Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered

Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered
By E. F. Schumacher

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Product Description

“Nothing less than a full-scale assault on conventional economic wisdom.” —Newsweek


One the 100 most influential books published since World War II

The Times Literary Supplement


Hailed as an “eco-bible” by Time magazine, E.F. Schumacher’s riveting, richly researched statement on sustainability has become more relevant and vital with each year since its initial groundbreaking publication during the 1973 energy crisis. A landmark statement against “bigger is better” industrialism, Schumacher’s Small Is Beautiful paved the way for twenty-first century books on environmentalism and economics, like Jeffrey Sachs’s The End of Poverty, Paul Hawken’s Natural Capitalism, Mohammad Yunis’s Banker to the Poor, and Bill McKibben’s Deep Economy. This timely reissue offers a crucial message for the modern world struggling to balance economic growth with the human costs of globalization.

Product Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #37720 in Books
  • Brand: Harper Perennial
  • Published on: 2010-10-19
  • Released on: 2010-10-19
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 8.00" h x .79" w x 5.31" l, .60 pounds
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 352 pages


  • Harper Perennial

Editorial Reviews

“Embracing what Schumacher stood for--above all the idea of sensible scale--is the task for our time. Small is Beautiful could not be more relevant. It was first published in 1973, but it was written for our time.” (Bill McKibben, from the Foreword)

“An eco-bible” (Time magazine)

Small Is Beautiful changed the way many people think about bigness and its human costs.” (New York Times)

“Nothing less than a full-scale assault on conventional economic wisdom. . . . Schumacher believes economists need a new set of values, to obtain maximum well-being with minimum consumption.” (Newsweek)

From the Back Cover

Small Is Beautiful is Oxford-trained economist E. F. Schumacher’s classic call for the end of excessive consumption. Schumacher inspired such movements as “Buy Locally” and “Fair Trade,” while voicing strong opposition to “casino capitalism” and wasteful corporate behemoths. Named one of the Times Literary Supplement’s 100 Most Influential Books Since World War II, Small Is Beautiful presents eminently logical arguments for building our economies around the needs of communities, not corporations.

About the Author

Born in Germany, Dr. E. F. Schumacher (1911–1977) fled to England after the rise of Nazism and, with the help of John Maynard Keynes, taught economics at Oxford University. He is the author of Small Is Beautiful, the book that "changed the way many people think about bigness and its human cost" (New York Times).

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful.
5This book will be the model for a future propserous humanity
By Amazon Customer
Wow, this book is incredible. For anyone interested in economics, this is an absolute must-read.

I would go so far as to say that this book belongs in the annals with Wealth of Nations and Das Kapital as an integral book in the school of economic thought. I think this is the most underrated book on economics out there- because with the sheer degree of soundness of its discussions and the scathing critiques of our current materialist economic paradigms (both capitalist and socialist), it provides a blueprint for HOW to think about what economics actually IS in the context of its place in human civilization on planet earth.

If in the future, there are future breakdowns of our current economic models, or revolutionary paradigm shifts, I would hope that this book has as much influence on policy makers as the Communist Manifesto had on Communists, or what Rothbard and Mises had on Libertarians-except this book is superior to them both. Why? It takes into account holistic systems, ecology, and NON-material aspects of mankind- justice, beauty, truth, harmony, sustainability.

I hope policy makers start implementing the strategies of this book asap.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful.
5Essential reading for those who seek better ways how to do business
By Martin
I like the idea that our world shouldn't be just about profit-making without any consideration about the product produced. Book looks deeply into subject of what is wrong with our current systems and shows a way how to do things better, in a more human way.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful.
5A book of highest value in our time.
By Volker A Baensch
Economics is typically done in lofty self-isolation of the discipline. The logic of broad benefit for people as a basis is lost in this process. What matters is "economy", the monetary payoff. Ignored is the fact that virtually all of the natural resources used in industrial economies are finite, not factored into the equasion, their use polluting our only planet home, and the negative impact on the quality of people's lives. Schumacher ably illuminates this problem and demonstrates how this narrow line of thinking fuels human misery, from hunger to wars. But he does not stop there, he also offers constructive solutions.
Because this book demands a serious shift in thinking, it should be required reading biannually for every economist, CEO, and member of Congress. Sadly, I realize that Schumacher's thoughts, written forty years ago, may not be appreciated until it is too late to benefit from their value. Yet every civic-minded, thoughtful reader may make a difference.

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