but planners often are blinded by class differences and elitist educations. This paper should help, and not just in less-developed areas of the world. The idea that the people can handle a lot of their own needs should be a major premise of any democratic society.

This paper is the first of a series. The second part should be available as you read this. —JB


Chester Hartman, Dennis Keating, and Richard LeGates 1982; 224 pp.

$10 postpaid from: National Housing Law Project 2150 Shattuck Ave.

No. 300

Berkeley, CA 94704

The priorities of the slum-dweller are frequently not those of the municipal authorities. Space takes precedence over permanence. A porch may be built before a bathroom; a work place may be more important than a private bedroom. The apparent inversion ofvalues is especiallyevident in the public spaces. Whereas planned sites and services projects usually incorporate rudimentary, minimal circulation spaces, the public areas of slums are characterized by richness and diversity.

Historic Preservation • Preservation News

It may be ironic, but the best hope for preserving wonderful old buildings — conservation — is innovation. Imaginative new uses for the aging structures plus creative methods of finance are what it takes. Confrontation and emotional hassling don’t usually work. The sophisticated techniques of preservation are discussed, in color, in the bimonthly Historic Preservation magazine. News from the front lines arrives in the monthly Preservation News. Both come with a membership in the lively National Trust for Historic Preservation. —JB


The effect of letting the real estate market do as it pleases is to be far less conservative in the long run. What, in the final analysis, do conservatives really wish to conserve? At a time in which there is no real social contract so far as building is concerned, no real community of values in the urban environment, the laissez-faire city is not likely to be the civilized city. It is more likely to be the overbuilt city, the tense, dark, harsh city, the city whose lack of grace should be far more threatening to the values of a true conservative.

Few experiences provoke as much frustration, outrage, and even grief as being forced to move. It’s distressingly common — 2.5 million U.S. residents are displaced from their homes and neighborhoods each year. It’s happened to me and many people I know. Written by a nationwide team of community lawyers and organizers, Displacement describes all the methods by which you could be thrown out of your house — evictions, condo conversions, rent hikes, arson, and mortgage foreclosures just for starters — and the (mostly) legal methods for fighting back. (Sometimes the government eventually learns it’s cheaper to give illegal squatters their occupied houses than to keep them empty.) Individuals about to lose their homes should look here, but the book is really about building and maintaining neighborhoods. It will instruct you in the legal hassling which is unfortunately necessary to keep a neighborhood intact. —Art Kleiner

In places with no or weak laws regulating condo conversions, negotiating with the converter is an important tactic. Concessions won this way are nothing to be sneezed at. They might include lowering the sales price for all units, paying moving costs and relocation bonuses, extending time for tenants to move, or even reserving some units for low- and moderate-income tenants.

Negotiating for concessions is actually another term for squeezing the converter’s profits. It’s possible — even though many of the concessions listed above are quite costly to the developer — since speed is one of the important factors in the most lucrative forms of conversion. The converter’s objective is to sell all the units in a building as quickly as possible and move on, tying up borrowed capital as briefly as possible. So substantial concessions often will be made simply to avoid delays.

• Two founders of the New Alchemy Institute (p. 89) make some interesting urban proposals based on the Institute’s work. Bioshelters, Ocean Arks, City Farming (Ecology as the Basis of Design): Nancy Jack Todd and John Todd, 1984; 210 pp. $10.95 ($13.45 postpaid) from Sierra Club Bookstore, 730 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109 (or Whole Earth Access).

Sustainable Communities

<em>“Sustainability implies that the use of energy and materials in an urban area be in balance with what the region can supply continuously through natural processes such as photosynthesis, biological decomposition and the biochemical processes that support life. The immediate</em>

Livable Cities

All over the U.S.A., deteriorating neighborhoods and even entire towns are being revitalized. And not necessarily by displacing the people living there either. How is this being done? By people getting together! Lots of successful war stories and the winning tactics and strategies are presented here with a voice in keeping with the subject: positive, tough, competent, and experienced. Good hopeful reading for people who want to get control of their neighborhood’s destiny. This is all easily read, too — a pleasure! —JB

Community activists should also beware of constructive alternatives. Sometimes, the enemy, seeing he is about to be defeated, tries to turn the tables on you and says, “All right, if you’re so smart, tell us what to do.” Be careful how you handle this situation. It’s not your role

Livable Streets

We all know that “we gotta do something about all these cars,” but what’s to be done? This book is divided into two parts: the first is an exhaustive (so to speak) study of the effects of traffic on the denizens of 21 San Francisco streets; part two chronicles the history of an attempt to change traffic patterns in Berkeley for the better. That politically tumultuous move is compared to a similar effort in England. Theory meets reality in both cases. Interesting, instructive, and fortunately easy to read. Highly recommended for car-haters. —JB

What happens on the street where there is little or no traffic was studied by Zerner in a number of cul-de-sacs in San Francisco. Such is the power of the automobile on our thinking that these streets are called “dead end” streets, when of all the streets in the city they are the most alive with children. They come from all over the neighborhood to those rare, protected places. In fact, they are so rare that a street like Shotwell becomes overloaded with children.

• See Architecture Without Architects (p. 115) and A Pattern Language (p. 117).

• See also “Alternative Technology” (pp. 89–90).

• This seminal study remains one of the most accurately honest looks at the wonders and terrors of city living. The Death and Life of Great American Cities: Jane Jacobs, 1961; 458 pp. $4.95 ($5.95 postpaid) from Random House/ Order Dept., 400 Hahn Road, Westminster, MD 21157 (or Whole Earth Access).

implications of this principle are a vastly reduced energy budget for cities, and a smaller, more compact urban pattern interspersed with productive areas to collect energy, grow crops for food, fiber and energy, and recycle wastes.”

How this concept is to be implemented is what this book is about. It isn’t just talk; there are case studies and lots of eminently practical ideas here, complete with the economics. The call to action is backed philosophically by seven essays from authors such as Paul Hawken and John Todd. Solid and timely, the book is a recipe for what we can and probably must do. —JB

The Village Center proposal is a direct descendant of the “neighborhood school planning” dogma which dominated surburban planning a generation ago. Then, the key concept was to locate neighborhoods around a half mile walking radius of the elementary school. Today, education and other key consumer services may form the core for new pedestrian oriented energy efficient communities.

to tell the sanitation department how to pick up the garbage; all you care about is that they pick it up regularly. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to do the enemy’s job. Let the enemy solve his own problems. Concentrate instead on making sure he meets your demands.

The only foolproof way to prevent families from being displaced is to have them own their homes, either individually or through a neighborhood corporation. There are a number of ways this can be done. All the methods described previously in this book to help families obtain low-cost home improvement loans and mortgages — rehabilitation financing schemes, revolving loan funds, homesteading programs, sweat equity, low-down-payment mortgages, rebate programs, and so on — serve to keep the original residents in their homes at prices they can afford.

Redesigning the American Dream

Do you dream of living in a single-family home? You might find this eloquent argument against the idea provocative. Architect Dolores Hayden shows that the traditional home is often inappropriate for the rising number of singleparent families, families with more than one adult wage earner, and the elderly. Much better would be further development of the housing we already have by mean? of “mother-in-law” apartments and cleverly refurbished neighborhoods. The role (some would say plight) of women is discussed with unusual sensitivity — rare in books addressing planning — with women’s needs incorporated centrally into every proposed design. I found the level of research to be deeper than other books on the subject, and mercifully free of simplistic analysis. Easy to read too; no academic poopadoodle at all. —JB

[Suggested by Stephanie Mills]

San Diego estimated overall costs to the city of one new detached suburban house at $13,500 and began billing

OUSEHOLD: Where you come home to, what you come home to, who you come home to. A place you can call your own, if you work at it. —JB

this infrastructure charge to startled developers. Fairfield, California, estimated that total tax revenues from new housing development would cover half the cost of police services and nothing more.

Most of the towns and cities of the United States simply cannot afford this kind of new development: not the infrastructure cost, or the service cost, or the energy cost. •

Access to the public domain is especially difficult for older women. After age sixty-five, many women reap the results of a lifetime of low earnings, limited mobility, and self-sacrifice. In a study of 82,000 widows in Chicago, Helena Lopata found that over half of them did not go to public places, and over a fifth did not even go visiting. While 82 percent were not in a position to offer transportation to others, 45 percent had no one, of any age, to rely on for transportation.

The Plan of St. Gall in Brief

One of the most thrilling publications in years, the three- volume Plan of St. Gall also had a thrilling price — $450. (It’s now out of print, and it’s worth over $1,000!) This condensed version leaves a surprising amount of the thrill intact. The richness of the color, the wealth of models, drawings, diagrams, and maps, leads you into the heart of deeply civilized intelligence circa 800 A.D. St. Gall is the smartest intentional community (monastery in this case) ever designed. —Stewart Brand

The Plan of St. Gall in Brief

Lorna Price 1982; 104 pp.


($31.50 postpaid) from:

University of

Cafifornia Press 2120 Berkeley Way Berkeley, CA 94720 or Whole Earth Access

Proximity to the gardens was a boon for both birds and their keepers — garden clippings might provide the chickens and geese with additional food, while in the beds and orchard manure from the pens could quickly be distributed, enhancing sanitation.

Dormitory, 3; Privy 4; Laundry 5; Gardener’s House 20; Goosehouse 21; Fowlkeepers’ House 22; Henhouse 23; Granary 24; Vegetable Garden X; Cemetery & Orchard Y.

Paolo Soleri and the Arcosanti Project

Arcosanti is the name of the first “areology,” a compact city that will someday shelter 5,000 people, their art, and their work. Arcosanti will temper its own climate and make its own energy. Huge built-in greenhouses will grow the food and heat the entire complex in winter. The work goes slowly — in 15 years only about three percent of the project has been completed, but what’s there is wonderful to see. It’s been built mostly by volunteers who have paid to work with master architect Soleri. Workers I’ve talked to

-4 A bevy of Solari bells.

agree that the experience was worth if, though not without controversy.

The Cosanti Foundation also supports itself by giving workshops on a variety of related subjects, publishing books by and about Mr. Soleri (the drawings are terrific) and by casting bells in bronze and stoneware. Visitors are welcome.

I consider Arcosanti to be an affair of the spirit; it’s good to know that people are putting their time and effort into attempts of this sort. Beats complaining about the state of the world any time. —JB

Arcosanti under construction near Prescott, AZ.


Information on educational programs, bells, and Soleri books free from: Cosanti Foundation 6433 Doubletree Road Scottsdale, AZ 85253

Architecture Without Architects ■ • The Prodigious Builders

These books utterly changed my basic ideas of shelter and building. The variety, ingenuity, art, and wit of folks building without restrictions or architectural training can be both inspiring and shocking to a citizen of a major i industrialized nation. Architecture Without Architects is i now out of print (dumb!) but it remains the best and most provocative collection of its kind — worth seeking out at

I your library or bookstore. It’s mainly photographs.

Mr. Rudofsky adds erudite commentary to photographs in

The Prodigious Builders, based on his many years of observing vernacular architecture. His ideas make most

1 modern architecture proposals seem limp or. effete. —JB s e

This interior, reminiscent of Piranesi’s fantasies, consists of shorings in the eleventh-century salt mine of Wieliczka in Poland. This underground labyrinth extends over sixty J miles and reaches a depth of 980 feet. The seven levels, I jne below the other, are connected by flights of steps. J —Architecture Without Architects

Commonsense Architecture

<em>Hundreds of expert sketches with captions show us how clever folks can be designing their buildings. No text, and it’s not missed. Many of the ideas, all taken from real construction, are so smart that you wonder what all the talk these days is</em> concerning energy <em>efficiency and other problems that seem to have been well solved centuries ago. Embarrassing and humbling and a real mind-stirrer.</em>


X^El/’/fA-A.’ IFfffL ECOOP

XFEE — A.O. 700)

The Jersey Devil

Design/Build Book Football house. ►

Architects usually “have it built,” preferring to act only as designers. (Well, maybe they don’t prefer to act only as designers, but that’s how things usually go.) The Jersey Devil crew contracts and builds their own designs, thus maintaining complete and doubtless scary control of their creations. No excuses. Result: highly unusual buildings with a sassy spirit not often seen. Nice book too. —JB

Our first thought is, “How do you build it?” I’d like to think all architects do that. My father taught me never design something you can’t build. I may have to learn howto build it, but I’m sure I can build it before it’s finished.

• See “Livable Cities” (pp. 112–113).

• For another view of designing with nature look at The Granite Garden (p. 73).

Commonsense Architecture

(A Cross-Cultural Survey of Practical Design Principles) John S. Taylor 1983; 160 pp.


postpaid from: W. W. Norton Order Dept.

500 5th Avenue New York, NY 10110 or Whole Earth Access

The Jersey Devil Design/Build Book Michael J. Crosbie 1985; 96 pp.


($21.45 postpaid) from: Gibbs M. Smith, Inc.

P. O. Box 667 Layton, UT 84041 or Whole Earth Access

Traditional Islamic Craft in Moroccan Architecture

The good news that Andre Paccard conveys in these books is that the masterful artisans of Islamic architecture and design are alive and well, producing exquisite work of a quality we might associate only with earlier centuries. Paccard was able to obtain permission to photograph many Moroccan buildings (palaces in particular) that are normally closed to visitors or the camera, and the splendid results are shown, in color, on over 1,000 pages. Paccard was also privy to the traditionally secret craft techniques passed down orally from master to apprentice, and some of these are presented here in text, diagrams, and photos.

—Jay Kinney

In a famous hadith, Al Bukhari said: On the day of Resurrection, the most terrible of punishments shall be meted out to the painter who has imitated beings created by God, for God shall say to him: “Now endow these creatures with life.”

Thus we find in pictures figures whose necks have a black line drawn through them, to show that they could not possibly be alive, or others with shapes so monstrous and tormented that they could not possibly be resurrected. These problems were such that Moslem thought became oriented toward the geometric. It became little by little the major art form of Islam, for the infinite lines reflect the indivisibility of God, the basis of the Moslem faith,

Finland: Living Design

Elegant is a word not often used to describe design in our country, but in Finland it’s hard to avoid: Finnish designers seem incapable of producing anything tacky.

Japanese Homes and Their Surroundings

One of the most wonderful books in print. In 1877 the American, Morse — curator of the Peabody Museum in Salem, Massachusetts and an early solar inventor — traveled to Japan, fell in love with the culture, and opened the West to it (Fenollosa and Ezra Pound followed his lead). Lovingly perceived, understood, and illustrated, the detailed genius of Japanese home life comes across intact. —Stewart Brand

and the complexity of the pattern conforms to the idea of the atomic structure of the universe.

Perhaps more than in any other country, designers and architects combine the ultra-modern with traditional materials, color, and light. The resulting aesthetic has a subtle beauty that stands as an antidote to sleaze. So does this well-crafted book. —JB

• A more detailed study of Japanese architecture can be found in this intimate, sensitively illustrated book.

The Japanese House: Heinrich Engel, 1964; 495 pp. $66 postpaid from Charles E. Tuttle Company, Inc., 28 South Main Street, Rutland, VT 05701–0410.

A Pattern Language

This project is overwhelmingly ambitious — to establish a language for talking about what people really need from buildings and communities, drawing from many epochs and cultures but focusing on our own. The genius of Alexander et al. is that they simply ignore the stylistic fadmongering that passes for architectural thought, and get on with sensible, useful, highly distilled wisdom about what works and what doesn’t. They’re not shy about laying down rules of thumb (“Balconies and porches which are less than six feet deep are hardly ever used”) — often with research citations to back them up, and charming, pointed illustrations.

The most important book in architecture and planning for many decades, a landmark whose clarity and humanity give hope that our private and public spaces can yet be made gracefully habitable. —Ernest Callenbach

In principle, any window with a reasonably pleasant view can be a window place, provided that it is taken seriously as a space, a volume, not merely treated as a hole in the wall. Any room that people use often should have a window place. And window places should even be considered for waiting rooms or as special places along the length of hallways.

Look how beautiful the workspace in our main picture is. Nearly the whole counter is lined with windows. The work surface is bathed in light, and there is a sense of spaciousness all around. There is a view out, an air of calm. This records the successful completion of a housing project done according to architect Christopher Alexander’s unorthodox theories. The project was set in Mexico, mostly to avoid American building codes which conspire to keep design and construction in the hands of architects and builders. Alexander requires that the end users of a building can and must participate in its construction from start to finish — not merely in an advisory capacity. If necessary, the project is guided by a “master builder” (in this case Alexander) who acts as coordinator, inspiration, and source of critical information.

I find this book inspiring, essentially “right,” and certainly one to read before building anything. My only qualm is that the ideas are offered as THE way to build — an extreme claim. But this may be the only way to effectively emphasize a position that is, regrettably, seen by many people as radical. Too bad. In this case, “radical” is just good sense.


In the Mexicali project, it was, above all, a very human thing that happened on the site. For in the end, the reality of the process — quite apart from the principles of the architect-builder, and the house cluster, and cost accounting, and all that — is what people dealt with day by day, and what now remains in everyone’s memory even after the construction has stopped.

The night watchman walking by the window at sunrise on his way home, the dusty sun already beginning to bake our rooms ... The men who deliver the sand and gravel coming by every couple of days, the great piles of gravel slipping out of the truck; writing a bill; giving them a check every week ... Driving across town to buy electrical supplies; waiting in the supply house with the electricians, drinking cool water; loading the tubing and fittings into the truck.

The Linz Cafe

Christopher Alexander’s books, especially A Pattern Language, ask for demonstration of the ideas presented. The enlightened sponsors of a design exposition offered him a chance to show his stuff in the summer of 1980. He responded with a deceptively simple and subtle cafe. This modest book shares that same spirit with quiet, lucid explanations of what he was trying to achieve, and photographs for those unlucky enough to be unable to stop in for a beer. Judging by this book only (I have not seen the cafe), I’d say the cafe has that charm one finds now and then in a building designed by somebody who has not been messed up by an education in architecture. The designer’s love and regard for the people who will use the building shows. It’s appalling that this is considered unusual or difficult to achieve, but we live in strange times.


In order to get each detail to work just right, within the framework of these rough visions, it was of course necessary to work each detail out, very exactly, by trial and error, using full scale mockups to get size and shape and proportion just exactly right. For example, in the case of the alcoves, I spent several hours in the office, playing with chairs, tables, and pieces of plywood, until I had the dimensions of the alcove exactly right. I knew I had it right when it felt so comfortable that everyone in the office clustered round, sat in the simulated alcove drinking brandy, and refused to leave.



Right Where You Live

House buyers or renters are the intended readership of this book, but it serves equally well as a primer for house designers and remodelers. Good features and bad are examined in an easygoing conversational style that makes the information easily readable even to kids — a nice way to get them into the process. For practice, try testing your present digs against the criteria presented here. (You might want to move.) The kitchen chapter is especially good. Note that this is just the basics; you’ll have to supply the imagination. —JB

A flow diagram is used to program the design of most

commercial kitchens. It is an assembly line that works straight through from delivery of food, to preparation and serving, back to washing and storing dishes. Not only is it not triangular, it is obvious that it is another path, a footpath! When cooking is seen as a journey through all the operations of food assembly, it becomes apparent we can deal with it in a businesslike manner.

Right Where You Live

Constance Brady, A.I.A.

1979; 188 pp.


($10.84 postpaid) from:


P. O. Box 339

Bethel Island, CA 94511 or Whole Earth Access


Tracy Kidder 1985; 341 pp.


($18.95 postpaid) from: Houghton Mifflin Co. Attn.: Mail Order Dept.

Wayside Road Burlington, MA 01803 or Whole Earth Access


Like the needle of the acupuncturist, this book is accurately, painfully, exquisitely right. On the surface if chronicles the building of a home from conception to move-in. But what it’s really about is the subtle class struggles that go on between people who are “professionals” and those “in the professions” — in this case the owners are a lawyer and a Ph.D educator confronting equally educated carpenters. Ego trips abound. Misunderstandings worthy of a tempestuous-yet-loving marriage illuminate the scene with snarls, huffs, laughs, and compromises. Just like real life. —JB

“Actually, I wanted it August first,” says Jonathan. “But

Designing Houses

Though not billed as such, Designing Houses is a thingmaker’s dream book! Even if designing and building your own “big house” is not within your current reach, you cannot help being caught up in the enthusiasm generated within. Modelmaking is stressed throughout, starting with the setting up of your own “architect’s office,” obtaining the instruments and tools of the trade and quite an ample course on cardboard construction. Best of all are the drawings: neat, simple, funky, their inevitable influence on your own sketches makes this handsome volume underpriced ... now where did I lay my X-acto ...

—Joe Eddy Brown

I agree with Joe Eddy Brown that this is an exceptionally fine book. My only reservation is that the presentation subtly tends to keep you traditional, which for many will do just fine anyway. —JB

I guess that’s impossible. Why four months?”

“Our labor is four and a half months of solid time,” Jim repeats. “And there are a couple of vacations in there.” “Why a couple of vacations in there?” says Jonathan, tilting his head. “The farmers I know, the builders I know, take their vacations in the winter.”

“Okay,” says Jim. He’s raised his chin. He purses his lips now and stares at the wall to Jonathan’s right.

“Hey, it’s none of my business. But it affects me.” “If you’ve got money,” says Jim, turning back to Jonathan, whose face still bears the tan he got on his late-winter vacation in Florida, “you take time off in the winter. If you don’t have money, you take time off in the summer”

Designing Houses

Les Walker and Jeff Milstein 1976; 153 pp.


($12.40 postpaid) from: The Overlook Press RR 1, Box 496 Woodstock, NY 12498 or Whole Earth Access

Design Works Kits

Design Works offers a series of kits to help you visualize your ideas before taking action. The Architect’s Drawing Kit consists of grids drawn in perspective. You tape these under tracing paper, then draw your heart’s desire to scale in three dimensions, just as real architects do. (Many of them use grids just like these.) It’s easier than you think. Inferior Design Kits are available too; one each for kitchen and bath, home furniture, office furniture, and architectural components such as windows and doors. You don’t draw these. Instead, you cut out little perspective pictures of the items and stick them on a slick perspectivechart sheet. They don’t stick permanently, so you can try different configurations by shuffling them around. Design Works also sells a House Building Kit containing everything you need to make models as described in Designing Houses (above). The kits even include scale people.

I consider all these kits a boon, but remember that this sort of thing tends to channel your ideas toward the interests of the kits’ author, or at least toward what’s easy to model, e.g. you’d be unlikely to come up with designs like those of the Jersey Devil design group (p. 115). Watch it.


Design Works Kits

Daniel K. Reif

$13.95- $17.95


brochure free All from:

Design Works, Inc.

11 Hitching Post Road Amherst, MA 01002 or Whole Earth Access

• For peace of mind in earthquake country, you should design or retrofit your place using the information detailed here.

Peace of Mind in Earthquake Country: Peter Yanev, 1974; 304 pp.; $8.95 ($10.45 postpaid) from Chronicle Books, One Hallidie Plaza, Suite 806, San Francisco, CA 94102.

When I first got this book, I kept mumbling “Arrgh ... I wish I’d had this book last year,” or some such remark born of unhappy memories of a past disaster. Mr. Syvanen has a good knack for explaining things you don’t see explained elsewhere. Your beginnership is assumed. —JB

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Guess who stayed up all night reading a structure be That’s extreme behavior even for a technotwit! What fascinates me about this book is the way if illuminates a traditionally difficult subject. Most other books challenge the reader not so much with the task of understanding the subject matter, as with comprehending the writing. No problem here; this must be one of the all-time great examples of clear presentation combined with an interest-holding writing style. (What good are clear explanations if you fall out of your chair with boredom?) Such matters as stress, strain, Young’s Modulus, cantilevers, shear, and torsion are discussed as theory nicely tied to real-life examples. Simple illustrations and competent photographs reinforce the often witty text. The Secrets Are Revealed. Now if Mr. Gordon would only write on elementary physics and chemistry. In these days when an exclusive knowledge of technology can be used to exploit a populace, such books as this one have a particular importance. I recommend it highly both as a means of understanding the structures around you and as an example of how good

The Owner-Builder and the Code

Whether you’re a compiler or defier, you’re going to have to deal with the building code sooner or later. Well, the code isn’t correct ... there are hundreds. Worse, the interpretation of whatever codes apply to you is up to your inspector, who may not be friendly for a variety of reasons, including political. With the exception of obvious safety regulations, inspectors and codes generally work against innovation, art, good sense, and the democratic process. This book presents some horror stories and some field-proven tactics for getting the inspector to see things your way. The examples are from a largely bygone era of California “funkadelic” building, but the principles certainly apply to the present. Did you know that the sheriff can force you to leave your new home if the bedroom isn’t the right size? —JB

O. C. Helton, a third-generation log cabin builder, attempted to get a permit to build a log house for himself, his wife, and five children. When he realized that the required architect’s drawings and engineer’s stamp would cost him more than $1,000, he decided to go ahead • If you want a look at the enormous variety of hardware available to a builder, look at a Sweet’s File at your library or an architectural firm. Sweet’s doesn’t show everything, but it’s close. But bear in mind that Sweet’s shows the lowest acceptable quality stuff, too — the goods that facilitate a low bid. This leads to the uncomplimentary phrase “Sweet’s File Architecture.” Watch it.

What makes the arch dramatically different from a mere plebeian wall is that, whereas the wall falls down, the arch does not. From Figure 15 it can be seen that no fewer than three hinge-points can develop in an arch without anything very dramatic happening. In fact a good many modern arch bridges are deliberately built with three hinged joints so as to allow for thermal expansion.

If we really want the bridge to fall down then we shall need four hinge-points so that the arch can become in effect a three-linked chain or ‘mechanism’ which is now at liberty to fold itself up and collapse.

All this means that arches are extraordinarily stable and are not unduly sensitive to the movements of their foundations. If there is any appreciable movement in the foundation a wall will probably collapse; arches do not much mind, and some sort of distortion is quite common.

without the permit. The county issued a stop-work-order and charged Helton with building without a permit. O. C. fought the charge claiming that the requirements for a building permit were, in his case, unreasonable. A jury of five men and a woman eventually found him innocent. “If you don’t get this government slowed down and back to the people,” he later said, “by the time my children want to build their home, they’ll be surrounded by rules.” •

Building departments must consider the expense of bringing offenders to court and the effect that confrontation will have on its bureaucratic routine. In cases where the proposed construction will not comply with the codes, it is generally advisable for the home builder to take the initiative to build first and face possible legal repercussions later.

Ken Kern

Work space is organized according to the various functions taking place in each annex: woodworking, metalworking, and automotive repair. A large, unobstructed paved area in the center of the workshop, partially indoors and partially outdoors, is used as a work space in which to build sizable projects




or to repair bulky equipment. This area, located at the intersection of the other activity areas, provides the worker with convenient access to all tools and resources of the shop.

—Ken Kern’s Homestead Workshop

The Owner Built Home

Ken Kern’s Homestead Workshop

<strong>The Owner Built Home</strong> Ken Kern 1975; 374 pp.


($10.45 postpaid)

Ken Kern’s Homestead Workshop Barbara and Ken Kern 1981; 166 pp.


($11.45 postpaid)

Also available: The Earth Sheltered Owner- Built Home, The Owner- Built Pole Frame House, The Work Book, Ken Kern’s Masonry Stove, The Owner- Built Homestead, The Owner-Builder and The Code, Stone Masonry, Fireplaces, Local Materials. Send S.A.S.E. for information and price list.

All from:

Owner-Buijder Publications Box 817 North Fork, CA 93643 or Whole Earth Access

Ken Kern’s first book has been around just about as long as the original Whole Earth Catalog, and is written in a similar spirit. Ken seemed unwilling to take anyone’s word for anything. He liked to think for himself, working against government meddling in his life, challenging conventional wisdom. This book is full of wise decisions and clever details. Philosophy is mixed with experience — both getting richer with time. My guess is that thousands of interesting people have been encouraged to act by Ken’s books, lectures, and workshops. He practiced what he preached more than anyone I’ve ever met (except perhaps for monks). Ironically, he was killed in February of this year when a partially completed experimental structure collapsed during a violent storm.

At the time of his death, he was at work on The Owner Built Home Revisited, which he intended to self-publish. His wife and co-conspirator, Barbara, is in the process of finishing the work. Meantime you can partake of his wisdom and spirit by reading from this list. I reckon his

Well... Ken’s shop is so different from mine, yet I gotta agree with just about everything he’s showing in this uniquely personal book. He and his wife Barbara cover the entire shop bit — from construction of the actual structure to the use of the tools. Hand tools. Nonelectric hand tools, especially. They end the book with a case history of how they invented, made, and refined an all-purpose cart as an example of how their shop and themselves interact so well. It isn’t often I say “I wish I’d written that,” but I’m saying it now. This book is certainly the most informative and proper-aftitude-inducing I’ve ever seen, and it should be very helpful to anyone ready to do a shop. —JB



MAXIMUM WORK -------- •


work won’t go out of date for a long time.

Home, oh Modi

Building site








S s

These dimensions will fit most people, doing most kinds of shop work.

• Something you might keep in mind: Many banks will not loan money for an owner-built home unless it’s a kit. In fact, the Owner Builder Center (above) recommends using a kit.

* Log houses also come as kits. See The Log Home Guide for Builders and Buyers (p. 126).

The Owner Builder Center

Some of the best news in years is the success of the Owner Builder Center in Berkeley, California. It’s one of the first, and certainly the biggest of such enterprises — they’ve taught more than 10,000 people how to build or remodel their own place while saving up to 40 percent. The “OBC” has also spawned about 20 other centers and doubtless inspired many more. They are strongly nonsexist.

What the OBC staff has learned from all that teaching has been gathered into a series of books. Begin your homework with Before You Build. Everything you need to know is explained in chronological order. Equally important, the author wisely insists you be realistic about your desires, needs, competence, attitude, time and finances. The psychological effects of the project — often ignored until too late — are discussed in experienced detail. This book is by far the best of its kind.

Next step is Building Your Own House. Watching many students make the same mistakes over and over has led the author to accent the tricky parts. In addition to the expected instruction, he answers the questions he knows you will ask: “How accurate do I have to be here?” “What will the inspector want to see, and when?” “What if a board has a curve in it?” The book gets the foundation in and frame up. Later books will guide you to move-in day. The information is complete, jargon-free, well illustrated, and liberally festooned with sample worksheets, schedules and checklists. Really good.

OBC also puts out a newsletter, The Owner Builder.

You’ll find schedules of classes, descriptions of new projects (such as an owner builder condo), friendly consulting services and suppliers, and articles on a variety of suitable subjects.

Owner-building is certainly going to grow as families get priced out of the market. I’m glad that OBC has given the movement such a great start. —JB

The Complete Guide to Factory-Made Houses

If you buy a factory-made house, you won’t be doing anything unusual; about 50 percent of new housing is now made somewhere other than where it ends up. We’re talking kits — panelized, precut and modular: log houses, domes, mobile homes (that hardly ever hit the road again once they’re delivered), and factory-made rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms. We are no longer talking cheap junk — factory-made homes are often better made than on-site building because quality control is easier. Statistics show that many, if not most, owner-built homes are kits.

• Before you get too far with your house design, better check Reducing Home Building Costs with OVE, [Optimum Value Engineered] Design and Construction. For manual, send $7 to NAHB Research Foundation, 627 Southlawn Lane, Rockville, MD 20850.

Nail on the Cap Plates

Margin of Error: Exactly flush with top plate.

Most Common Mistakes: Bowed stock; nails not over studs; falling off the wall; splinters in your rear end.

Use good, straight stock for these plates. Secure the 2 plates together with two 16d CC sinkers over each stud. By placing the nails over the studs, they will never be in the way of drill bits when you have to drill holes for plumbing and electricity later. Be sure that the edges are flush with the edges of the top plate, and that the cap plates fit tightly to make a strong interlocking joint.

—Building Your Own House


Trees are a wonderful asset to a site both for beauty and shade, but they are alive and therefore, like all of us, vulnerable to change.

The distance materials have to be carried may seem like a small matter, but it can tremendously influence the building process. If supply trucks cannot get close to the site, all of the materials will have to be carried in, which adds hours to each work week. Few people really understand the amount of time, energy, and persistence it takes to build a house unless they have already built one. If materials have to be carried in to the building site, it does not mean that the project is not feasible, only be sure that you understand that you are adding another element of time and labor to an already immense task.

Even though knowing the depths of the neighbors’ wells is of value, do not place too much weight on this information. A friend dug a well in North Carolina 130 feet deep and the church across the road had to go down 450 feet. Information about others’ wells is most valuable in ascertaining if your area has problems with locating water at reasonable depths. —Before Ybu Build

This book gives you the advantages and disadvantages of the various options, buying tips, and a list of manufacturers. Worth a look. —JB

Here are a few tips when you inspect a used mobile home for sale. Take along a rubber ball and place it in the center of the kitchen and bathroom floors. If it rolls to a corner, the mobile may need leveling, or the chassis may be sagging which could lead to painful plumbing problems. Also take a small light lamp to check all wall sockets. Test all appliances, including the smoke detectors. Don’t worry that the dealer may think you’re too cautious. Look at it this way: he’ll know that he’s not dealing with an amateur!

Fine Homebuilding

Fine is the word for this attractively produced magazine. The articles are about building, as you’d expect, and are unusually complete. They’re aimed at anyone who is interested in building, but the attitude of professionalism together with a proper spirit is what makes the magazine different. Whether the subject is modern or (more likely) traditional, you’ll find an emphasis on excellence, qualify, and refinement lacking in other publications. A pleasure! The same folks also publish Fine Woodworking (p. 168) and Threads (p. 177) — equally good. —JB

Carpentry • Interior Finish

“How do I get outta this mess?” If you’d read this book first, you probably wouldn’t be in a mess. If you’re already in a mess, the answer is probably in here; tricks of the carpentry trade is what this book is about. It’s a very useful addition to any general carpentry text. The 400 drawings by architect Malcolm Wells make things especially clear.

Interior Finish has more tips and tricks of the trade for those inside jobs. Equally good. —JB

Practical Homeowner

A particularly good article on the hazards of radon in the home (January ’86 issue) is typical of the sort of well- researched news you’ll find in this magazine. You’ll also find “road tests” of household hardware done by Rodale’s product testing lab, lots of do-it-yourself, and new product news. I find every issue has something I hadn’t heard about. —JB

Practical Homeowner is aimed at an audience that has ambition but little practical experience. Fine Homebuilding is geared more towards people who already know the difference between a rip and a crosscut saw, and it has better paper, sumptuous photography, and a finer attention to graphic detail. I’m reading and using both of them. —Richard Nilsen


Radon is a coIodess, odorless, radioactive gas that rises to the surface from underground rock formations. Here are some ways it can get inside a house.

Residential Carpentry

You can <em>tell that this is a vocational-ed. textbook; it’s utterly competent and utterly coldblooded. Has test questions at the ends of chapters too. The instructions are given as “procedures” (e.g. Procedure for Framing a Dormer) that are divided into steps detailed right down to which size nail to use. The nails themselves, and even the hammer, are explained in the introductory chapters. If you’re smart enough to read, you’re not likely to screw things up. I can</em> see <em>why the Owner-Builder Center recommends this book. —JB</em>

[Suggested by Blair Abee]

Do-It-Yourself Plumbing

There are many books that adequately handle this subject, but this one is special: in addition to being commendably clear on repairs, both graphically and in the text, it has a really fine section on designing your own plumbing system. I especially like the author’s insistence on explaining the basic reasons underlying his instructions, as well as the building codes. That way you really learn something. This is another of the excellent Popular Science books. —JB

It has been found by means of a series of noxious tests that soil flows best in a pipe pitched at 14 inch to the foot. A pitch greater than ’/; inch to the foot causes the liquids to run off and leave the solids behind. In time the drain will plug up. Pipes pitched at less than ‘/8 inch to the foot do not provide sufficient water velocity and the solids tend to settle and clog and there is insufficient scouring action.

In order to determine the best direction to run ceiling panels, you may have to plan the layout both ways. Suppose that the room to be finished is a bedroom 12’ wide and 14’ long. If you use S’/z panels 12’ long, you have 36’ of joint to finish (top). If you use three 14’ panels (above), you have only 28’ of joint to finish. Obviously, the longer panels are better.

Wiring Simplified

Not only is this book a most useful tool for the home electrician, it also has a hole punched all the way through it, for hanging over a nail. That is a kind of practicality that all American publishers should learn. Everything you’ll need to wire your home yourself. —J. D. Smith

If the service head cannot be located higher than the insulators, provide drip loops. Splice at bottom of loop, and insulate. This keeps water from flowing into the cable.

Builders Booksource

Oh boy, a bookstore just for people who build things. The catalog is very comprehensive, covering every aspect of building with at least one good book, and usually with several — each with a review. The store carries many more titles than are in the catalog (lucky Bay Area residents can visit). If you have special needs, ask them for a reference. Bet they have if. —JB

Beyond the Kitchen: A Dreamer’s Guide Cowan The kitchen is one of the most commonly remodeled rooms in a house. Many childhood memories are often attached to the kitchen, and most people want this to be the room where they feel most at home. This book provides many ideas to help create the ideal kitchen, from country style to modern minimalism; from loft kitchens to media centers. Learn to consider often-neglected details such as lighting, cupboards and work surfaces, pantries and nooks, and much more. 1985. Running Press. 127 pp., over 150 color illus. $9.95 (pb).

Builders Builders Booksource

Booksource 1801 4th Street

Catalog free from: Berkeley, CA 94710


A very thorough book on many aspects of adobe construction. Mientras que descansas has adobes (while you’re resting, make some adobes). —Lloyd Kahn Well, making adobe isn’t particularly restful, but sooner or later you have made enough to raise a house. This revised edition includes the modern with the ancient; energy efficiency and code-meeting along with the traditional techniques and aesthetic considerations. —JB

Earthquake treatment for adobe walls.

Earth Sheltered Housing Design

Clearly not the last word, and just as clearly not the first, this second edition presents the state of the art in earth sheltered building technique. It’s illustrated with a wonderfully varied collection of real, lived-in houses with examples from virtually all feasible climates. Critics have been claiming that earth sheltering has no future, but you’d never know it from this book. As experience has been gathered — sometimes painfully — the advantages and efficiencies of earth sheltered houses are becoming harder to ignore. —JB


The main objective in building below grade was to preserve the low profile of the beachfront property from the street side. Approaching from this side, one can see the ocean over the dunelike forms of the house. A small penetration in the center for the entrance is the only indication of a structure below. Viewed from the beach side, the dune forms appear larger but still blend unobtrusively with the landscape of the coast. Two oval-shaped openings are the only man-made forms visible from the beach. (William Morgan, Architect)

Passive Annual Heat Storage

Insulate the Earth? Uh huh. Sure. At first that’s what this book seems to be saying, and it sounds outrageous. It’s against everything we’ve been taught. But it works. Until now, earth sheltered housing has had to be carefully waterproofed and insulated to protect against dampness. The alleged benefits of using the surrounding earth as a heat source in winter and a heat absorber in summer can’t work if the house is insulated against the earth surrounding it. But what if the surrounding earth is kept dry and is itself insulated? This book is a complete exposition of that radical idea. The few places built using this concept have worked, absorbing and storing summer heat for use in winter, just as the designers hoped. This may be the break earth sheltered housing has needed. —JB

Passive Annual

Heat Storage

John Hait and the Rocky PASS‘D .c

Mountain Research Center

1983; 152 pp. iiM1

$14.95 [

postpaid from:

Rocky Mountain ’

Research Center |

P.O. Box 4694 : ,

Missoula, MT 59806 or Whole Earth Access

A A simple and quickly erected silo. Costs can be considerably reduced in comparison with concrete or steel silos of equal capacity, and erection can be effected in the shortest possible time. This is of great importance

Tensile structures (air buildings are included in this category) are one of the most economical and daring ways of covering a space with minimum material. As materials and techniques improve, ambitious projects are becoming more common; the main airport terminal at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for instance, is a “tent” several thousand feet long. Closer to home, we are beginning to see tensile-structure shopping malls, greenhouses, and warehouses. There’s talk of hotels and dormitories.

This book is a tantalizing visual introduction with lots of photos of models and real buildings. The theory chapters are for engineers who are not intimidated by calculations, but you don’t need the intricate math to try your ideas in model form. —JB during sudden accumulations of valuable bulk goods, when losses in storage must be kept to a minimum.

Moss Fabric


The same Moss that makes the especially fine camping tents (p. 274) also makes larger structures for shelter and exhibit purposes. I know of at least one code-meeting home that’s a group of Moss’s larger, double-walled structures. It’s nice; I may live in one myself soon. Bill Moss advocates his designs as an answer to the ridiculous costs of conventional building. It’s an idea that might just work. —JB

The Yurt Foundation

In the ‘70s, yurts earned respect for being simple, cheap, and charming. A hippie image gained at the same time seems a disadvantage now, but that hasn’t stopped progress — they’re now highly developed permanent structures. These folks are the experts on this side of the pond. They sell plans for models up to 54 feet in diameter and three stories high. Nice people to work with, too.


Moss Fabric Structures Information free from: Moss Exhibits

Box 309

Camden, ME 04843

• And then there are tipis. Often misunderstood and misused by Anglos, a real tipi can be a joy to live in. The best book has been best for a long time now.

The Indian Tipi (Its History, Construction, and Use): Reginald and Gladys Laubin, 1977; 350 pp. $21.95 ($23.45 postpaid) from Harper & Row, 2350 Virginia Avenue, Hagerstown, MD 21740.

The Yurt Foundation

Yurt plans $10-$30 Information free; both from:

The Yurt Foundation Bucks Harbor, ME 04618

Building the Alaska Log Home

Why should an Alaska log home be any different? Maybe it’s the fierce individualism that seems to permeate anything that has to do with Alaska — folks go there to do things their way. Maybe it’s the irrefutable climate — you have to be right or you freeze. The homes shown here, in enticing color, are masterpieces of the logsmith’s art. No funky miner’s cabins for these folks. The book isn’t funky either; it’s surprisingly slick and includes lots of Alaska bush-living lore mixed in with the competent instruction. Yet the author carefully avoids the usual log home fantasy hype. He makes if sound like the hard work if most assuredly is. —JB

Timber Frame Construction

If you live where big wood is available, timber frame construction (also called post-and-beam) offers an interesting alternative to the usual 2x4 stick building. Done right, timber frame buildings are charming, strong, and not necessarily more expensive than more common construction. The weight of the parts, as well as tradition, makes a congenial crew a necessity, which can be fun. This handsome and experienced book will get you started. If covers the whole bit from history to how to hold the chisels. The complete procedure for making a simple garden shed is presented as a practice project — a fine idea. —JB

Practical Pole Building Construction

Why hang a house up in the air on a bunch of poles? The biggest advantage of this building method is adaptability to otherwise unbuildable sites. Hillsides, unstable soils, and flood plains are no problem. In most cases, poles are much cheaper than a normal foundation, and since the poles, instead of the walls, carry the structural loads, dramatic open plans can be accommodated. This book tells you how to do if, including calculations. —JB

The whole idea of scribe-fitting is to match the upper log to the shape of the lower log. The scribe, one with a double level attachment, becomes an important, almost indispensable tool here. With it, the logsmith transfers the shape and contour of the bottom log onto the upper log. Thus, the quality of the scribe has a great deal to do with the efficiency and speed with which this work can be done. In essence, we are making a log-long notch, with the top log being notched to fit not only at the corners, but to the entire length of the log below. The log obviously cannot be hewn any better than it is marked.

Have your timbers center-cut. This not only makes the timber stronger, but it also makes knots less of a problem. Why? Knots, since they are branches, start from the middle of a tree. Therefore, they will not go from one side of the tree to the other. A timber taken from a quartered tree could conceivably have a knot entirely through it. And knots can fall out, thus weakening the timber.

• A magazine devoted to (guess what) log building. The winter issue is a massive directory of logsmiths and kits. Log Home Guide For Builders & Buyers: Doris L. Muir, Editor; $18/year (5 issues) from Muir Publishing Co., Ltd., P. O. Box 1150, Plattsburgh, NY 12901.

• Ken Kern has a pole building book. See p. 120.

How to tame, train, and feed a chainsaw, done in enough detail to keep you safe yet efficient. First you cut the tree down. Then you cut it up. —JB

[Suggested by Peter Ladd]

<strong>Having removed a 90-degree pie, Tilton pauses to compare the face with the intended direction of fall. This is the time to spruce-up the face cuts if they’re not precise. If you’ve held the tobacco in your lower lip. It’s also the time to spit — first lifting the face screen.</strong>

Chainsaw Lumbermaking

It takes nerves of steel and good ear protectors, but it’s otherwise entirely feasible to turn trees into boards with a chainsaw. This book escorts you through the entire process, commencing with tree selection. The critical and delicate business of sharpening chains for lumbermaking purposes is covered in practiced detail, as are plans for constructing your own lumbermaking device. Exceptionally well illustrated. —JB

ground — letting the chain torment the dirt a bit. With hundreds of chain cutters passing any one point on the bar per second, it takes only a fraction of a second to thoroughly dull a chain. It’s better to trim limbs back with lappers or bowsaws until they are stable enough not to chatter under a chainsaw. Then saw stove lengths right back to the trunk.

the same bar for both crosscutting and milling by simply clamping on the mill, but to replace a dull chain with a sharp one, you have to remove the entire mill unit. So I use a separate bar or another saw for crosscutting and modify my mill so that it bolts onto the milling bar. This lets me change chains while the mill remains mounted.


Saws, accessories, calk boots, sharpeners, safety equipment, and everything else loggers need, at a discount.

They’re nice people, too.


Catalog $2 from: Bailey’s P. O. Box 550 Laytonville, CA 95454

Log debarker takes minutes to install on most models of chainsaws. Cuts debarking time by two thirds.

If I owned a hardware store or ran the local lumberyard, I’d buy a desk copy of this book for do-it-yourself customers to paw through. The ones who should have done some homework before they walked in can here learn the names of the things they need. Those with questions about the best way to do something will find the explanation of methods well-integrated in text, line illustration, and photographs. Both groups will return to the sales desk informed and encouraged.

In an age when people write books on subjects they have scarcely mastered, and publishers back them, what makes Renovation shine is experience and teamwork. The illustrator used to be a contractor. The photographer had previously remodeled a loft and wasn’t afraid to lug her camera into grungy buildings. The author renovated three houses and had a hand in the beginnings of Fine Homebuilding magazine (p. 000). What was supposed to be a year-long project ended up faking four, and several copy editors got burned out along the way, but the result is a book that probably won’t have any serious competition for years to come. —Richard Nilsen ■< Plywood, used as a flitch plate between two joists or, as shown here, as “sisters,” is very rigid when used on edge. It is most effective when glued and screwed to the tired joist or joists.

of each year’s editorial content. The Restoration Manuals are available individually or in sets at great savings.

The real goodie from these folks is the massive OHJ Buyer’s Guide Catalog. It lists hard-to-find sources of materials, ornaments, recycled house parts, columns, staircases, tin ceilings, fixtures, and all the other stuff you’ll need to

• The Renovator’s Supply has a tasty selection of old-house hardware such as knobs, lamps, and escutcheons. Catalog free from Renovator’s Supply, Inc., Renovator’s Old Mill, Millers Falls, MA 01349.

Ortho’s Home

Improvement Encyclopedia

“Hm ... bet we could fix up this hovel with a little work. Wonder if we could handle the job ourselves?” With this weighty tome in your grasp, you probably can, assuming you have conquered initial fears and are thus able to start, and even that’ll be easier because of the color pictures of the results you may expect. It’s so comprehensive that the table of contents takes up the entire back cover in fine print; if what you need isn’t there, you probably don’t need to know it. It covers house and grounds, adding and repairing. —JB

Reader’s Digest Fix-lt-Yourself Manual

<em>Say what you will about Reader’s Digest magazine, you’re going to have to admit they do a great manual. With this at your side, you can undertake the repair of just about anything found in a typical household. If you don’t know about tools or how things work, the book tells you what you need to know — and without any trace of chauvinism. The range of subjects covered is huge, everything from tightening the rungs in the kitchen stool to whipping that rusty Coleman stove back into shape. The Dreaded Oversimplification only appears briefly in the auto section. A superior book in every way, especially in clarity. Cheaper than a repair</em> person’s house <em>call too. —JB</em>

Plastic plug In housing of appliance is almost sure lo have assembly screw beneath it Pry plug out with strong, sharp instrument Some marring of finish is inevitable no matter how carefully you work

Metal cap must be pried off to reach both mam assembly nut and thermostat adjustment screw ol this fryer control. Nul can be removed with hollow shank nut driver Adjustment screw is in center ot control shall.

To stretch the screen:

Bend the door frame slightly by placing sticks under each end of the door and clamping the middle down to the sawhorse planks. Staple the top of the screen in place, release the tension slowly, then staple both sides. Do not staple the center rail until last. Trim the excess screen with a sharp knife and replace the molding.

The Straight Poop

This charming home-published book takes a chatty personal approach rather than a scary authoritarian one, but it’s professional nevertheless. A special section dubbed “The Dirty Dozen” will get you through most emergencies without calling a plumber. Other repairs are discussed with unusual realism, especially concerning the yukkiness likely to be encountered. (Things are rarely as neat as other books would have you believe.) A boon.- old-style plumbing such as Victorian commodes that sound like dragon burps are addressed with an expertise I’ve never seen anywhere else. —JB

If your wet sag or drip from the ceiling is below a tub or shower, discovering whether you have a pressure leak or a gravity leak can sometimes be quite exasperating. At least 70 percent of these complaints that I look at end up being a gravity leak....

If you can remove the shower head from the shower arm and find exposed pipe threads, then go to the hardware store and purchase a Vi inch female pipe by male hose adapter. Thread it onto the shower arm and then thread a garden hose onto the adaptor. Now run the hose out a convenient window or door and then turn the shower on full (hot and cold) and let it run for a good ten minutes or more.

With the water going out the hose and not the tub drain, if you do not have any more leakage, then you can assume that you do have a drain related gravity leak.

The Passive Solar Energy Book

The Passive Solar Energy Book

Edward Mazria 1979; 687 pp.

$29.95 postpaid from: Rodale Press

Despite advanced age in a fast-changing field, Mazria’s book remains the single best guide to passive solar house design. Its basic information on solar energy, orientation, and the arrangement of rooms is current. Organization, illustration, assemblage of tools, and use of patterns (based on Christopher Alexander’s A Pattern Language — see p. 117) are first-rate.

Use the book with confidence but consider these warnings: Mazria works in the sunny Southwest and shows a slight bias towards that climate. The book recommends far too much south glass per square foot of floor area given today’s tight, well-insulated houses.

High-performance glazings threaten to replace movable insulation but weren’t around in 1979 and aren’t mentioned here. And, finally, you won’t find discussion of such current issues as radiant floors, vapor barriers, back-up heating systems, phase-change materials, and the anomalous heat leaks that can rob insulation of its value.

The professional edition adds several hundred pages of useful climate data and performance calculations for fine-

tuning designs.

—David Godolphin

33 East Minor Street Emmaus, PA 18049 or Whole Earth Access

Solar Home Design

This compendium of 12 articles from Solar Age magazine (now called Progressive Builder) covers conservation (the first step in any solar job), sizing the south-facing glass, window and appliance choices, thermal mass, and the basic passive solar house configurations. Understandable graphs, charts, and construction details are plentiful.

—David Godolphin Percent Floor

Area Allowed in Glass

Most homes contain enough mass in the conventional building materials and have enough heat losses during the day

Degree Days per year

Average January Temp. °F

Average House*

Well Insulated House**

to support a significant area of passive solar aperture, nils table gives the approximate direct gain aperture that can be accommodated by conventional and >well-insulated houses. The levels are known as the overheating points. The penalty for using more aperture area









than is shown here Is some degree of overheating — unless additional mass Is built Into the house.

’equals approximately R-11 walls, R-19 ceiling.

• double-glazed windows ’’equals approximately R-25walls, R-38 ceiling, triple-glazed , windows









Progressive Builder

<strong>Solar Home Design</strong>

(Selections from Recent Issues of Solar Age Magazine) 1983; 38 pp.

$3.95 postpaid from: Solar Vision, Inc.

7 Church Hill Harrisville, NH 03450 or Whole Earth Access

Asking a lot: In the Wintergreen house, the owner and designer sought

As you’d expect, the accent has changed along with the name. Still lots of solar stuff, but the main interest is in energy-efficient, cost-efficient building methods. Solar Age built a reputation for honest criticism and for generally being on the ball. Doesn’t look as if that’s

. • ‘* changed a bit. It’s still where

I learn what’s new. —JB

Progressive Builder Magazine

William D’Alessandro, Editor


(12 issues) from: Progressive Builder P. O. Box 470 Peterborough, NH 03458–0470

• This rousing history of solar architecture shows that most “modern solar innovations” have been around a long time. It’s instructive and humbling to see our heritage.

A Golden Thread (2500 Years of Solar Architecture and Technology): Ken Butti and John Perlin, 1980; 304 pp. $9.95 ($11.20 postpaid) from Kampmann & Company, 9 East 40th Street, New York, NY 10016 (or Whole Earth Access).

an “all-solar, affordable, small two-bedroom home.” Large glazing areas and ample

water storage make 100 percent solar heating possible in relatively cloudy Maine.

The Superinsulated Home Book

If you want a house that uses very little energy, you should probably make it superinsulated and relatively airtight. Amply illustrated and very current, this book covers the principles and practice that apply to every square foot of a low-energy house, from the tapered foundation insulation to the continuous ridge vent. On the way it thoroughly treats key subjects like the air/vapor

Just as The Passive Solar Energy Book ignores superinsulation, this one doesn’t know what to make of solar. The reading is slow going in parts, but it’s worth if; the authors have done their homework heroically. All the information is there. —David Godolphin

The Superinsulated Home Book

J. D. Ned Nisson and Gautam Dutt 1985; 316 pp.

$19.95 postpaid from: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Attn.: Order Dept.

1 Wiley Drive Somerset, NJ 08873 or Whole Earth Access

Climatic Design

Climatic Design is attaining nearly biblical status among energy-conscious designers and architects. It’s valuable as a reliable and comprehensive reference to the layperson as well, but it’s not bedtime reading.

Much of the book is organized as a series of specific maxims, replete with text and drawings, that form parts of broad bioclimatic strategies such as “promote earth cooling” and “minimize infiltration.” Some of the theory is abstruse and hard to use, but the bulk of the book is excellent background for those thinking about a new house in the broadest terms: site, orientation, and rough floor plans. —David Godolphin

Comparison of different types of weatherstripping for doors and windows. These are listed in order of estimated overall durability.

KEV: E—Excellent; VG-Very Good; G-Good; F-Felt; P—Poor TYPE MATERIAL Estimated Effective Suitable for Visibility

Overall Uses(1) Non-uni- When ■ Durability form gaps Installed FLAT METAL STRIP Brass or bronze E_______________________________________ C/A No_____ Very low

______________________ Aluminum VG to E C/A______ No Very low TUBULAR GASKET Vinyl or rubber, foam-filled VG C/A______________________ Yes High

_____________________ Vinyl or rubber, hollow____ VG C/A Yes High_____ REINFORCED GASKET Aluminium and vinyl VG C/A Yes_____________________ High

REINFORCED FELT Wool felt and aluminum G C No High

_____________________ Nonwool felt and aluminum F to G C No_______ High NONREINFORCED FELT Wool G C No_____________________ (2)

______________________ Other Fto G C No_______ (2) RIGID STRIP Aluminum and vinyl G C Yes______________________ Low (3)

______________________ WPod and foam F C Yes Low______ FOAM STRIP Neoprene or rubber F C Yes______________________ (2)

Vinyl F C Yes (2)

Polyurethane P to F C Yes (2)

(1) C—Where material will be subject to compression A—Where material will be subject to abrasion

(2) Low if under sash or inside doorjamb. High if used along window frame or against door stop. (3) On aluminum door, its primary use.


Bath* ••••• •••

Kitchen e e e

Dining e e e •

Living e •

Family • • •

Utility / Laundry* • • •

Workshop* • • e

Storage* • • •

Garage’ • • • •

Sun porch • • •

Outdoor space* e • e e

’The most suitable location of those indicated will depend on local climate — whether largely too hot or too cold, direction of winter winds and summer breezes, etc.

Solar Software: SUNPAS/SUNOP, F-CHART 5.2

Solar calculations can be a maddening time consumer, particularly when you’re frying to ascertain the effects of small design changes. A computer can help; if only takes one a few seconds to try your ideas. Solarsoft draws rave reviews from all over the solar field for its smooth, quick, and versatile programs. Best is the Macintosh version of SUNPAS, a program that calculates the energy performance of 94 passive solar house designs. It also generates an energy performance file that its companion SUNOP program uses to analyze the economics of building options, ‘tbu can even figure in local construction costs, fuel prices, and inflation. You get the results as graphs and tables.

Despite a few well-documented faults, F-CHART is the premier program for analyzing active solar collector systems. If tells you how much heat you’ll get from air or liquid collectors used for space heating, domestic hot water, or swimming pool heating. Not all F-CHARTprograms are easy to use; early versions were notoriously crude. Solarsoft has put its stamp of grace on this one.

—David Godolphin

Solar Catalog $3 from:

Solar Components Co.

P. O. Box 237

Manchester, NH 03105

Solar Catalog


This juicy catalog features a good selection of hardware needed for solar heating. It’s where you order products made of Sun-Lite® — the best fiberglass-reinforced plastic glazing. If can be had in rolls, or in prefabricated panels ready to install. The roll stock can be used to make solar heated water tanks for thermal storage and aquaculture. It works well for greenhouses. Note that this catalog, like most others, doesn’t criticize or otherwise comment on suitability of items shown. It pays to read up on prospective purchases, and to discuss them with folks who have some experience. —JB

Service Temperature Range: 34*F to1W*F

Black Chrome Absorber
For High Efficiency Systems

Selective surface absorbers are made of copper strip and foil continuously electroplated with black chrome for its excellent absorptive properties. They can be used directly as an absorber. When used instead of paint, less collector square footage is required due to higher efficiencies; resulting in cost savings. Absorbers can be brazed or soldered without damaging the black chrome coating. Widths of 24” make this product ideal for placement between rafters. Textured pattern provides improved heat transfer due to 18% more surface area than flat metal. Absorptivity = .95, emissivity = .11..005” thick. io’ length #05600 S59.95P

Black Chrome Absorber 25len9|h #05610 S139.95P

50’ length #05620 $250.OOP

Solar Card

Absorber Fins #05300 $5.95 C


postpaid from:

Design Works, Inc. 11 Hitching Post Road Amherst, MA 01002


Information free from: Zomeworks Corp. P. O. Box 25805 Albuquerque, NM 87125


In a business rife with doubtful quality and broken promises, Zomeworks has attained a reputation for reliable products. Their formula for success: Clever, simple products that perkrm like the advertisements say they will. Founder Steve Baer has a knack for whipping things down to essentials, and the products show that. No government largesse has been involved either,- perhaps that’s one reason for the lean, no-nonsense designs. Look at their catalog for a lesson in clarify. —JB

Solar Card

Is the neighbor’s tree gonna shade your solar hot water heater in February? Will your proposed garden get enough sun for tomatoes? You can find out easily by viewing your surroundings through the lines printed on a Solar Card. It’s a bit awkward to use but it’s cheap and it works. Tell them your city and state when ordering. —JB [Suggested by David Godolphin]

The Spec Guide

SKYLID® selfoperating insulating louvers are sets of panels that open beneath a skylight to allow the sun to enter during the day and close to seal against heat loss at night. They are self-operating: The sun controls their res

Like a showroom without sales pressure, this guide lists more than one thousand energy related products and their specifications. You’ll find side-by-side comparison of such things as hot water heating systems, collectors, controls, instruments, thermal storage hardware, and wind energy sets. You won’t find judgment though; that’s up to you. Note that performance claims are the manufacturer’s. If the Guide’s price seems high, think of what it would take you in time and postage to round up all this stuff. Be grateful. —JB

ponsive weight shifting system. SKYLIDS® are available for maximum direct gain and sunlighting or for indirect gain and daylighting. A manual override allows the louvers to be held in a closed or partially closed position to prevent overheating or to control light levels.

The Spec Guide

(8th Edition)



Spec Guide

P. O. Box 470

Peterborough, NH 03458–0470

The Sunbender® Reflector/Shade is designed to fit any well built, sturdy curb mount skylight. During the heating season, it reflects from 100,000 to 200,000 extra Btu’s per square foot of skylight into the building below. In the lowered summer position, it shades the skylight and greatly reduces heat gain, while still allowing light to enter.


55, 77, 88

Product Description: Heat Mirror™ transparent window insulation is factory mounted in the air space of a sealed, double pane unit by leading window manufacturers throughout the world. It dramatically increases the insulating properties of the window by reflecting the long-wave infrared energy (‘heat’) and transmitting solar energy. Heat Mirror equipped windows reject most of the damaging ultra-violet energy, transmit light without color distortion, and have R-values from 4 to 4.3.



—Practical Photovoltaics

HOTOVOLTAIC (PV) PANELS make electricity when the sun shines on them. They do it quietly, simply, reliably (at last!), and if not cheaply, at least for less money than last year. They’re already competitive with all other nonutility sources of electricity. The price has been steadily dropping, if you take inflation into consideration, and will drop further as production rises, which it is.

Watch a billion dollar industry being born, folks — PV is coming on line fast. —J. Baldwin

Photovoltaics (PV)

<em>Practical Photovoltaics presents the theory and practice of photovoltaics in a nontechnical manner; read it and you’ll have good reason to claim you know what you’re doing. There are complete instructions for assembling your own panels from individual cells (which are often available at a discount) — a great way to save money.</em>

The New Solar Electric Home is an update of one of our favorite PV books. The new version concentrates on the design of complete household PV systems, especially the equipment that “inverts” the low voltage DC power into the 110-volt AC power you and your appliances are used to. (The author recommends the Heart Interface, a device available from most of the suppliers shown on this page.) Recent developments make photovoltaic homes truly practical for the first time.

Technically, this unit could run on the output of only two standard PV panels; however, this would not allow any reserve for bad weather. We allow three panels full output just for refrigeration.

—RVers’ Guide to Solar Battery Charging

A cell can be permanently damaged if a large reverse voltage is applied to the electrodes. There is one circumstance under which this reverse voltage condition can occur: when one cell is shaded while the rest of the cells in a series string are in sunlight. The current through the string immediately stops, and the sum of all the opencircuit voltages of all the other cells shows up across the shaded cell. The resistance heating effect of the current can make a cell hot enough to melt the solder connections.

—Practical Photovoltaics

—R ver’s Guide to Solar Battery Charging


RVers’ Guide to Solar Battery Charging is a finely detailed guide to installing PV systems in your motorhome, trailer, boat, or cabin. I’ve lived PV-powered for six years now and can vouch that this book is what you need to know.

Wish I’d had it in 1980.


The Sun Frost refrigerator/freezer, very popular with homeowners, has now been discovered by RVers because of innovations which achieve exceptionally low power consumption. The Sun Frost is superinsulated with 3–4 inches of polyurethane foam. A top-mounted, hermetically sealed compressor runs cool and prevents heat from entering the cabinet. A high level of efficiency is developed in a “low differential” evaporator coil....

Practical Photovoltaics Richard J. Komp 1984; 196 pp.

Photovoltaic Suppliers

There are now many competent suppliers of trustable equipment. These are a few that I or friends have found to be pleasant to work with. Prices vary; you should shop around.

Independent Power Company. Now one of many Photocomm dealers, they hawk their wares in this comprehensive and educational catalog. They offer complete packaged systems for residential power and water pumping, among other things.

Wm. Lamb • Solar Electric Specialties. Send Wm. Lamb a letter outlining your needs anywhere in the world, and they’ll make recommendations based on their free engineering service. No catalog, but they’ll supply what they recommend.

Solar Electric Specialties offers a similar service.

Solar Electric Systems. Specializes in PV for recreational vehicles. Prices are good. They wrote a book too: RVer’s Guide to Solar Battery Charging (above).

WindLight Workshop. One of the most experienced supplier/experimenters. Windy Dankoff offers this annotated catalog ofPVelectricity, making and using hardware.

Talmage Energy Systems. One of the first Eastern suppliers. Has lots of experience with New England weather conditions. —JB

Independent Power Company: Catalog $5.95 from Catalog and Mail Order Center, P. O. Box 649, No. San Juan, CA 95960

Wm. Lamb Corp.: Information free from Wm. Lamb Corp., 10615 Chandler Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601

Solar Electric Specialities Co.: Information free from Solar Electric Specialties Co., P. O. Box 537, Willits, CA 95490

Solar Electric Systems: Catalog free from Solar Electric

Systems, P. O. Box 1562, Cave Creek, AZ 85331

WindLight Workshop: Catalog $4 from WindLight

Workshop, P. O. Box 548, Santa Cruz, NM 87567

Talmage Energy Systems: Catalog $3 from Talmage Energy Systems, P. O. Box 497A, Beachwood Road, Kennebunkport, ME 04046


($18.45 postpaid) The New Solar Electric Home Joel Davidson 1986; 220 pp.


($16.45 postpaid) RVers’ Guide to Solar Battery Charging

Noel and Barbara Kirkby 1986; 200 pp.


($13.45 postpaid) All from: AATEC Publications P. O. Box 7119 Ann Arbor, Ml 48107 or Whole Earth Access

• Fredson’s RV Supply (p. 271) and the marine supply catalogs (p. 289) stock many devices that run on 12-volt DC — just what you need in a simple photovoltaic electric setup.

The PV Network News

This quarterly newsletter continues to serve as a clearinghouse for PV knowhow developed by folks using photovoltaics in their daily lives. The product reviews and field- proven tips are often way ahead of more formal publications not so intimately involved with reality. A feature, “Solar Works,” is an up-to-date bibliography and source list — itself worth the price of the subscription. —JB

The PV Network News A.D. Paul Wilkins, Editor $15/year, includes membership (4 issues) from: The PV Network News Route 2, P. O. Box 274 Santa Fe, NM 87505


OOD HEAT WENT from hick to chic in the ’70s, when energy prices inspired many folks to turn from fossil fuels. But the drawbacks soon became apparent: there is a lot of work involved, some fire danger, and ecological problems. While it is true that wood heat saves fossil fuel, and the total energy obtained from wood heat approximates the total output of nuclear power plants,

it is also true that wood burning results in pollution. Oregon has led the way with a tough state law that

mandates clean-burning designs, thus beginning a strong trend.

Noted wood fuel expert Jay Shelton (see below) recently assured me that properly designed stoves with catalytic converters work well, pollute little, are durable, and reduce the amount of wood used. He wouldn’t recommend any particular brand, and neither will we; there are too many variables. (I do recommend you look at Consumer Reports magazine, October ’85, p. 150, for a controlled test of several brands.) And remember, please, that if you aren’t replacing the trees you burn you are contributing to deforestation, a scourge that has brought down more than one civilization. —JB

Solid Fuels Encyclopedia

Jay W. Shelton 1983; 268 pp.


($14.95 postpaid) from: Garden Way Publishing Schoolhouse Road

Pownal, VT 05261

or Whole Earth Access

Solid Fuels Encyclopedia

The name Jay Shelton is often heard when wood heat is being discussed. His research has developed a trustworthy body of information on wood and coal burning for household heating. This book covers every aspect of the subject: stoves, fireplaces, chimneys, furnaces, air circulation, safety, and proper operation. It’s done in plain language with excellent illustrations. —JB

A pair of gloves kept near the stove can be useful. Some stoves have door handles and air-inlet controls that are too hot to touch with a bare hand. Gloves are especially important for handling burning wood in an emergency. Should a burning log roll out of a fireplace stove with its doors open, or a hot coal get beyond the floor protector during ash removal, or should the last log in a new fuel load have to be removed because it would not go in far enough to permit closing the door, or should the hot cooking-hole cover be dislodged from its hole by a back- puff, or ... A good pair of gloves could save the day.

Wood Heat Safety

Fire inspectors, code writers, and insurance companies are all getting tougher about standards for wood heating appliances. They have good reason too; the statistics show the sad results of inexpert or careless wood heating practices. This book probably has your exact situation and what to do about it, illustrated and discussed down to the last tiny detail. Particular attention is given to problems found in older houses, a subject not often dealt with in other books. Of course, the information you’ll need for a new place is there, too, equally detailed. The calm and competent presentation is mercifully free of horror stories and especially easy to use. —JB


My personal preference, not considering cost or convenience of installation in an existing house, is an interior masonry chimney with all its walls exposed to the living spaces. By trying to avoid smoldering fires I manage to avoid much creosote buildup, and the exposed masonry contributes considerable heat. However I have installed

Wood Heat Safety

Jay W Shelton 1979; 165 pp.


($11.95 postpaid) from: Garden Way Publishing Schoolhouse Road

Pownal, VT 05261

or Whole Earth Access

some prefabricated metal chimneys in my homes because of the ease of installation.

Shelton Research, Inc.

Jay Shelton’s own lab publishes results of their research, in pamphlet form, usually well before it appears elsewhere. For a list of current hot topics, send a S.A.S.E. to Shelton Research, Inc., P. O. Box 5235, Santa Fe, NM 87502. —JB

• Wood cookstoves can be bought at Lehman’s Hardware and Appliances (p. 143).

• Woodcutting needs are well served at Bailey’s (p. 127).

• The best splitting wedge is the one sold by Brookstone (p. 159).

• For chainsaw technique, see p. 127.



Be Your Own Chimney Sweep

Few enterprises are so ripe for disaster as sweeping the creosote and the potential fire hazard thereof out of your chimney. This clearly written book tells you how to do it right, and appears to be realistic about the difficulties. —JB

Drying Wood with the Sun

Remember those government “Energy Grants” a few years back? Not all turned out to produce worthy designs, but these well-proven solar firewood dryer plans are fine. Several basically similar ideas are presented in easily understood drawings accompanied by the expected explanations and materials lists. The rig will work just about anywhere, greatly speeding the drying process of any wood, or whatever else you put in there. Vegetables, even. Looks good to me. Be sure and pay attention to their warning not to attach the dryer to your house; the damp heat and wood-loving insects could damage it. —JB

Creosote is undesirable, not only because it is fuel for chimney fires, but for several other reasons. It decreases the effective flue diameter of the stack. This reduction is most dramatic in smaller stacks. For example, a six-inch pipe with a one-half-inch buildup of creosote loses 30 percent of its area.

Be Your Own Chimney Sweep

Christopher Curtis and Donald Post 1979; 101 pp.


OUT OF PRINT (Whole Earth Access has limited supply) Garden Way Publishing

The August West System

Need a job? If there’s no tough competition nearby, you could get into the chimney sweeping business. This outfit will outfit you, teach you the trade, and help you set up the business. Their reputation as professionals will rub off on you, allaying customer fears. Alas, you’ll have to do your own chimney free. —JB

Information kit tree from August West Systems, Inc., P. O. Box 658, Worcester, MA 01601.

Finnish Fireplace Construction Manual 1984

How To Get Parts

Cast For Your Antique Stove

This booklet tells you how to get or make the parts you need to keep that old beast cookin’. They have other old- stove information too. Send S.A.S.E. for list. —JB

How To Get Parts Cast For Your Antique Stove

Clifford Boram

1982; 52 pp.


postpaid from:

Autonomy House Publications 417 North Main Street Monticello, IN 47960

Nice books extolling the virtues of massive masonry woodstoves head you in the right direction, but don’t lead you by the hand past the potential disasters. Building one of these monsters is tricky business — you must allow for expansion, and must not build pockets that could trap explosive or noxious gases. This book, by an acknowledged master of the art, is a minutely detailed, illustrated and genuine manual. It really does get down to the tiniest moves, and that’s hard to do when one is psychologically involved with tons of material. I expect this manual will have the desired effect: lots of Finnish fireplaces will now be built, and they’ll be good ones. —JB

Once the burn is completed, dampers in the chimney flue are shut and the entire mass radiates heat for the next 12–24 hours. While the gas flow in the heater moves in a downdraft past the heat exchange surface of the heater, room air outside the heater moves in an updraft pattern along the vertical faces of the heater setting up a circulating flow of warmed air in the living space. It is from the opposing flows of warming heater gases and warmed room air that the name contraflow heater is derived.

Drying Wood With the Sun


1983; 24 pp.

$5 postpaid from: National Center for Appropriate Technology P. O. Box 3838 Butte, MT 59702 or Whole Earth Access


Modern cement mortars are not appropriate for masonry heater inner core construction and are never used in

• Check Ken Kern’s Masonry Stove (p. 120).

• If you burn ‘em, you should plant ‘em or at least buy from a managed woodlot or forest. Check “Trees” (p. 62).

Europe. Traditionally, Europet always been constructed with mortar we have found is a high quality, clay-based mortar called Uunilaasti, made in Finland. With care, we find it possible to build our standard heater in such a way that only a single bag of the special mortar, at an approximate cost of $30, is required. For those working with the mortar for the first time we recommend that they buy two in order not to run out at some critical point and have to delay work while waiting for supply.

Modern double brickconstruction with ceramic tile facade.

in masonry heaters have clay-based mortars. The

Finnish Fireplace Construction Manual 1984

Albert A. Barden, III 1984; 65 pp.


postpaid from: Maine Wood Heat Co. RFD 1, Box 640 Norridgewock, ME 04957 or Whole Earth Access

1 L JETEN WHOLE EARTH publications started in 1968, there was much glib talk of “free energy”

L from the sun, wind, and methane digesters. Some folks (not us) even thought that this free energy would by itself cause extensive political decentralization, a naive, or at least premature,

X 4 view. But we have learned a few things:

Funky hardware gives funky results, regardless of the righteousness of the maker. Reliable hardware is harder to produce and costs more than one would hope. Reduction of demand (conservation) is not very exciting but is the cheapest energy strategy and certainly is step one. Household-size methane digesters don’t work. We were right about one thing: There is nothing alternative about solar energy. ’Twas ever thus.

But the decade has produced some reliable knowledge and hardware — much of it from the minds and hands of experimenters. We now know that superinsulated houses are the most economical way to go, whether passively solar heated or otherwise; and photovoltaics are the simplest, most economical way to make electricity on-site if you live where there’s sun. Sounds easy. It wasn’t. More later. Keep working.

—J. Baldwin


ASE (Alternative Sources of Energy) started long ago as a funky publication serving experimenters and has matured along with the technology it serves. No more homemade windmill articles; sad but realistic. Instead we read the in


The National Appropriate Technology Assistance Service is associated with NCAT, but does business in a different way: when you need technical advice on energy matters, you call their 800 number. You will be connected with an expert who will get you the best information available. Right then. Call 1-800-428-2525 (1-800-428-1718 in Montana) 9am-6pm Central Time on weekdays. They’ll take on anything from a homeowner’s simple solar water heater dilemma to municipal energy policy. In this case, our gummint is doing something right. —JB


“En-Cat” (National Center for Appropriate Technology) publishes the findings of their research as inexpensive booklets (most less than $5). The subject matter is aimed at ordinary folks who wish to know more about subjects common to the appropriate tech field: solar water heaters, composting toilets, biogas, weatherizing a mobile home ... lots more. Their publications tend to summarize the baffling amount of information available elsewhere — a very useful service. —JB

The mylar film reflectors [above], which were the product of five years and $15 million of research and development, can be seen in this photo. According to LaJet, the lowcost concentrators reduced the per-watt installation cost of a solar power plant by some 80 percent.

• See “Rocky Mountain Institute” (p. 89).

• Here’s a rousing story of a hard-fought victory over obtuse power company policy. Inspiring and true. Dynamos and Virgins (Forcing the Future on the Nation’s Utilities): David Roe, 1984; 288 pp. $18.95 ($19.95 postpaid) from: Random House, Order Dept., 400 Hahn Road, Westminster, MD 21157.

By late 1984, small. Innovative firms had installed almost 8,500 turbines throughout California, producing enough electricity for 70,000 modern homes. By the end of 1985, the state Energy Commission predicts developers will have built over 1,000 megawatts of wind capacity, the equivalent of a large nuclear reactor.

Solar Lobby and the Center for Renewable Resources

The Solar Lobby is in there hammering away at legislators who still think there’s no energy problem. Denis Hayes, an old hand at this, is at the helm. The Center for Renewable Resources is the educational arm of the outfit. They publish attractive booklets full of disquieting facts and figures on current energy topics, particularly useful for teachers. All well done and effective. —JB

Congress claims to be worried about the trade deficit, and has begun erecting barriers to protect us against myriad imports. But it steadfastly ignores the one that really counts. Foreign oil is the largest item, by far, in our negative balance of trade. Oil caused a net drain of $51 billion dollars last year — nearly half of our $123 billion trade deficit....

Nuclear power, which provides less than 2 percent of the nation’s delivered energy and for which there have been no new orders since 1978, receives 34 percent of all federal energy subsidies.

The Residential Hydro Power Book

You can put that nearby stream to work making electricity, maybe. Individual experimenters have been messing around for years with small hydro generator sets that are well within most budgets. As is common with such enterprises, a body of reliable information together with acceptable hardware has slowly developed — everything learned the hard way. Here’s the first good book on the subject. It’s informal, subjective, and real: what has worked so far and what hasn’t. What isn’t known reliably yet is admitted and discussed as far as is possible. (That’s called honesty.) Alas, our lawsuit-happy society has necessitated the censoring of certain procedures known to work but at some risk. Too bad. Nonetheless, you’ll learn enough to set up a working system from dam to end use. A list of suppliers makes the book commendably useful and complete.


• Buying lights or devices that feed upon electricity? Better read Saving Energy and Money with Home Appliances. Which ones to buy are listed in The Most Energy-Efficient Appliances. It’s updated semiannually.

Saving Energy and Money with Home Appliances: Steven Nadel and Howard Geller, 1985; 34 pp. $2 postpaid. The Most Energy-Efficient Appliances: American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. 1986; 18 pp. $2 postpaid.

Both from ACEEE, 100 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036.

Common Sense Wind Energy

Read about commercial scale wind energy in ASE magazine. Read up on residential scale wind energy in this remarkably clear, mercifully brief roundup of the basics. In contrast to most other wind power books, this one is realistic — a very essential ingredient for success in this oft overhyped field. —JB

Common Sense Wind Energy

California Office of Appropriate Technology 1983; 83 pp.


($10.95 postpaid) from: Brick House Publishing Co. 3 Main Street Andover, MA 01810 or Whole Earth Access

Virtually every DC hydro system manufacturer in the world contributed information and first hand accounts of good (and bad) system installations. So read this book, then go with confidence to install your own hydro system. As you start your turbine for the first time, you too, can feel the quiet satisfaction of true energy independence.

At the turbine, install a gate valve, union, and pressure gauge. Don’t install a fast-closing valve like a ball valve or butterfly valve. You could accidentally close it too fast, causing the moving water in the pipe to slam suddenly into the valve. This slamming action can cause enormous pressures, rupturing pipes or valves.



“WT ‘▼’ATER CONSERVATION HAS entered the mainstream. It is as common as small cars. Utilities / now understand: Citizens would rather cut use by half than pay for bonds and new taxes to double w/ supply. River lovers have been an effective lobby: Save water at home; you save trout streams in y V the hills. Even the tortoise-like plumbing industry has accepted low-flush toilets as the sound of

the future. This is a success story. But don’t forget to insist that your plumbing supply store sell water-saving shower heads. And flow reducers and toilets (should be less than 2 gallons per flush). Don’t forget to vote against unnecessary bonds when conservation can do the job. Hats off to water savers. Relish it next time you swim or fish or float downstream. There is no longer any single book in print that sums up home water conservation. Captain Hydro is to teach the kids. We All Live Downstream (best equipment access) and Septic Tank Practices (see next page) both have good chapters on water saving. —Peter Warshall

The Official Captain Hydro Water Conservation Workbook 1982; 39 pp.

Available to teachers and school districts Information free from: East Bay Municipal Utility District P. O. Box 24055 Oakland, CA 94623

Planning for an Individual Water System

The book you want will depend on the volume of water you need (enough for washing dishes or for fire protection), the possible source (well, pond, or roof collector), the quality of the water (potable or possibly polluted), the conveyance mechanism (electricity or gravity feed) and trade-offs between how much money you have and how much time you can spend operating and maintaining your water supply (hand pumps, backwash filter or automatic chlorinator). Planning is the best, no-fooling-

around American-style do-it-yourself manual. The best for electric pumps and wiring your water supply system. Gorgeously illustrated with lots of great safety tips.

* —Peter Warshall

Methods of roof washing for cistern water, (a) Handoperated diversion valve used to waste first rainfall. After roof is washed, the valve is changed so water will enter the cistern, (b) Automatic roofwash. The first rainfall flows into the drum. After the drum is filled, the remaining water flows into the cistern. During a period without rainfall, water dripping from the opening in the waste line empties the drum.

Planning for an Individual Water System

A.A.V.I.M, 1982; 160 pp.


($14 postpaid) from: American Association for Vocational Instructional Materials

120 Driftmier Engineering Center Athens, GA 30602 or Whole Earth Access

Troubled Water

Jonathan King 1985; 235 pp.

$8.95 postpaid from:

Rodale Press 33 East Minor Street Emmaus, PA 18049 or Whole Earth Access

Troubled Water

“Till taught by pain, man knows not water’s worth.” —Byron The question I have been most asked by readers is: “Is my water safe?” The news in this book is not easily swallowed: plastic pipes leach carcinogens into drinking water; the Clean Water Act has not been effective; in-house water treatment like activated carbon helps but far from ensures clean water; bottled water may be just as polluted as tap water.

The quick-flowing prose, muckraking style, and good advice make this the best access to household water safety and aquatic politics. In general, if we forget cost, distillers and reverse osmosis filters are better than activated charcoal (AC). Under-the-sink AC is better than tap-installed. Don’t ever use powdered AC filters (only granulated or solid block). All filters need attentive maintenance. Replace or clean 25 percent earlier than manufacturer’s claims. —Peter Warshall

Quick fixes: Here are a few short-term measures for reducing the concentrations of pollutants in your water. They are simple, but limited in the protection they provide.

• Let your water run at full force for two or three

minutes first thing in the morning. This will clear out relatively high levels of lead, cadmium, and copper that may have built up in the water sitting overnight in the pipes.

• You can eliminate bacteria and some organic chemicals from your water by boiling it at least 20 minutes. Experiments conducted by the ERA have shown that boiling removes only volatile organic chemicals — or those that evaporate easily. The chemicals escape into the air, so try not to breathe the air directly over the boiling water. Boiling is time-consuming and energy intensive and may concentrate the nonvolatile organics, heavy metals, and nitrates left behind in the water.

“ Whipping your water in an electric blender can remove some volatile chemicals. You should blend the water for about 15 minutes, with the top off.

• for water conservation programs, see “RMI” (p. 89).

» For more about water pollution you should check “Biohazards” (p. 107).

• You can save lots of garden or farm water by using drip irrigation. See the “Urban Farmer” (p. 79).

From the karst (limestone) watersheds of Eureka Springs comes the most radical support for waterless toilets. Plagued by underground pollution, The Water Center has produced the only in-print book surveying dry toilets — from commercial varieties to home-grown; from incolets to moulder (cold, slow compost) varieties. I would like more about dry toilet headaches: flies, shock loading, maintenance, installation, quality of final compost. But there is no better access.

Downstream also surveys greywater systems and community water politics, knowing full well that water connects and our feces are but fine fertilizers for future food. An impressive, populist production.

—Peter Warshall

<em>Ultra-One/G-Eljer: Concept:</em> Uses one gallon of water to flush without any additional systems. Permanently installed reservoir meters one gallon of water from the tank to the bowl and maintains a high static head of water.

Septic Tank Practices

A modest title for a book that clearly lays out aspects of various types of on-site sewage treatment and their relationship to soil, water use, construction, maintenance, and politics. Written by a brilliant biologist who has integrated theory with a practical hands-on approach.

—Sim VanDerRyn

The septic-tank system actually has two distinct sections: the septic tank itself and the drainfield. The tank is a box that eliminates at least half the excrement by allowing time for solids to settle and be eaten by microbes. The wastewater then passes into a hole in the ground. The hole can be of almost any shape and depth. The most common shape is a linear trench usually between three and six feet deep. This trench design is called the drainfield (or leachfield, filterfield, absorption bed, disposal or subirrigation field). The wastewater from the septic tank receives further treatment in the drainfield. The soil absorbs viruses, strains out bacteria, filters large wastes, and chemically renovates them into nutrients that can be used by plants. Treatment is reliable for the lifespan of the drainfield.

• For recycling urban wastes to the farms, see Future Water (p. 36). Other water concerns are discussed on p. 34. For Third World- style privies and waste disposal, read Excreta Disposal for Rural Areas and Small Communities: E. G. Wagner and J. N. Lanoi, 1958; 187 pp. $14 ($15.25 postpaid) from WHO Publications, 49 Sheridan Avenue, Albany, NY 12210. For recycling household garbage, see p. 106. For plumbing see p. 129.

Requirements: Standard plumbing. Fast, easy installation. Operation: Same as conventional toilet. Models: Contemporary look; fashion colors. Cost: Same as any top- of-the-line conventional two-piece toilet. Available: From any Eljer dealer or plumbing supply store.

Finally, the Big Sewer works against American freedom of choice. If a sewer runs by your house, you must hook up to it and pay the costs. In other words, you are not allowed to keep your home-site system, with all its advantages — even if it’s working beautifully. This loss of option is killing the old American sense of self-reliance and responsibility. Undoubtedly, some backwoods Benjamin Franklin, unimpressed by the language of city- educated sewage experts, will soon stand up and say, “I won’t.” It will be a fine American court battle.

Electric pump sets (as, for instance, from Sears) aren’t the only way to move wafer uphill. You can pump water with the sun, utilizing photovoltaic panels and matching pumps available from any of the suppliers on p. 133. Then there’s the old standby, the hand pump. They’re available from Baker. Some models can mate with windmills, such as the traditional models from Heller-Aller and Dempster. If you want to raise water from a moving stream, a ram will do the job, incessantly (and noisily), without any power source other than the stream itself. They’re available from Rife. A silent but more expensive water-powered water pump will lift efficiently from a flow as little as one quart a minute, from High Lifter. —Peter Warshall

Dempster Industries: catalog free from Box 848, Beatrice, NE 68310.

Heller-Aller Co.: information $1.50 from Corner — Perry and

Oakwood, Napoleon, OH 43545.

Baker Manufacturing: catalog free from Evansville, Wl 53536.

Rife Hydraulic Engines: catalog $2 from Box 790, Norristown, PA 19404.

High Lifter Water Systems: information free from P. O. Box 397, Willits, CA 95490.

Finding and Buying Your Place in the Country

I’m glad somebody wrote this book and did it so thoroughly. Scher is a lawyer who manages to wade with you through the waters of easements, zoning, taxes, contracts, deeds of trust, mortgages, and escrow without muddying them up. Also advice on evaluating property — soil, water, structures, and on bargaining strategies. If you study this book, there’s no excuse for being “taken.”

—Richard Nilsen

How to Inspect a House

Hopes and lies get put to the test when a prepurchase house inspection is performed. You can have it done for you, but best is to have at the task yourself; that way you’ll learn more about the place. This manual shows you how to check all the things that must be right if you are to live without regret. Termites! Rot! There’s a lot to it, but there’s also a lot to a 30-year mortgage. The book is a handy guide to keeping an eye on the house after you buy it, too. —JB

V Cracks: While inspecting the foundation, check the corners, which are the weak areas. Without sufficient steel in the concrete, the corners could break. Steel helps make the foundation act as one firm unit. The illustration shows two cracks in a level perimeter foundation. These are V cracks, wider at the top than the bottom. Undoubtedly the corner of the whole structure has settled. You might find hairline cracks anywhere. I wouldn’t worry about them. It’s the V cracks that give cause for alarm.

Another thing to inspect, without getting on a ladder, is the end of downspouts. If you see a lot of mineral crystals, it’s a good sign that the roof is old and worn.

How to Avoid the 10 Biggest Home-Buying Traps

Here they are folks, and history shows that people like yourselves blow if over and over again on these not- necessarily-obvious matters: the house with too high a price; the unforeseen expenses; the tight mortgage; the gyp builder; the no-design house; the garbled floor plan; the old-house lemon; the marginal house (where everything about it just gets by); the energy guzzler; the gimmick house. The author shows how subtle the traps can be and gives a great lesson in avoiding them. The book ends with a handy checklist, an antidote to naivete. —JB


It’s also important to check on the local zoning rules, assuming you don’t want to see those lovely woods across the street invaded by bulldozers someday to make way for a new shopping center or chemical factory. Your best protection is an area that is strictly zoned chiefly for residential use, permitting little or no other kind of development. If there are commercial and industrial zones nearby, watch out.

There is so much marginal quality because nearly everything that goes into a house — the flooring, wall products, roofing, siding, heating, wiring, paint, and virtually every other product — can be had in more than one grade or in some cases more than one weight or thickness.... The lowest-grade economy materials are used widely in house construction to keep down costs. They are designed to meet certain minimum standards.

What’s more, marginal quality is not limited to low- priced houses. It’s also prevalent to a degree in many high-priced houses including luxury houses.

• You can get a look at what’s available in other parts of the country (as well as your own) in this illustrated catalog. Strout Realty: Catalog $2 from P. O. Box 4528, Springfield, MO 65808.

• See also Right Where You Live, p. 118.


One of our favorites in past Whole Earth Catalogs, this book is an inspiring array of ideas for making a rented place into your own personal home — without losing the damage deposit. The suggestions are imaginative, and the instructions are the most lucid I’ve ever seen for anything. The whole thing is done in a friendly, nonchauvinist, encouraging manner that should lure even the most chicken hearted novice into action. Give a copy to

Removing walls may be a no-no. But who’s to say we can’t add some. Hollowcore doors are light-weight, stable, and inexpensive — quite inexpensive if you find your way to the lumberyard’s damaged-door department. Doors become partitions, strictly speaking, rather than walls, because they’re only 6’8” tall. But this is enough for visual privacy, as in a bedroom shared by two kids. Illustration 1 shows four doors bracketed together as a freestanding unit that separates two beds.

The Moveable Nest

Tom Schneider

1984; 191 pp.


($9.95 postpaid) from:

Ten Speed Press P. O. Box 7123

For hanging really heavy objects on masonry:

The way these hangers work is a bit like the trick my dad used for getting a brad to go into concrete. He formed a collar of support for the nail with the tight grip of his fingers. This kept the nail from bending. In a similar way, the solid plastic surrounding the nails in these fasteners provides a collar of support that directs all the force of the hammer blows straight to each steel point. This, plus the extreme sharpness of the points, allows penetration of hard surfaces without the nails bending or the wall cracking.

Hardwall Hctvre Hanger* Available in 1* and Vz” sizes.


I have no doubt that if I were acquisitive I would be equipping my life with high-tech house gear and decor. The stuff is sturdy, highly practical, often cheap, and — except for right now — outside of fashionability. The fashion is understandable — the clarity of the high-tech approach is often quite beautiful. But I think sewer manhole covers and military architecture are beautiful and Regency furniture is strictly for unfrequented museums.

This well-made book lavishly covers the range of high- tech possibilities, with a generous, if unannotated, directory of suppliers — over 2000! —Stewart Brand

The Sonotube is manufactured by Sonoco Products Company, which has distributors listed in the Yellow Pages under Concrete Construction Forms and Accessories.

Berkeley, CA 94707 or Whole Earth Access


Joan Kron and Suzanne Slesin 1978; 286 pp.


($32.55 postpaid) from: Crown Publishers 34 Englehard Avenue Avenel, NJ 07001 or Whole Earth Access

• If you crave to get fancier than the schemes shown in The Moveable Nest, better read InteriorCarpentry (p. 122) before starting.

Amish Society

The Amish are a religious community that originated in Europe during the Reformation and is now concentrated in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. They are one of the most resilient subcultures in America and also some of our best farmers. Sociologists keep waiting for them to die out or otherwise homogenize into the goo of the American melting pot, but this they refuse to do.

This definitive study, by an Amishman turned college professor, is a fascinating history and provides a detailed look inside the Amish character. Their way of life, which from the outside may look hard or dull or quaint or boring, turns out to be a model for the necessary values embodied in the concepts of community and local politics.

—Richard Nilsen

Amish communities are not relics of a bygone era. Rather, they are demonstrations of a different form of modernity.

The Amish people maintain a human rather than an organizational scale in their daily lives. They resisted the large, consolidated school and the proposition that big schools (or farms) were better than small ones. A bureaucracy that places pupils together within narrow age limits and emphasizes science and technology to the exclusion of sharing values and personal responsibility is not tolerated. The Amish appreciate thinking that makes the world, and their own lives, intelligible to them. When human groups and units of work become too large for them, a sense of estrangement sets in. When this hap-

The Simple Life

Those of us who would like to see the simple life become a norm in this great land of ours may find this a distressing book. Since Colonial times, numerous ideologies of and attempts at simple living have flamed briefly, only to be overwhelmed by the indomitable spirit of materialism and privatism that seems far more native to the American character than material simplicity. Nevertheless, plain living is an idea that can’t be conquered, and in chronicling its history Shi relates a considerable sweep of this nation’s history and higher yearnings.

—Stephanie Mills

Essentially, it seems, the much-ballyhooed “frugality phenomenon” of the 1970s was limited to middle- and upper-middle-class activists. Students, professors, environmentalists, consumer advocates, and idealists of various kinds were its most prominent and serious participants, and the predictions of a massive shift to simpler ways of living among the larger public were overstated.

The weaknesses seem clear. Proponents of the simple life have frequently been overly nostalgic about the quality of life in olden times, narrowly anti-urban in outlook, and too disdainful of the benefits of prosperity and technology....

The radical critics of capitalism and promoters of spartan rusticity among the advocates of the simple life would be well advised to acknowledge that material progress and urban life can frequently be compatible with spiritual, moral, or intellectual concerns. As Lewis Mumford, one of the sanest of all the simplifiers, stressed in The Conduct of Life: “It is not enough to say, as Rousseau once did, that one has only to reverse all the current practices to be right... If our new philosophy is well-grounded we shall not merely react against the ‘air-conditioned nightmare’ of our present culture; we shall also carry into the future many elements of quality that this culture actually embraces.”

pens the world becomes unintelligible to them and they cease participating in what is meaningless.

Country Store Catalogs

Like the Amish community it serves, Lehman’s is gentle, bucolic, and competent. Not a trace of tourist-fakenostalgia in the farm-kitchen gear: gas refrigerators, wood cookstoves, and 50-gallon iron “cannibal” cauldrons. >bu can still get real Flexible Flyer sleds here! Cumberland General Store has similar country stuff, plus a wonderful selection of horse drawn buggies and wagons. The Vermont Country Store specializes in old- style cotton clothes and household goodies. They still make ‘em like they used to. —JB

• See “Local Dependency,” p. 111.

• A sympathetic look at living low on the hog.

Voluntary Simplicity: Duane Elgin, 1981; 312 pp. $6.95 ($8.45 postpaid) from William Morrow Publishing Co., 6 Henderson Drive, West Caldwell, NJ 07006 (or Whole Earth Access).

(D) COMBAT GLASS FRAMES. Non-reflective neoprene self-adjusting frames specially designed to fit Army M17 Gas Mask, Tanker Helmets and other protective head equipment. Use for athletic or utility purposes. Accepts your prescription or sunglass lenses. Black.


U.S. Cavalry

These folks stock a variety of genuine, not-surplus, military and law enforcement equipment. You probably won’t be interested in official United States Army dress uniforms, but the field uniforms, packs, and boots may be just what you want if you’re looking for brute function to

Extreme Cold Weather Mask. Includes 2 nosemouth covers, a full face mask that is padded and lined with 100% cotton and a throat bib. One size fits all.

............. $13.95

government specs.


Loompanics Unlimited



U.S. Cavalry

Catalog $3 from: U.S. Cavalry 1375 North Wilson Road Radcliff, KY 40160

Loompanics Unlimited

Information free from:

Loompanics Unlimited

P. O. Box 1197

Port Townsend, WA 98368

One of the more fascinating catalogs you can get.

<em>It’s designed for people in, around, and after the tanks part of the U.S. Army — a bizarre mix of wonderful military boots and clothing, grotesque military memorbilia and decorations, kid’s stuff, and oddments findable</em>

nowhere else.

—Stewart Brand

Our Practical $80%

Caliaa Aprcm

Cumberland s General Purpose Buggy. Model HI with top. With rubber tires.

7041.. $3025.00 —Cumberland General Store

A long time ago when we were the first to revive and make popular the old-time calico cloth, Mrs. Orton had an old-fashioned Vermont apron her grandmother had given her. This we used as a pattern and began making these sensible aprons. We’re still doing it today because it remains stylish. With full calico ties in back, this apron, ruffled at bottom, will fit most women. They’re made for us in Vermont homes by Vermont seamstresses — not a factory product. COLORS: Yellow (YEL), Blue (BLU), Green (GRN), (RED), Pink (PNK) and Lavender (LAV). (Please state first and second choice when you order.) SIZES: REG (8–12) or LG (1418). No.704 Calico Apron $18.95. Ship. wt. 1 lb.

—The Vermont
Country Store

“We are the lunatic fringe of the libertarian movement,” announces the introduction to this extraordinary catalog. You better believe it. Here are books that are very definitely not at your local library or bookstore. (Indeed, in Canada, many of them are illegal.) How to develop a fake ID; how to make explosives in your kitchen; lockpicking (by Eddie the Wire); Ninja; tax avoidance; privacy; survival. Ah yes, survival. Yours. Paranoid, you say? Don’t you worry just a little about what you’d do if the economy collapsed or if The Bomb dropped? There are so many ways of looking at “survival” that I’ll just let you decide for yourself which of the survival books offered here are for you. Hell, Loompanics couldn’t be TOO lunatic — they stock the Whole Earth Catalog ...


SI Outdoor Food and Equipment

A good place to get military and other long-term-storage rations. They have lots of other survival gear too. —JB

SI Outdoor Food and Equipment Catalog

$1 from:


P.O. Box 3796

Gardena, CA 90247

VONU means Invulnerability
to coercion


The Search for Personal Freedom
By Rayo

Edited by Jon Rdw

Vonu means “invulnerability to coercion.” The legendary Rayo was a Vonu pioneer. His writings are well worth reading for every libertarian and freedom seeker. Mostly, his works appeared in obscure underground periodicals, such as Libertarian Connection, Vonulife, and Innovator. Now Jon Fisher has collected together the best of Rayo’s articles in one easily- accessible volume.

This is hard-core material, differentiating between “liberty” (rights and loopholes granted by government) and “freedom” (vonu, or invulnerability to coercion), Rayo discusses such things as how to develop liberty at a profit, libertarian strategy, movementism vs. self-liberation, the possibility of living as a nomad, and much more. Far from being an armchair theorist, Rayo actually lived his ideas, and many of the articles tell of his life in a van, and as a squatter in National Forests — “out of sight and out of mind of those unwilling to let live.”

VONU is an excellent example of the type of thinking necessary to break free and live your own life. It is for those willing to go to lengths to be rid of Big Brother and other oppressors. Highly recommended.

1983, S’A x 8¥>, 112 pp, Uluatntad, toft cover.

VONU: $5.95



Oranges, lemons, pears, apples, most other firm, round fruits and vegetables up to 3 112” long. No spike to pierce fruit. Spindle is quickly and easily locked for varying lengths. Doesn’t require resetting to start new peeling cycle. 5%” H x 8” L. Clamps to any surface upto 1%” thick.

$39.75 Postpaid.


3 Case Cake Special $ 125.00 * 30.00 S&H
Limit 6 Cases

• See also “Food by Mail” (p. 249), “Political Tactics’ (pp. 102–103) and Brigade Quartermaster (p. 274).



The same fine tradition of quality and craftsmanship that made Flexible Flyer the best sled on the market in 1889 makes it the best sled on the market today! For five generations. Flexible Flyers have been made from the highest quality hardwoods and toughest tempered steel. The heavy chrome bumper and built-to-take-it construction held together by tough steel rivets and screws (not staples and glue) make it the “king of the hill”.

And being the world’s first “steerable” sled the Flexible Flyer remains a classic example of American ingenuity — and far safer than uncontrollable “straight runner” sleds.

No. F748-2

No. F754-2

No. F76O-2

48” long overall

54” long overall

60” long overall

$42.00 Postpaid

$49.50 Postpaid

$56.00 Postpaid

(Don’t confuse the real “Flexible Flyer” we sell with the cheaper-made “Flexible Flyer III” sold in discount stores. This is the original — King of the Hill since 1889.


How to Be Your Dog’s Best Friend

This is an exceptional book not only on training, but also on canine behavior. I was surprised to discover the breadth and depth of understanding and knowledge shown by the authors. This is not a religious book, except in the devotedness shared by the monks with their dogs. With this system the dogs are with their handlers nearly 2–4 hours a day, even during the monks’ lengthy periods of silence, with which the dogs must cooperate. One of the most amazing photographs in the book (to me) was of the monks at a meal, with all their dogs lying down silently, in the dining room, with no friction among the dogs.

This book covers basic obedience training, but more importantly it attempts to teach you how to develop a real closeness with your dog. If does not shrink from the unpleasant aspects of training either — correcting deep- seated problems. The Brothers are famous for de-tuning or de-training attack dogs “gone bad,” which is no simple task. —Jill Bryson

~______ Aeroglen Irish Wolfhounds

The Alpha-wolf rollover. Drama and surprise are essential in this technique.

Rabbits make great pets. This book introduces you to 20 pet rabbits and their owners, revealing personalities, offering advice, and exposing humor and bad habits. Having a pet rabbit requires a certain degree of bunny-proofing, for instance, or your furniture could end up in shreds. Harriman, who has lived with rabbits, shares a sensible, realistic knowledge that will enable you to appreciate the difficulties and joys of owning an urban rabbit.

—Beverly Lowe

If you want to add a pet without the complications of mating or fighting, a good choice is a companion of another species. There are a number of combinations that work well, but the most common mix is a rabbit with a cat. You can raise them together or introduce a youngster later. It doesn’t matter which comes first. You can give a kitten to a fully grown rabbit or a baby bunny to a fully grown cat. Obviously, this last choice would take more caution and would be impossible if your cat hunts larger game than mice.


One of the biggest obstacles to healthy pet-owner relationships is pet loneliness. Dog owners, busy with their own activities, may never suspect that their friend suffers from isolation. A case in point: Sassy, an Airedale terrier, spent the hours between eight and five at home, alone.... After a week’s observation, we noticed that Sassy reponded well to four- or five-hour periods of isolation, entertaining herself with toys, napping, and looking out windows. She was not tense or anxious, but became so after six or seven hours. We were able to observe the dog through a one-way window. While her owners had complained of Sassy’s lack of pizazz and spirit, on our turf she was exuberant and playful.

Dog Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook

Comprehensive and comprehensible, this is a first rate extension of the medical self-care literature. Instead of anguished uncertainty about what’s wrong with your friend, you get confident diagnosis and prompt treatment. Lotta tricks of the trade in here, too.

—Stewart Brand

11 See Raising Rabbits the Modern Way and Wholesale Veterinary Supply, p. 83.

• See also Safer’s Insecticidal Soap (p. 80) and Common Sense Pest Control Quarterly (p. 81).

Whether you own four blue ribbon Abyssinians or a freebie street orphan (as I do), this book answers every possible question about cats. It is graphically a joy to look at, with abundant images of kitties in all their charismatic postures. The chapter on breeds is particularly impressive; sophisticated charts clearly indicate how, for example, Siamese genotypes are combined to produce twenty different varieties of point colors. There are superb illustrations and diagrams describing feline anatomy, behavior patterns (including hunting, dreaming, mating, grooming), and health (diet, geriatrics, first aid). Instead of immediately urging you to “see your vet” should your puss have a problem, this book thoroughly examines common and uncommon disorders, outlines care and remedy procedures, and offers a section on choosing and using a vet. No pet store or cat lover should be without this excellent book. —Rosanne Kramer

Caring for Your Pet Bird

Pet birds are not ornamentation. They’re companions. Which means you need to know how to maintain their health, recognize problems, and develop a rapport. It means caring. Whether you bought your bird from the pet store or found it injured by the roadside, Axelson will help you keep it chipper. —Cindy Craig

Ripe fruits and vegetables should not consist of more than 25% of the bird’s total diet, and everything should be thoroughly washed to remove all traces of insecticide. Here is a good rule of thumb: any fruit, vegetable or green that you can eat, your bird can also eat, quite safely.


The best resource for pet supplies is your local retailer. Establishing rapport with them is your quickest reference for information on new and quality supplies. They can probably special order for you, too. Several companies offer pet supplies by mail and phone. AVP is strictly for cats and dogs; Animal City includes products for birds, fish, hamsters and gerbils as well. Both supply everything from books and brushes to shampoos and vaccines and some nonchemical alternatives to flea control.

—Beverly Lowe

Animal City: Catalog free from P. O. Box 1076, La Mesa, CA 92041–9984.

Animal Veterinary Products: Catalog free from AVP for cats and dogs, P. O. Box 1267, Galesburg, IL 61401.

Swinging a drowned cat drains water from its lungs and is such a safe and good way to stimulate breathing that many vets advise its use as a routine method of artificial respiration. Hold the hind legs of the cat-one leg in each hand-above and around the hock (ankle), with the cat’s belly facing towards you. Stand with your legs apart. Swing the cat forward and then, with a slight jerk at the end of the upward swing, bring the cat down and between your straddled legs. Swing it back to the front of you again, ending each swing, with the cat horizontal. Repeat about six times before trying other methods, it is surprising how much space is needed to ’swing a cat’!

Cat Mummy 2000 BC, dedicated to Goddess Pasht, from whom we get the name Pussy.

The Natural Cat

Sensitive, interesting, natural, well written. A great reference book. —Susan Erkel Ryan


The Care of Exotic Birds

A commonsense and informative booklet that touches on the ethical considerations of owning an exotic bird. If, after reading this, you still decide to get one, this booklet will tell you how to take care of it. —Beverly Lowe

The Care of Exotic Birds: Roberta Lee, 50 pp. $2 postpaid from San Francisco SPCA Education Department, 2500 16th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103


For every parrot that makes it into a pet shop, many others have died — estimates run as high as 10 for each one that survives. It is probably even higher for illegal birds. Considering all a bird goes through before it reaches someone’s home and how many others died along the way, why do people still buy parrots? Dr. Donald Bruning, curator of birds at the Bronx Zoo, N.Y., thinks that, “if people knew, most of them wouldn’t want parrots as pets.”

Chi Pants

Chi pants are amazingly comfortable. What makes Chi pants different is that they have a gusset, a panel of fabric that goes across the crotch instead of a seam going up and down the crotch.

This makes a couple of differences. For people like me who sit a long time if means the seam doesn’t ride tight on your genitals and hurt. For active people, it means you can do things like squatting and karate kicking with no danger of ripping out your pants. For everyone it means a lot more looseness around the loins.

For me Chi pants make the same kind of difference my first pair of running shoes did — a whole new category of comfort. The kind I have look like jeans — the design difference doesn’t show. Nondenim styles are available.

The shorts are supposed to be especially good for guys because the gusset cradles your balls so they don’t hang out. —Anne Herbert

Gohn Brothers

Gohn Brothers supplies chiefly the stricter Mennonite orders and the various orders of the Amish Mennonite people all over the country. Since the Amish have managed communal living successfully for about 350 years, I figure at least some of their practices must be valid. Their clothing in particular is comfortable, durable and of low price. I can recommend from experience their broadfall work pants (no fly: broad button flap like lederhosen in front), overshirts (plain jacket with two roomy pockets on the inside) and overcoats (heavy dark wool, with cape). Many hard-to-find practical items listed, as well as a broad selection of rather plain yard goods. Service is fast and courteous. —Peter R. Hoover

No. 868 MEN’S FLEECE LINED UNION SUITS.............. $16.98 ea.

50% polyester, 50% cotton. Long sleeve, ankle length. Sizes 38 to 48.

MEN’S LONG SLEEVE UNION SUITS. Natural colors . J12.98 ea.

No. C821 Winter weight. Sizes 34 to 48. 100% cotton.

No. 822 MEN’S RED UNION SUITS. 100% cotton .... $14.98 ea.

Long sleeve, ankle length. Sizes 34 to 48.

David Morgan

This unusual catalog is hard to pin down: it carries the traditional English waxed cotton rainwear (Britton brand), Welsh woolens, Pacific Northwest Indian style jewelry (I have some; it’s nice), Australian Akubra hats, and kangaroo hide bullwhips. A strange combination. I’ve had good service from these people. —JB



Get the jump on the day. Made specially for women requiring comfort, style and durability. Breathable, lightweight and tong lasting Dacron* polyester/cotton. b add resistant and reinforced throughout The accent Is on style with trim, neat fitting elastidzed waist Six strong pockets. 2 way zipper. No Ironing needed, machine wash, tumble dry. No shrinkage. Made in (ISA.

Sizes: S (6–8), M (10–12), L{14–16), XL (18–20)


Style 375NV Navy Style 372NV Navy

Style 375RD Red Style 372RD Red

Style 375TN Tan Style 372TN Tan


Our Price $27.99 Our Price $26.99

Wear-Guard Work Clothes

You need a shop apron? Coveralls with Chester or Vince embroidered on the pocket in script? Industrial rainwear? Postman’s shoes? Here’s where a lot of such items come from. —JB

Filson Outdoor Clothes

Cars are tinny, silverware is stainless steel, and fiberboard boxes are palmed off as houses. Contemporary economics seem designed to diminish standards of excellence. Even the durability and construction of clothing has deteriorated: Levi’s will not stand four months of normal work; “Can’t-bust-ems” have disappeared, and except for Ben Davis’ polyester gorillas, there’s hardly a tough, trim line of clothing available at all, especially in natural fibers.

Hardly, but the C. C. Filson Co. of Seattle is an exceptional line of clothing and outerwear for loggers, game wardens and outdoor workers. Filson is to work clothes what White is to workboots (p. 275). Their all-wool shipcords will survive four or five Levi’s. Filson canvas or “fin” pants and coats are waterproof and extremely resistant to wear.

The fop of the line is the Filson “Cruiser,” an all-wool, water-repellent coat with nine pockets, in a rich forest green. It is tough enough for the woods but elegant enough for town — warm as a toaster and handsome as a Douglas Fir.

The company responds promptly to requests for their free catalog. —Peter Coyote

New Fashion Japan

A Kimono: three kinds of fabric sewn together, two rectangles overlapping, a simple covering of the human form. Then she lifts her arms. An open square appears under each — windows into another dimension. Japanese design has always taken paradox into its folds, combining blue cotton fabric with ornate embroidery, or many different fabrics into a basic work garment: simple yet complex.

The designers in this exquisite book of photography and brief quotes on

Japanese fashion speak like fashion monks — with deep understanding and respect for their thousands of years of fashion heritage. For them, fashion isn’t something you put on in the morning; it’s you and it’s your culture. Worldviews are built into fashion design.

—Jerri Linn and Jeanne Carstensen

“Clothes must be comfortable, enhance one’s beauty, be chic, express one’s personality, and so on. But most importantly clothes should be something to improve human beings.” —Shinji Fujiwara, Writer




“Traditional Japanese clothes have ‘water nature.’ The kimono adjusts itself to your body whether you have a fat stomach or are skinny. The same size clothing fits everyone by adjusting the cloth that wraps around your waist.”


Serizawa, Kyoto Zen Center Press Representative

Folkwear Patterns

Fun, fun, fun! Everything in this colorful book of fashion draws from the imagination. Try designing and making clothing for yourself that you’ve never seen before.

<em>Design your own image. Some pattern instructions are included to get you started on transferring your ideas into cloth — you’ll need some knowledge of sewing. But Klader! won’t dissuade you from trying anything.</em>

—Jerri Linn

Evolution of man-made design, as in nature, seeks elegant and effective solutions. Ethnic clothing with its strict parameters of comfort and economy gives us samples of simple, elegant beauty. Folkwear, Inc., with a broad and exciting selection of clothing patterns based on traditional folk garments, provides the home sewer an opportunity to create beautiful, comfortable, individual, and long lasting garments. Over 65 patterns are currently available — from Afghani nomad dresses to Japanese field garments to Victorian shirts and Edwardian underthings. Eight new patterns are introduced every year. The patterns, carefully derived from folk garments, are simple and easily made, with clear instructions and, where appropriate, detailed descriptions of finishing touches such as traditional embroidery designs.

—Rafael Diaz-Guerrero

Personal ties are hard to find — but easy to make.

• A newsletter of support, inspiration, and resources for vintage clothing enthusiasts.

Vintage Clothing Newsletter: Terry McCormick, Editor. $10/year (12 issues) from P. O. Box 1422, Corvallis, OR 97339.

• See “Sewing,” pp. 182–183.

New Fashion Japan

Leonard Koren 1984; 176 pp.


($27.45 postpaid) from: Kodansha International Mail Order Department P. O. Box 1531 Hagerstown, MD 21741 or Whole Earth Access

($19.20 postpaid) from: Lark Books

50 College Street Asheville, NC 28801 or Whole Earth Access

Folkwear Patterns $4-$8(approx.) Catalog $1 from: Folkwear Patterns P. O. Box 3798 San Rafael, CA 94912

The American Historical Supply Catalogue

Good old stuff, some of it great old stuff from all manner of mail order suppliers. Nineteenth-century furniture, clothing, kitchenware, building fixtures, clocks, stoves, tools, food, books, musical instruments, nautical instruments, toys, bathroom items, and even tours. A nice selection sumptuously illustrated. God what a relief from the like of The Sharper Image and other purveyors of ephemeral high-tech glitz. —Stewart Brand


“Your customers will be willing to pay more for milk if delivered in sealed bottles,” advised the Sears- Roebuck catalogue of 1908. Jenifer House’s milk bottles are reproductions of those used by the “Thatcher Dairy” in 1884 and have the desired airtight seals. That the bottles are embossed “Absolutely Pure Milk” should not limit your imagination in putting them to use at home.

Price: set of three, $28.95, ppd. (add $1 west of the Mississippi). Specify clear, cobalt, pink, or amethyst glass.

Gift catalog available.


New Marlboro Stage

Great Barrington, MA 01230

Tel. ^131528–1500

Racing Alone: Nadar Khalili, 1983; 241 pp. $14.95 ($16.45 postpaid) from Harper & Row, 2350 Virginia Avenue, Hagerstown, MD 21740 (or Whole Earth Access).

The New Solar Home Book: Bruce Anderson and Michael Riordan, 1986; 320 pp. $16.95 ($18.95 postpaid) from Brick House Publishing Co., 3 Main Street, Andover, MA 01810 (or Whole Earth Access).

The 2nd Underground Shopper

The Wholesale by Mail Catalog Update 1986

These catalogs ain’t much to look at, but they sure are a lot to send for. There’s little duplication between these rivals, and I’d say they are about equal as Pied Pipers of the Pocketbook. The variety is more than we have room to list here. Some of the items in our Catalog came from these catalogs of catalogs. —JB

The King Size Company 24 Forest St.

Brockton, MA 02402

(800) 343–9678

(617) 580–0500: MA residents


The kingpin of King Size, James Kelley, stands tall when he professes his motto: “A 6’8” man should not have to pay a penalty for being tall.” They try to position their prices within 10 percent of what a 5’8” man would pay for the same clothing. They also have clothing to outfit large men (pants sized from 44 to 60; shirts from 17 to 22). They have their own label as well as Jockey, Hag- gar, Botany 500, Palm Beach, Hush Puppies, and London Fog. Shipping via UPS costs 10 % of the order up to $3.75 maximum; there’s an unconditional guarantee.

Their free catalog comes out 10 times a year; January and June are sale issues. —The 2nd Underground Shopper

Paradise Products

P. O. Box 568

El Cerrito, CA 94530 (415) 524–8300 CK, MC, V

We thought Paradise Products consisted of apples, fig leaves, and serpents until we looked through their catalog and discovered nothing was lost. They’ve got party goods for 23 international and nine seasonal themes

C/awfoot Bathtubs. Sunrise Specialty of Berkeley, California, offers clawfoot bathtubs of the type commonly used in the late 1800s. These are not reproductions but salvaged antiques, restored and refitted with new brass fixtures and oak rims. Sunrise Specialty uses the Chicago Faucet Company’s taps exclusively. These have been continuously manufactured by that company since the nineteenth century and are the best available. Clawfoot tubs are obtainable in the Berkeley store or by special order.

with tempting discounts of 25% on an assortment of favors, posters, crepe paper, hats, banners, flags, and masks (in their Party Host line). Say “Alohal” to Hawaiian orchids and packets of beach sand or “How!” to an Indian peace pipe. You can even save a fortune, cookie, on fortune cookies for your next Chinese party. Finding the proper decorations to set the mood for a fifties or sixties party is no problem when you flip through this company’s 72-page catalog. There’s a $30 minimum order — if you order less than this amount enclose $3 as a service charge. All items are guaranteed to be as represented in the catalog with shipments guaranteed to arrive on time (not fashionably late) for the party and in perfect condition or they’ll cheerfully refund your money. Catalog $2. —The 2nd Underground Shopper


Sultan’s Delight Inc.; P. O. Box 253; Staten Island, NY 10314–0253 (718) 720-1557/Cat.: free (1 & 7)/Save: to 50%/Pay: C, MO, MC, V Sells: Middle Eastern foods, gifts/Mail Order only.

Comment: Middle Eastern food specialities are sold here at excellent prices — to 50% below comparable goods in gourmet food stores. Est. in 1980.

Sample Goods: Near East and Sahadi products; canned tahini, cous cous, tabouleh, fig and quince jams, stuffed grapevine leaves, bulghur, semolina, green wheat, orzo, fava beans, Turkish figs, pickled okra, stuffed eggplant, olives, herbs and spices, jumbo pistachios and other nuts, roasted chick peas, halvah, Turkish delight, marzipan paste, olive oil, Turkish coffee, fruit leather, filo, feta cheese, Syrian breads, etc. Cookbooks for Greek, Lebanese, Syrian, and Middle Eastern cuisine offered, and gifts, belly-dancing clothing, musical instruments, cookware, and related items.

Special Factors: PQ by phone or letter with SASE; min. order $5. —Wholesale by Mail Catalog


Model Number

Lifting Capacity

Pulling Capacity

Jaw Capacity


Price 1–11 | 12 +


200 lbs.

340 lbs.


1 ’/2 lbs.

$25.00 | $22.00

Abbewi Cal. Inc., 123 Gray Ave., Santa Barbara, Ca. 93101 Phone (805) 963–7545

The Nature Company

Lots of good qualify stuff that encourages an interest and appreciation of nature: telescopes, toys, maps, T-shirts, all manner of eco-chic doodads, plus a nifty selection of books. I Christmas shop here a lot, if I can get in the door of the store. —JB


The Nature Company: Catalog free from The Nature Company, P. O. Box 2310, Berkeley, CA 94702.

If you can get through this big, fat, 700-page catalog without reaching for the order blank, you are made of very stern stuff indeed. A mind-boggling array of goodies that spans from the electronic lab to the homestead. Run by a self-confessed “garrulous old man,” the outfit reeks of integrity. Service on my smallish order was very good. The price of the catalog is refundable with your first order. —Gerald E. Meyers

<em>This is one of the most eclectic assortments I’ve ever seen. Scalpels; clocks; wheels (make your own wagon); lab, graphic, optical, and measuring supplies; you-name-it, etc., plus a few, are all in there. This is a great example of a catalog that can give you ideas you might not have gotten otherwise. One of my favorites. —JB</em>

The irresistible Bearhug Backpack! With its arms and legs anchoring adjustable front straps, our synthetic fur bear will happily tote along the day’s lunch in its 12” x 12” zip-up pouch. His head turns to face straight ahead, or sideways to catch the passing scene. 16” x 12” #5318 $39.95.

Archie McPhee & Company

This is where you get those pink plastic flamingos and other bizarreties. —JB

Archie McPhee & Company: Catalog free from: Archie

McPhee & Company, P. O. Box 30852, Seattle, WA 98103.

8092. TEETH TONGS. Top quality, lifesize false teeth choppers (red gums, white teeth) attached to 7” metal tongs. Many uses! We have heard that a present of one of these to your dentist could result in free gold crowns. $2.95 each. Dental Convention Special: 5 for $10.50. Each in clean, hygienically sealed bag.

Spunbonded Plyoletin is practically indestructible. Use it indoors, outdoors — even under water. Cuts easily with scissors. Type, write or draw on it — has the look and feel of paper. Sticks to virtually all materials — wood, glass, metals, plastics. Cut labels of any shape and use them on laboratory glassware or anywhere else you need durability. Perfect for all outdoor applications — swimming pools, garden tools, autos, motorcycles, pipe labeling, etc. A great material for repairing broken book bindings. Hi-tack adhesive grabs securely — doesn’t slide or get brittle.

Amazing Reprints

This catalog offers 300 booklets of reprinted how-to information that first appeared in 1910–1948. Some are useful:

Human-Powered Tools & Machinery. Some are a trifle strange: plans for a tiny real airplane, the Santos-Dumont “Demoiselle” of 1910. All are interesting. A bit o’ the past is still with us. —JB

Amazing Reprints: Catalog $2 from S & S Press, P. O. Box 5931, Austin, TX 78763.

Lefthander’s Catalog

A modest selection here of household gadgets and tools designed lor southpaws, including a few for the ambidextrous. —Kevin Kelly

Lefthander’s Catalog: $1.50 from Lefthander International, P. O. Box 8249, Topeka, KS 66608. e

Traditional Can and Bottle Opener. It’s back to the basics with this tried-and-true, long-wearing can opener.

Fashioned of stainless steel, this can opener will serve you well. The handles and turnkey are constructed for left hand use. The upper handle doubles as a bottle opener, too. 316....................................................................... $5.00

Lightweight Steam/Dry Iron sports a Silverstone® finish on the soleplate which insures smooth handling: adjustable cord allows convenient lefthanded use — all for a very special price. Includes one year manufacturer warranty. 350 $34.50

A. Brill’s Bible of Building Plans

Amuse your cows with a 43-whistle circus calliope? Join a carnival as a knife thrower or ‘shake-em-up’ ride owner?

What A.K. Brill sells is methods of making fantasy less improbable. His Bible is part book, part catalog. The catalog offers for sale all the plans and info required to entirely recreate the midway of a sleazy county fair: scary rides, fair games of skill, and curious concessions.

The building plans he sells are uncommon. They convey the old builder’s art of scrounging up the parts needed from what’s lying around. It’s kind of like hunkering down with the old builder and hearing: “Now you can build this out of a surplus gear box or this way out of an old truck differential ...“A typical twenty-buck building plan might be twenty dittoed legal size pages. Ten pages of single-spaced monologue, the rest sketches, plans and drawings. You learn the cheapest ways of building it in Muncie or Micronesia.

On top of some 200 building plans there are offered for sale tricks of the trade — the Magic Horseshoe (No. 719, $5) actually enables anyone to letter large signs easily.

—Alan Kalker

A. Brill’s Bible of Building Plans: Catalog $2 from A. B. Enterprizes, P. O. Box 856, Peoria, IL 61601.

Consumer Reports

No advertisements sully the pages of Consumer Reports; consequently no bias sullies their tests and analyses of consumer goods and services. CU (as they refer to themselves) best gathers information that’s outright impossible to gather yourself, such as the opinions of 250,000 auto owners as to which cars are most reliable and which are awful. CU is less convincing when being more subjective about such matters as the taste of tomato soup, but somewhere in each report is what you want and need to know. CU sums up the year’s work in their annual Buying Guide Issue printed (so typically) in pocket size so you can take if shopping with you. It’s free with a subscription. Twice each month Consumers Union News Digest brings you the latest consumer information as it breaks. Peerless.


Plymouth Voyager

Passenger van: $9659;

SE, $9938;

LE, $10,681.

Cost factors: car, 0.89; options, 0.85.

Destination charge: $465

The Voyager and Dodge Caravan are twins.

On the road. The optional 2.6-liter 4 started and ran well. The automatic transmission shifted smoothly; however, when it was cold, it occasionally delayed shifts into high gear. This front-wheel-drive van handled much like a typical passenger car in normal driving, but was sluggish and vague in emergency maneuvers. The front brakes locked a bit too soon, extending stopping distances.

Comfort and convenience. Exceptionally comfortable front seats and driving position. Passenger’s seat is not adjustable. Fairly comfortable second seat for two. Fairly comfortable third seat for two or three. Moderate noise level. The Voyager rode more like a car than a truck. The ride was pleasant on good roads, but rough on back roads. The ride improved when the van carried its maximum load. Excellent climate-control system. Very good controls and displays.

Buyer’s Market

The hand of Ralph Nader, consumer advocate extraordinaire, guides this skinny newsletter. But the information is distilled and highly useful as it ranges over the nuances, outrages, lowdown, and inside dope on the subject selected for concentration in each issue. Typical subjects: banking, autos, food, complaints. The information is topped with a short bibliography. Useful and current. —JB

Most people rely on recommendations from their friends when finding a dentist. This may be good for openers, but also get advice from someone who is an expert or works closely with those who are. Several sources include: The faculty of a University’s School of Dentistry. Many of those associated with dental schools are among the best dentists and they usually know other top-notch practitioners. Ask for the name of a faculty member with a practice in a convenient location.

A dental specialist who tends to be interested in preventive dental care and saving teeth. Try calling an orthodontist, periodontist or endodontist. An orthodontist is an expert at straightening teeth, the periodontist an expert on gum diseases and an endodontist specializes in treatment of diseases of the pulp of the tooth (including root canal work). These specialists are good sources of information because they need good sound teeth to work on; they are especially on guard against general practitioner dentists whose poor work means their patients will have unsound teeth.

Major options. 2.6-liter 4, $335. Automatic transmission, $502. Air-conditioning, $799. Seven-passenger seating package, $368.

Fuel economy. Mpg with 2.6-liter engine and automatic transmission: city, 14; expressway, 30. Gallons used in 15,000 miles, 725. Cruising range with optional 20-gallon tank, 470 miles.

Bumpers. Dented. Structural damage in rear. Repair estimates: front, $516; rear, $566.

Predicted reliability. Average.

Last full report. January 1986.

Satisfaction Guaranteed

Ever feel like you’ve been had? How to prevent that sorry state and what to do if it’s too late is the subject of this breezy book. Tactics are laid out move by move, but you’ll have to supply the chutzpah. If you’re willing to do that, you have reason to expect a happy ending. The author’s expertise is wider than seems possible for one lifetime, but apparently he’s successfully dealt with doctors, lawyers, mechanics, brokers, realtors and mail order companies. I’d hate to be on his wrong side; his motto must be “reasonable but deadly.” —JB

Satisfaction \

Guaranteed !

Ralph Charell |

1985; 253 pp.


postpaid from:

Simon & Schuster

Mail Order Sales

200 Old Tappan Road ,1®

Old Tappan, NJ 07675

or Whole Earth Access


When Big picks up the call, never rub it in by saying “I thought the secretary said you weren’t in.” The idea is for Big to want to help you but not to bludgeon him or her and thus induce resistance or, equally unproductive, have him/her give you apparent agreement followed by nonperformance.


The test was taken and the results duly printed out, at a cost to my friend of about $200. The doctor then discussed the results and cautioned my friend to avoid the foods and substances to which he had been “found” allergic. “How can I avoid things like household dust? It’s everywhere. What about a cure?”

The doctor was not optimistic.

“How accurate is this test?” my friend belatedly asked. “About 50 percent.”

“I wish I had known that I could have gotten equally valid ‘information’ by tossing a coin before I took the test.” • Stand up for your rights! The whole complex mess of consumer protection laws is presented here along with operating instructions — dully but fully.

The Consumer Protection Manual: Andrew Eiler, 1984; 658 pp. $29.95 postpaid from Facts On File Publications, 460 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016 (or Whole Earth Access).



The Burglar Alarm Book

Yipe! In some parts of the country the chances of having your house burglarized this year are one in ten or even worse. Your best defense is a cohesive neighborhood full of people you know. Next best is some appropriate hardware correctly installed. How to choose the hardware is what this book is about. Everything is explained in lay language with lots of tips for proper false-alarm-free installation, but mostly on principle — the nitty gritty isn’t there. If you’re not handy with tools, you’ll need Home

Security. —JB

Microwave detectors: Microwave detectors use high frequency radio waves to detect intrusion. A transceiver sends and receives radio waves while the detector monitors the reflected energy. An alarm is initiated when the waves sent out have been distorted by someone or something moving in the protected area.

Home Security

You won’t find much electronic wizardry here, but you will find clear writing and brilliantly done illustrations showing how to install security equipment. The book covers the installation of lights, door and window locks, grilles, safes, alarms, and all the detailing that goes with them. The chapter on fishing wires through walls is the best I’ve ever seen on this tricky procedure. Fire safety, fencing, and a good discussion of accident-proofing your place completes the book. It’s all done in that well-turned-out TimeLife manner. —JB

The Burglar Alarm Book

Doug Kirkpatrick 1983; 128 pp.


($11.45 postpaid) from:

Baker Publishing

P. O. Box 8322

Van Nuys, CA 91409

or Whole Earth Access

Home Security

Editors of Time-Life Books 1979; 136 pp.


($13.78 postpaid) from:

Time-Life Books 541 North Fairbanks Court Chicago, IL 60611 or Whole Earth Access

Mountain West Security Catalog and Reference Manual

This fascinating catalog is where you find the hardware to use with the instructions in the two books above. The selection is comprehensive, sophisticated (though not CIA level), and useful. Educational too; each item’s purpose is explained briefly. —JB

Mountain West Security Catalog and Reference Manual

Catalog free from: Mountain West P. O. Box 10780 Phoenix, AZ 85064

• Wanna read up on a product or service? This index tells you all the magazine articles that have appeared on the subject this year.

Consumers Index: C. Edward Wall, Editor. $79.50/year (4 issues) from P. O. Box 1808, Ann Arbor, Ml 48106.

Alarm Package Includes:

1 72A56-003 Burglar Control Panel (see pg. 17)

1 72B9-002A Plug-In Transformer (see pg. 56) 100’ 72B14-115 General Purpose Wire (see pg. 61)

1 72C1-011 Momentary Remote Control Keyswitch (see pg. 62)

4 72M18-005 Hi-Ret Magnetic Contacts (see pg. 22)

1 72H5-001 Single Channel Siren (see pg. 43).

1 72A56-001 Musical Pre-Alert (see pg. 42)

1 72G2-005 Rechargeable Standby Battery (see pg. 55)

5 72MW-040 Window Decals (see pg. 89)

5 72MW-041 Standard Decals (see pg. 89)

Suggested Accessories:

72D1O-1O1. -102. -202, 72A11-076A Extra Keyed Remote Control (see pg 21)

72D14-025 Extra Digital Remote Control (see pg. 20)

72A14-031 Strobe Light (see pg 45)

72R16-002 Infrared Motion Detector (see pg. 29)

72RK-1O1 Window Foiling Kit (see pg. 10)

72RK-102 GlassGard Kit (see pg. 27)

72RK-351 Tape Dialer Subsystem (see pg. 9)

72RK-350 Panic Button Subsystem (see pg. 9)

Additional Detectors, pp. 10–11


It took about 35 years for our toolbox to evolve into this portable shop. An hour of diddling opens the truck into an efficient 200- square-foot workspace containing (in addition to about a ton of hand tools) a drill press, band saw, table saw, radial-arm saw, air compressor, grinder, generator, and another ton of supplies. Note: suppliers mentioned in text and captions are described on following pages.

This toolbox was born inauspiciously in 1949 as a few rusty screwdrivers and a battered adjustable wrench living in a demoted Buster Brown lunch bucket. These days it takes form as a two-and-a-half-ton walk-in van that unfolds into a neighborhood workshop wherever it parks. It’s set up so anyone can use it with minimal instruction; no point letting a ton of tools sleep most of the time. The tools are a diverse lot chosen for versatility, quality, and the ability to work well together. They enable you, literally, to do just about anything short of precision machining.

Folks have used this tool set to build hardwood furniture, boats, bicycles, solar collectors, and even whole houses. We’ve mass-produced 300 looms and thousands of parts for geodesic domes. Innumerable repairs have been made to plumbing, appliances, and vehicles. Best of all, the shop encourages invention. It was intentionally designed to be a three-dimensional sketchpad — a place to make the first physical manifestation of an idea. (That’s something inventors should do themselves in order to maintain control as their ideas develop, just as artists do their own painting.) It’s a teaching shop too. Hundreds of people have learned to extend their bare-hands abilities by means of these tools and a bit of friendly advice. Women have been especially welcomed, both as instructors and students.

Having lots of shop users has turned out to be the best defense against vandalism and theft. In 20 years we’ve lost less than $200 in tools and damage despite living in vulnerable locations. Tool loss is also controlled by marking everything with an obvious blue stripe and an antitheft ID number, and by having a specific home for each tool just like libraries do for books. We’ve found that tool drawers work better

VISE-GRIPS come in many shapes and ► sizes, all with the squeeze force adjustable between delicate and prodigious. They lock, increasing the number of hands you have for other work. Buy only the genuine

Vise-Grip brand — fakes fail fast. (U.S.


AUTO PUNCH — Instead of whacking this punch with a hammer, you merely press it. The smite is adjustable so you won’t punch holes in thin work. (U.S. General.)

WHITNEY PUNCH — This powerful ► punch makes neat holes in sheet metal, plastic, leather, or anything else punchable. We use it a lot making holes for pop rivets.

You often see fakes of these. They work OK but probably won’t last as long as the real thing. (U.S. General.)

POP RIVETS are great for attaching thin stuff to thin stuff. They work on

car bodies, leather, plastic, and Masonite and are installed from one side — no need to have access to the back. Buy a rivet gun with longish handles;

you’ll need the leverage unless you’re Godzilla.

(Sears #9HT74747 is particularly handy.)

► Installed from one side rather like a pop rivet, these THREADED INSERTS (sometimes called Rivnuts) put real bolt threads in sheet metal or other thin material — sort of a built- in nut. We’ve put eight of them in the roof of our car to make an extraordinarily secure roof rack that can still be removed easily.

Very handy in boat work and metal cabinetry such as computers and refrigerators. (U.S. General.)

DELTA RADIAL DRILL PRESS is the most versatile available at a home shop price. The head tilts at any angle, and the arm not only rotates 360° around the vertical post, it also slides in and out. This permits drilling objects too big for the drill table — even things sitting on the floor. Though not rigid enough for machine shop use, it does just fine for anything less demanding. Ours has served flawlessly for 20 years. (See Yellow Pages under “Tools — Electric.” May also be called Rockwell.)


< LEVEL LEGS make it safe and easy to use a ladder on uneven ground or even on stairs. Once you’ve tried them, no ladder feels right without ‘em. (U.S. General.)

than hanging tools over silhouettes on the wall because there isn’t enough wall space and because we’re constantly adding new tools as our interests change.

Our tools are sorted by function rather than by name. Whackers, twisters, nabbers, and hole-makers live with their functional kindred. Just seeing them there together can give you an insight into how to do something more easily. Their drawers are color-coded so that go-phers can easily be sent to the right place: “The punch is in the green drawer.”

Our tools range in quality from Taiwanese (for infrequent use, such as a plastic pipe cutter) to Teutonic or industrial (for tools we often beat up, such as electric drills). Stay away from the 99-cent bargain table: most tools need better steel than you’ll find there. Fake ViseGrips, for instance, wilt the first time out; no-name screwdrivers are like noodles. On the other hand, we’ve picked up many of our tools at garage sales and flea markets. Take a Sears tool catalog with you for reference to new-tool prices.

That’s one way to ensure that the bargain is a bargain.

Most of our bought-new hand tools come from Sears. Quality is respectable, though you should inspect each item for workmanship these days. Sears’ Craftsman brand warranty is peerless: if something breaks, they give you a new one. They recently replaced my broken 30-year-old wrench without a murmur.

Electric hand tools are another matter. For once-in-a-while household use, cheap ones will do ... for a while. They wear out quickly and won’t stand up to tough jobs. For hard work, try the medium-priced Japanese models from Makita, Ryobi, and Hitachi. They’ve gained a deservedly good reputation at the expense of U.S. manufacturers who made the same mistake that Detroit did with cars: waiting too long to update designs and improve quality. For heavy-duty professional tools, we’ve had the best luck with Bosch and Milwaukee. Ours are still going strong after 16 years of severe abuse. We recommend that any elec

tric tool you buy be “double insulated” (marked |~5~| ),

a feature that greatly reduces shock hazard.

Some of our tools come from catalogs. (For our favorites, see pp. 158–159.) We wait for sales that can be 40 percent off list price, but you should always check for local sales before sending away for anything. Check local stores for demonstrators and freightdamaged merchandise too. What’s a few scratches? Don’t be too shy to ask the salesperson about it. As this toolbox has evolved, we’ve hardly ever paid list price for anything except for items needed immediately.

We don’t own any cordless tools. They’re certainly handy if you work where there’s no power supply or where a cord would be in the way or dangerous, but the batteries apparently don’t like infrequent use. That’s what they’d get in our shop, so we’ll wait until the need arises. As always.

Tools aren’t all there is to a good shop. To speed the work, we stock about 600 sizes and types of fasteners, neatly arrayed. And

FAT SCREWDRIVERS — Big handle, heavy blade, and compact size make this Sears #41586 our favorite. Square shanks on large screwdrivers permit helping the twist with a wrench. Big driver is from Garrett Wade.

► NAIL YANKER grabs the head or broken-off shank of the nail when you slam down the built-in slide hammer. Then you rock the tool back, and out pops the nail — leaving a reusable board. Wear heavy gloves when using this thing, as the pounding will soon bruise your unprotected hand.

(U.S. General.)

-« ESTWING HAND SLEDGE is forged from one handsome piece of steel. The handle won’t break, and the head won’t fly off even in dry weather. The grip is textured, squishy nylon. Comes in three weights, all great for confident, enthusiastic pounding. (At your local hardware.) You’ll need these for hanging pictures, fixing the bike, tightening the faucet or the cupboard door hinge, making a shelf. Add more tools as demand arises. Sears’ quality is fine. Watch for

Adjustable “crescent” wrench: 8”, name brand.

Socket wrench set: cheapo (less than $10), no-name, lots of pieces.

Vise-Grips (real): 6”, with wire cutter feature.

Four-way screwdriver:

Two sizes of flat blade and two sizes of Phillips blade in one handle.

Rasp: four-way (“shoe” type), one side flat, one side half-round, fine and coarse teeth on each.

Drill: hand crank or electric. If electric, get a variable-speed, doubleinsulated model. Start with V, 3/u”, ’A”, 5/16”, and %” bits of “HSS” (high-speed steel). Good for drilling metal, wood and plastic.

Duct tape: tapes most anything that doesn’t have to withstand direct sunlight. WD-40: to unstick stuck mechanisms and lubricate ‘em so they won’t stick again. Prevents rust too, for a while.

<strong><em>|F£</em></strong> CRAFT


Information free from: Shopsmith, Inc.

6640 Poe Avenue

Dayton, OH 45414

Ryobi Planer

About $400 (on sale) Information free from: Ryobi America Corp. 1158 Tower Lane Bensenville, IL 60106


You’ll hear snorts of derision when you mention Shopsmith ® to a professional woodworker. Next, you can expect nasty comments pertaining to jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none, lightweight, and so forth. While it is true that this machine is not well suited for work with heavy structural lumber.

it’ll easily handle most anything a home craftsperson will ask it to do. If is at one time (with a bit of fiddling) a drill press, lathe, table saw, sander, and boring machine. With attachments it can do more, but it won’t take up more space. And that’s the great advantage of the Shopsmith: it’s not an awful lot bigger than an ironing board. You

can have a home shop in an apartment, condo, mobile home, boat, or anywhere else a whole roomful of power tools won’t fit. Unlike imported imitations, Shopsmith is backed by a solid dealer network and what amounts to a cult of users. Local classified ads often have them used

at substantial savings.


Ryobi 10” Planer

At last, a thickness planer that can be carried to the job site by one worker — it only weighs 58 pounds. It’ll handle wood up to five inches thick and ten inches wide, taking off an eighth of an inch at a time under suitable conditions. The price is right too: less than $400, on sale. —JB


This relatively unknown tool can be found in virtually every display and exhibit shop. It’s used to make the layers of those architectural landscape contour models, to cut out fancy lettering, and to make slick prototypes of displays that will later be cut out on production machinery.

The thing is a sort of sabersaw combined with a woodpecker. It cuts with a tiny chisel or sawblade, leaving a flawless machined edge. The steering is so accurate that it is feasible to cut lacework out of Masonite, Formica, thin metal, oranyotherthin, cuttable sheet material. It’s unique; no other tool can match its capabilities. I’ve used one a lot. Used ones can sometimes be found at less cost. —JB


$550 (approx.)

Information free from:

Blackstone Industries

Route 6

Bethel, CT 06801

Gerstner Tool Chests

If you enjoy reading this Catalog you are probably the kind of person who is seized by an irresistible urge to open all those beautifully fitted little drawers in antique cabinets. You can satisfy the urge in your home thanks to H. Gerstner & Sons, Inc.

They make superb wood cases that will hold small interesting things of almost any size and shape: machinist’s chests, medical instrument cases, boxes for artists, photographers, dental hygienists, and so on, ad infinitum. The thing that sets Gerstner apart from their competitors is their concern with quality. You can buy a box from them that will stand with perfect aplomb on your Chippendale end table. Their cases are made of polished quartersawed oak, American black walnut, or can be covered with black leather or vinyl. Prices range from $260 to $405, and one look will convince you that their products are a rare bargain in an injection-molded age. Their service is personal and quick; illustrated literature is available. You can get factory seconds at reduced prices (less 20%) too.

—Morton Grosser

STYLE 82: Our largest, most popular chest.

□ Lockable front lid □ 4” deep top compartment

□ Lockable handbook compartment □ 3 wooden dividers

□ 2 fluted trays □ accommodates 24” scale

Pyramid Foundry Sets

The <em>ability to make castings adds great potential to a workshop or art studio, yet few people get into it. The techniques aren’t difficult, but they are unfamiliar. Pyramid makes it easy to understand and do; their kits set you up with supplies, equipment, and instruction. I’ve seen the sets used for boat restoration, machine repair, and making antique auto parts. The projects were successful,</em> though <em>there was certainly some time spent learning the hard way. Even that wasn’t too bad; you can recast your boo-boos. The sets can handle aluminum, bronze, grey iron, and jewelry metals. —JB</em>

Fox Maple Tools

Where do you get wooden-boat-building tools? Here. They have stuff for timber framing too — all good quality.


Fox Maple Joiners Supply Catalog free from: Fox Maple Joiners Supply P. O. Box 445-M 231 Congress Street Portland, ME 04112

Greenlee Short Unisnur Power Bit

The best bit we know of for quickly removing wood in mortising operations, in which its short length is a real benefit. Three milled flats on shank ensure no slipping in electric drill chuck. The 2” bit is one of the most frequently used timber framing tools. You should save enough time in one day to pay for this bit! Single spur with lead screw, 6V2” overall.






Pyramid Foundry Sets $250-$450 (approx.) Information free from: Pyramid Products Co. 3736 South 7th Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85041

Irwin Barefoot Power Ship Auger

An extra-heavy, strong bit which excels at boring straight and true holes in heavy timbers. The screw points found on most other bits will often follow splits or even the grain of the wood. These will not, and will produce the most accurate deep holes. Of tool steel, hardened and tempered their full length, with polished edges. Vi6” hex shanks on 3/h” and Vz” bits, 7/i6” hex shanks on larger bits — will not slip in drill chuck. May also be used in auger handle. 12” twist, 17” overall.

IR1011 IR1012

%” ¥2”

$15.95 $15.95







I E O craft


U.S. General

Catalog $2 from: U.S. General 100 Commercial Street Plainview, NY 11803

U.S. General

As far as I know, this is the only large-inventory mailorder hardware store left, which is too bad. Also too bad is that this catalog is a lot thinner than it used to be — much less variety. The lack of variety will reduce the apparent demand for less familiar but nonetheless very useful tools, leading their makers to discontinue production. Too bad again. You should note that not everything shown is of top qualify, but U.S. General usually doesn’t hide thcst — they grade the selections “Homeowner’s,” “Meehan-

ic s,

and “Industrial.” Prices and service are decent. —JB

© ---------------------------------------------- ‘ »

4-pc. File Pack has it all!

A Nicholson file for every purpose. One 8” mill bastard, one 6” round bastard, one 6” slim taper, one 8” flat and half-round shoe-

rasp. Plastic pouch.

32474—4-pc. File Pack

Also Available Separately


105015–8” Shoe Rasp......................

105023–6” Slim Taper....................

105056—6” Round Bastard

105064–8” Mill Bastard..................

(A) (B) (C) (0)

$5.90 2.70 3.45 3.25

Dead-blow Hammers
will not spark,
mar or rebound

Named ‘‘The Power Hitters,” these are the hammers you can count on to protect the job as well as the workman. Ideal for engine, transmission, body work, glass and muffler installation, wheel and tire service. Dead-blow head contains metal shot to absorb the bounce; steel rod in handle. Head length for both models 4V4”.

Item No. Type 24703 Standard 24711 Slimline








2 lbs. $20.95

l‘/3lbs. 16.95

Sears Power and Hand Tools

Catalog free from: Sears, Roebuck and Co. Dept. 609 Sears Tower Chicago, IL 60607 or check your phone book under Sears.

1 /2” Heavy-duty Air Wrench...
the fastest way to remove nuts, bolts

Ideal for overall automotive service, body repairs, farm and light truck work. Permits single-handed operation for direction change. Reversible with positive-action trigger for fine speed control. Long- lasting ball bearing construction. For bolts up to ®/ie”. Ultimate torque at 90 PSI is 275 ft. lbs. Requires 3*4 SCFM @ 90 PSI. W min. hose. «/<” air inlet. Length 7H”. Wt. 5 lbs. Mfr. Model 734.

1 @2608—Air Wrench

Easily install
snaps, eyelets,
grommets and
rivets ...
is in this
Complete Kit

THE kit for making or repairing ear or boat covers, tarpaulins, lawn furniture, toys, tents, belts, handbags—almost any item that uses snaps, grommets, rivets or eyelets. 479-pc. kit includes heavy-duty adjustable locking pliers, 44 button snaps. 66 eyelets, 190 rivets (sizes: ?,015/32. W’). 160 grommets and washers (sizes: ‘/< and , and 18 fastening adapters for installing the hardware. Compartmented case with complete instructions. Imported.

Save on drycleaning bills—this low cost coverall protects your clothes while doing dirty jobs around the house, in the yard or garage. Keep one in the car for changing tires and other roadside emergencies. Ultra-strong Tyvek is tough, durable and tear-resistant, yet is machine washable so you can use it over again. Comfortable and lightweight with easy-on full-length zipper.

One size fits all.




Protective Coveralls
made of tough
tear-resistant Dupont
Tyvek® material

Sears Power and Hand Tools

Sears is the place to look for wrenches, steel cabinets, and reasonably priced power tools. Quality is fine. Warranty is honored without argument (if you’re honorable). They have lots of other stuff too, at average prices. But their sales ... (ah, their sales) are often remarkable. Decide what you want, and wait to pounce. Patience can save you 40 percent or more. Large stores often have freight-damaged and reconditioned goods too. Ask a clerk. Many of Sears’ tools are national bestsellers. —JB

Our finest flush-cutting Sew has quick-release blade feature with selfadjusting tension. Cuts in 6 positions; incl. blade. Can be used as a jab saw. Aluminum and steel frame with enclosed handle. $17.99

Get accurate, straight cuts whether you rip, crosscut, miter or bevel with this CRAFTSMAN 8-in. Bench-top Aluminum Table Saw

(Above) Add-on chest atop maintenance cart with optional sliding work surface and cantilever tray (with flip-out compartmented sub-trays), flanked by vertical-storage side box and folding side shelf with socket holder. Grand total: about $468.44 (plus tax).

Use Drill Guide with portable drill
to get drill press accuracy


Ah me, Brookstone has become gentrified. But that hasn’t reduced the quality or selection of interesting tools, many of which are available only here. Prices tend to be high, service good, and the warranty impeccable: if you don’t like it, send it back. My experience with Brookstone has been uniformly pleasant. —JB



Cut All Types Of Glass
With Remarkable Control


(Hard-to-find tools) Catalog free from: Brookstone Company 127 Vose Farm Road Peterborough, NH 03458

The unique design of this bench-mounted glass-cutter gives you remarkably sensitive control over all sorts of intricate work—even the difficult inside curves required in shaping individual pieces of stained glass. The hand-wheel on the side turns a rubber drive wheel for closely-regulated and careful feeding, and you maintain full control over the speed of the cutting. By adjusting the arm at lop. you can change the angle of the tungsten carbide cutting wheel Another important feature is that you can set the cutting wheel precisely to the thickness of the glass you’re cutting the spring-loaded arm keeps the pressure constant, which is essential in getting perfect results The frame is made of cast aluminum in an I-beam configuration for strength There are 4 holes in the base for stable, permanent bench mounting. Six space cutting wheels are stored in the cutter turret for extra convenience.

W-10790 Sure-score glass cutter................................. $59.95

Magnetic Heater Warms
Pipes, Engines, Locks

Heat radiators, transmissions. pumps, livestock troughs, drains and tanks from freezing and damage This heater is fitted with a powerful magnet that holds it onto any ferrous metal surface Attach it to the oil pan of an engine to make

cold weather starting easier. There’s a built-in thermostatic control to conserve energy The 4 . -ft. long power cord has a 3-wire plug and the heater operates on 115–120 volts, uses only 150 watts The handle makes it easy to place and remove. It measures 4” long x 2 wide x 4 .” deep

W-10273 Magnetic handy heater.......................... S24.95


This catalog is an inspiring assortment of auto body restoration tools, many of which you’ve probably not seen before. By inspiring, I mean that the tools are so well described that even metalworking illiterati can understand

A Rust Remover That Really Works

This product is the best of the many chemical rust removers we’ve tested. Because it is a liquid, it can seep into and behind tight hidden areas. You are sure

the rust is dissolved, because it turns rusty metal to a grey color, completely removing all iron oxide.Anothernice benefit of Oxi-Solv is the zinc phosphate coating it leaves on the surface. It really helps paint adhesion.

There are some application rules you must

follow to make Oxi-Solv work. All grease and dirt

must be removed from the part. Temperature is really critical; all parts must be between tXTfrand 90°F. The actual application depends on the part. Large parts can be sprayed (old Windex bottles


Tools for precision assembly and repair of electronics and other high-tech equipment. Jensen is famous for stunning assortments of best-quality tools packed in classy attache cases. Prestige is involved here, with prices to match.

Fortunately, quality is here too. —JB

■«. Computer Systems Jln /b Maintenance Kit

Jensen’s JTK-76 contains a complete selection of tools for in-the-fieid troubleshooting, service and repair of CPU’s, desktop computers, high speed printers and word processors. It features long-bladed screwdrivers plus a 7” extension blade for use with the selection of nutdrivers and hexdriver blades to assure easy access to hard-to-reach repair areas. In addition there are complete sets of combination wrenches and socket wrenches, measuring tools, pliers and cutters, soldering equipment and more. (See complete tool listing). The tools are contained in a deep injection molded attach^ case with two removable pallets and ample space in the bottom of the case for additional tools and equipment. Inside Dimensions: 17V« x 12V» x QW‘. Offered with optional test meters.

Cal. No.

JTK-76 Kit

Each 1–2



Kit In Case




Tool Case Only



For KH With Mater Add to Above KK Prtcei


Fluke 80210 DMM (p.48)




Fluke 77 DMM (p.48)




Triplett 310 VOM (p.52)




Catalog free from:

Jensen Tool Incorporated 7815 South 46th Street Phoenix, AZ 85044–5399

enough to see potential uses beyond the automotive. A good bibliography of instruction books accompanies the tools and materials. I heartily recommend this catalog as the beginning of an education, particularly if all you know is wood. —JB


Catalog free from: The Eastwood Company 147 Pennsylvania Ave.

P. O. Box 296

Malvern, PA 19355

work great) or brushed. A sponge helps to keep an area wet for a long time. For smaller items use a bucket to soak the part. A paint brush dipped in Oxi-Solv can help agitate the surface for good penetration. A door with severe internal rust at the bottom might take soaking for 1–2 hours. The trick is to keep the parts wet with Oxi-Solv long enough to let it dissolve the rust. See the chart below.

Oxi-Solv is not a primerand you should primecoat the surface before painting. It can be painted over without rinsing. Some customers rinse with warm water, but it’s not necessary. You can reuse it without it losing its rust removal strength. Another plus is that it’s safe — non-toxic, noncaustic, and non-flammable. It really works and is pleasant to use.

3430 Rust Remover

16 oz. container.................................. $8.95

3432 Rust Remover

1 gal. container .............................. $24.95

3436 Rust Remover 5 gal. pail .... $99.00

Our Shrinker & Stretchers Make Unbelievable Curves

• The best hand cleaners will remove virtually any foul substance from skin and hair, of man, woman or beast, without biological damage. There are many brands (Goop is one) available at auto parts stores. It’s the right stuff if it hums when you thump the can — no kidding. No hum, wrong stuff.

These exceptional metal formers are great for making smooth radius bends in sheet metal without cutting, heating, or hammering the material. Reproduce wheel wells, dog legs, windshield openings, just about anything with a curved edge. On our initial test, we made a replacement part to go around the trunk opening on a ’38 Buick in about 10 minutes, and it was a complex angle! Mount them on your workbench or in a vise and use the shrinker to contract metal to make inside curves, and use the stretcher to expand the metal for outside curves. Use them

both for complex curves, you can even make circles as small as a 3” radius. The hand operated press gives a 45-to-l leverage to move the hardened alloy steel jaws. Works metal up to 18 gauge mild steel, 20 gauge stainless and 16 gauge aluminum in widths of two inches. Parts above are 2” wide, 18 gauge mild steel that were formed to a 90° angle on a metal brake. They were then inserted into the shrinker or stretcher jaws to form the curved shapes. Each unit comes completely assembled ready to use.

7730 Shrinker & Stretcher Set ... $249.00




ented tools let you do the job yourself instead of hiring someone whose only attribute may be possession of a tool you don’t own or don’t care to own. Renting is also a good way to try out several brands of something expensive before you buy. A surprising variety of tools can be rented these days. You should shop around; I have found very different prices, policies, and selection at competing rent-its. One thing is common to all though: a damage deposit. Be sure and bring some cash.

Check the tool for proper operation before leaving the store. Write down any defects on the rental agreement form or you may lose your damage deposit later. Machines that endure lots of abuse should be checked with extra care. If one machine is in better shape than another, you can reserve “the good one” ahead of time by talking up the friendliest clerk. Get the clerk’s name for future use, and be generous with your thanks if all goes well. Sometimes you can arrange to take a tool home the night before at no extra charge.

Ask for tips on tool use; the instructions (make sure they are supplied) may not tell all. Floor sanders, for instance, rarely come with hints for preventing the dreaded and expensive WHAP-flup-flup-flup of sandpaper ripped on an exposed nailhead. (Meticulously pound them in before starting the sander.) Machines that eat material may run up a supply bill that exceeds the rental fee. The clerk should be able to give an estimate.

Get a time estimate too, allowing extra for adventures in learning. You should also allow for time lost to breakdowns of abuseable equipment such as ditchdiggers. The rent-it won’t charge you for time lost due to breakdowns that aren’t your fault, but they won’t pay you for your lost Saturday either.

Handyman Jack $45-$75

Information free from: Harrah Manufacturing Co.

46 West Spring Street Bloomfield, IN 47424

When renting, a flexible attitude is appropriate. That, with a bit of luck, should get the job done for less money while increasing your independence. That’s a pretty good deal these days. ■

Moving Heavy Things

/ remember once watching in wonder as a lone man carried a full-size upright piano up a flight of stairs! How did he do it? This marvelous little primer brings to us mere mortals the secrets of manipulating weighty objects — without damaging them or us. Not only are the secrets well explained and illustrated (with Mr. Adkins’ nifty drawings), the proper spirit is attended. The book encourages independence. Every household should have one. —JB

Handyman Jack

Basically the Handyman Jack is a super-heavy-duty bumper jack, but it bears no resemblance to the inadequate things that Detroit supplies with their inadequate automobiles. It weighs 29 pounds, has a capacity of three and one-half tons, and a lift of three feet.

I’ve used mine for lifting my truck, stretching shrunken plastic water pipe, and a number of odd lifting and spreading jobs, and wouldn’t part with it for anything.

Warning: Beware of the handle, or