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Off the Grid: Inside the Movement for More Space, Less Government, and True Independence in Modern Americaby Nick Rosen
Synopses & Reviews
Inside the subculture of off-grid living
Written by a leading authority on living off the grid, this is a fascinating and timely look at one of the fastest growing movements in America. In researching the stories that would become Off the Grid, Nick Rosen traveled from one end of the United States to the other, spending time with all kinds of individuals and families striving to live their lives the way they want to-free from dependence on municipal power and amenities, and free from the inherent dependence on the government and its far-reaching arms. While the people profiled may not have a lot in common in terms of their daily lives or their personal background, what they do share is an understanding of how unique their lives are, and how much effort and determination is required to maintain the lifestyle in the face of modern America's push toward connectivity and development.
"Fed up with 'the hyper-consumption of the past thirty years, the pointless acquisitions, the hopeless materialism, and the obsession with celebrity trivia,' British journalist and filmmaker Rosen sets out across the U.S. to find the perfect off-the-grid community 'beyond the reach of the power cables and water lines that intersect the modern world.' His journey brings him into contact with a colorful collection of rebels and outcasts--aging hippies, anarchist kids, a middle-aged couple with an 'off-the-grid McMansion' in Colorado--and he sprinkles his tale with the sorts of practical tips likely to appeal to anyone considering a similar adventure: the Clivus Multrum is 'the Hummer of composting toilets.' What Rosen lacks is a knack for storytelling; he would have done well to step back and let his subjects speak for themselves. Instead, he constantly inserts himself into the frame and insists on passing humorless judgment on nearly everyone he meets (and a fair number of people he doesn't), and even whole cities are roundly dismissed (Boulder is 'the smuggest town in America'). His curmudgeonly asides are off-putting, and it's disappointing to see the book's idealism and noble reach devolve into grousing. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Book News Annotation:
Rosen is a writer and documentary filmmaker who earned his off the grid wings living in a homemade RV in Britain. In this work he travels to the US to document the living off the grid scene by interviewing people of all types and socio-economic groups that have decided, partially or wholly, to live without connection to municipal power and water services. These case studies illuminate the different types of Americans who choose to live this way and the varied arrangements possible within that scope. Right-wing militants eager to keep out of the government's gaze, original or neo-hippies desiring some peace and quiet in a tree house or the new, like-minded family ties of a commune are among the extremes highlighted as Rosen crisscrosses America cataloguing this small but growing trend. With the recession, job losses, and frequent foreclosures, this book should appeal to anyone at all, especially those looking for, as the title says, "more space, less government, and true independence". Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Written by a leading authority on living off the grid, this book takes a fascinating and timely look at one of the fastest growing movements in America.
About the Author
Nick Rosen is the editor of the Web site off-grid.net. He lives in London but spends many months of the year in an off-the-grid cabin in Majorca.
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