Synopses & Reviews
This book could not be more timely. While in these boom ears we celebrate our newfound wealth, Ferenc Mate reminds us that we should also be mourning the loss of a calmer, more emotionally rewarding life -- for we have become more frantic, more aimless, and more lonely. Suffocating under an avalanche of goods, information, and mindless entertainment, we have become deaf to the cries of our inner selves for things of profound value: serenity, reflection, community, and friendship. Dr. Norman Meyers said, "Ferenc Mate presents a host of creative ideas in his trumpet call for new lifestyles on the part of each and every one of us. Read it ... then read it again". John R. MacArthur, publisher of Harper's magazine wrote, "I feel saner for having read it". And Pete Seeger commented, "A Reasonable Life is wonderful. This fast-paced book is just what we need to make us slow down and think".
Perhaps it's not too late.
With our environment on its knees, our great myths and cities crumbling, Ferenc Máté argues in this passionate, darkly funny book that now is the time to begin our lives anew, on a more human scale. With our lust for mechanized "progress" we have damaged and endangered not only our planet but also our communities, families, and even friendships. He warns that our environmental movement by itself is as effective as "trying to stop a freight-train with a feather." He argues for fundamental change--by each of us. We must place simple human needs and the human spirit far ahead of material wealth. We must rethink our concepts of career, home life, habits, and what we call security and success. And we must resurrect our foundations: the small town, the family, and a dignified caring self. Only then will our earth become the paradise we once had and mistakenly took for granted.
"If 'in adversity is hidden opportunity' then lurking around the corner must be the Mother of All Great Chances."
"This book will look insane to any normal American, which shows how crazy we've become."—Charles Bowden, author of Desierto
About the Author
Ferenc Máté was born in Hungary and escaped after the revolution at the age of eleven. He grew up in Vancouver, and has lived in California, Paris, Rome, the Bahamas and New York. He had worked on a railroad extra-gang and as a boatbuilder, photographer, deckhand and book editor. His many books include the nautical bestsellers From a Bare Hull, Shipshape and The World’s Best Sailboats, as well as Autumn, A New England Autumn, A Reasonable Life, A Real Life, The Hills of Tuscany and The Wisdom of Tuscany. He and his family run their vineyards and winery in Montalcino, Tuscany.