Looks at the connections between economics and nature and examines whether economic systems are shaped by the same forces at work in nature.
"Jacobs continues the discussion she initiated among a group of imaginary characters in Systems of Survival (1992). In the first round of Socratic dialogues, her stand-ins discussed the moralities of commerce and politics. Here they illuminate the economy of nature and the nature of economies. Once again, Armbruster, a skeptical yet openminded retired publisher, is the ringleader, joined by his astute niece, a science editor, and Murray and Hiram, a father and son duo, one an economist, the other an ecologist. Murray and Hiram represent the two sides of the equation Jacobs so eloquently formulates, which states that because human beings are as much a part of nature as any other animal, all their social constructions, including the economy, are part of nature, too, and therefore must follow the same universal natural processes. In discussions that whirl from concepts of differentiation, interdependency, and dynamic stability to bees, fractals, import-export ratios, birth control, redwoods, windmills, and computers, Jacobs' clear thinkers offer startlingly original insights into how our economy can both grow and be sustained. --Donna Seaman"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"Jacobs's 1961 classic, Death and Life of Great American Cities, broke new ground in its insistence that humane urban planning could result from looking intently at people's everyday lives as a microcosm of the needs of city, economic and national life. The book also showcased Jacobs's superb ability to weave her own and her neighbors' personal stories into her theories of urban planning and development. In this important, essentially philosophical new work on patterns of social and economic growth, Jacobs immerses herself in the role of storyteller, building her arguments through a series of conversations between a group of environmentally aware, countercultural friends talking about what it means for humans to interact, understand one another and dwell safely and without causing harm in the world. Jacobs's choice to explore this material within a Socratic dialogue might seem pretentious or simplistic in less skilled hands. Yet her tone and style are so assured that it is hard to imagine a straightforward, expository examination of the same ideas that conveys as much nuance. The approach also amplifies Jacobs's theme of exploring the myriad ways in which humans exist "wholly within nature" and not, as some environmentalists claim, as "interlopers." Drawing upon examples from nature, the physical sciences, evolutionary theory, mathematics and quantum physics, Jacobs cogently illustrates how human beings and the civilizations they create can be in harmony with the world around them. Sounding the same themes she has been investigating for the past 40 years, this witty, beautifully expressed book represents the culmination of Jacobs's previous thinking, and a step forward that deftly invokes a broader philosophical, even metaphysical, context. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
|| New York :Modern Library,2000
x, 190 pages ; 20 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages -178) and index.