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Book review: Depletion and Abundance by Sharon Astyk
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Frank gives an overview of the book:

...Astyk knows what she’s talking about from firsthand experience, having devoted her life to subsistence living ever since becoming peak oil-aware. In short, her book truly embodies New Society’s slogan “books to walk the talk.” This, along with Astyk’s unique perspective as a woman, a mother and a peak oil activist, makes Depletion and Abundance well worth a read. The ring of authenticity to her writing will hook you—while its relaxed style, ineffable humor, personal anecdotes and comforting touch will soothe your melancholy peaknik soul like a warm hand on the shoulder.
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...Astyk knows what she’s talking about from firsthand experience, having devoted her life to subsistence living ever since becoming peak oil-aware. In short, her book truly embodies New Society’s slogan “books to walk the talk.”

This, along with Astyk’s unique perspective as a woman, a mother and a peak oil activist, makes Depletion and Abundance well worth a read. The ring of authenticity to her writing will hook you—while its relaxed style, ineffable humor, personal anecdotes and comforting touch will soothe your melancholy peaknik soul like a warm hand on the shoulder.

Read an excerpt »

by Frank Kaminski

Depletion and Abundance: Life on the New Home Front
By Sharon Astyk
273 pp. New Society Publishers – Sept. 2008. $18.95.

Why are so few peak oil authors women? There’s been much debate about this, and no one has yet arrived at a definitive answer. But whatever the reason, Sharon Astyk has established herself as a true rarity within the peak oil community by virtue of being a woman who has chosen to write about peak oil. The perspective that she offers is thus both uncommon and vital.

Her new book Depletion and Abundance is a call for communities, families and individual citizens to mobilize in the creation of a “New Home Front” in America (analogous to the Home Front that existed during World War II). This New Home Front would center on the crucial work traditionally done at home (such as housework and cooking) that Astyk holds to be far more important to our national economy than the “formal” economy of “taxes and forms, official business, job growth and GDP statements.”

Our present culture demeans these sorts of domestic activities because of its uncritical acceptance of the Victorian-era division between the private realm (traditionally the province of “female” work like cooking and childrearing) and the public realm (long associated with the supposedly “male” activities of economics and politics). But this division is wholly artificial, and we need to get beyond it if we are to formulate a productive response to the crisis now facing us.

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Note from the author coming soon...

About Frank

I knew that I wanted to be a writer by the age of thirteen. While the other kids were playing outside, I was always holed up in my room working on my latest short story or attempt at a novel. I had other artistic pursuits as well—I did a lot of drawing, sculpture-making,...

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