SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL Economics as if People Mattered

SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL Economics as if People Mattered

E. F. Schumacher

This classic book on New Age economics is as relevant now as when it was authored and first published. Small Is Beautiful expressed a set of ideas and im­pulses that had given rise to the New Left of the sixties, had exercised the best people of that generation, and had gone on to energize countless millions of others, in Amer­ica and elsewhere, searching for live alternatives to the dead end of Western corporate imperialism. It was a philosophy that drew from, and built upon, what is best described as the decentralist tradition of Western society, that of institutions built to the human scale within harmonious self-regarding communities run by participatory democracy and fueled by self-sufficient regional economies deeply conscious of the limits of natural re­sources and the need for ecological harmony. It is a wonderful statement which makes the kind of common sense that could help the survival of life on earth become at least a decent possibility.


“Schumacher [is] eminently, practical, sensible and eloquent; versant in the subtleties of large-scale business management yet equally in touch with the down-to-earth realities of a simple Indian village. His book is a most unusual economic treatise, enormously broad in scope, pithily weaving together threads from Galbraith and Gandhi, capitalism and Buddhism, science and psychology.”– The New Republic


E. F. Schumacher


F. Schumacherwas an internationally influential economic thinker with a professional background as a statistician and economist in Britain. He served as Chief Economic Advisor to the British National Coal Board for two decades.

His ideas became well-known in much of the English speaking world during the 1970s. He is best known for his critique of Western economies and his proposals for human-scale, decentralized and appropriate technologies. According to The Times Literary Supplement, his 1973 book Small is Beautiful is among the 100 most influential books published since World War-II. It was soon translated into many languages and brought international fame to Schumacher, after which Schumacher was invited to many international conferences, in the universities as guest speaker and as an advisor for various consultations.

Schumacher's basic development theories have been summed up in the catch-phrases Intermediate Size and Intermediate Technology. Schumacher's other notable work is the 1977  A Guide for the Perplexed, which is a critique of materialist scientism and an exploration of the nature and organization of knowledge. Together with long-time friends and associates like Professor Mansūr Hoda, Schumacher founded the Intermediate Technology Development Group (now Practical Action) in 1966.


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