books consumerism development economics sustainability technology

Small is beautiful

An important book for the reading list – EF Schumacher’s ‘Small is Beautiful – a study of economics as if people mattered’.

First published in 1973 in the wake of the oil crisis, Schumacher’s collection of essays was highly influential in the understanding of sustainability. It’s a passionate and radical view of economics even today.

“An attitude to life which seeks fulfilment in the single-minded pursuit of wealth – in short, materialism – does not fit into this world, because it contains within itself no limiting principle, while the environment in which it is placed is strictly limited.”

I’m sure I’ll be quoting him again here sooner or later. He’s something of a hero of mine. In the meantime, the wikipedia summary of Schumacher’s thought is here.


  1. He was very much the big news when I was at Uni doing American Studies in the ’70s. A thinker before his time…

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