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Discussion guide with every chapter!


The wisdom in this book is drawn from forty-years of study, experiences, and observations as an economist in four major state universities and in communities all across North America and around the world. John spent the first half of his career as an advocate of conservative, free-market economic thinking before concluding that the neoclassical concept of capitalism is simply not sustainable. He has direct knowledge where the dominant economic thinking of today is coming from; because he has been there. This book is John Ikerd's latest effort to help people understand what we must do, individually and collectively, not only to create a sustainable economy but also to sustain society and humanity. 

A Return to Common Sense

A treasure of a book for all "insightful minds that are not afraid to ask why." 

John Ikerd combines an engaging story of personal transformation with a sweeping analysis and call for social change based on shared insights into what we know in our hearts to be real, true, right, and good - our common sense. By interweaving life lessons with economic, political, scientific, and philosophical understandings, Ikerd paints an inspiring vision for human harmony and "a new word of order."

The Essentials of Economic Sustainabilit

John Ikerd addresses the basic principles and concepts essential to economic sustainability. Some of these concepts are capitalist, some are socialistic, and others are general principles validated by philosophy or common sense. What results is a synthesis: something that is neither capitalist nor socialist but fundamentally different; it is sustainable. A special emphasis is placed on the essential, but limited, role of markets in economic sustainability, including the constraints that must be placed on markets to protect nature and society from economic exploitation. 

Readers of any political and ideological persuasion will find this brief book engaging, informative, optimistic and refreshing. Instead of threats and apocalyptic pronouncements, Ikerd offers possibilities and assurance. Instead of epithets hurled at opponents, Ikerd offers possibilities for reconciliation and a renewed sense of the need to work cooperatively to find solutions to the most urgent problems of our era. 

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Both a penetrating critique of capitalism and an exploration of its vast and untapped potential for maximizing human welfare, Sustainable Capitalism: A Matter of Common Sense is written for a wide audience, including students and professors whose fields and interests embrace development, economics, ecology, sociology, and cultural anthropology. Those concerned with the future of our planet and the continued viability of global capitalism will regard this book as a vital addition to their libraries.

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Since the middle of the last century, American farm policy has taken the nation into the dead end of industrial farm production. Farming, at its core a biological process, has been transformed into an industrial process, thus demolishing the economic and cultural values upon which the nation was founded. Along the way, small farms have been ridiculed and dismissed as inconsequential but now the seeds of a rural renaissance are being planted, not by these industrial behemoths, but by family-scale farms. In this collection of essays, the multifaceted case for small farms is built using logic and facts. Discover anew the complexity and beauty that is the small farm and learn of the many benefits small farms give to individuals, the environment, the economy and society.

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With the decline of family farms and rural communities and the rise of corporate farming and the resulting environmental degradation, American agriculture is in crisis. But this crisis offers the opportunity to rethink agriculture in sustainable terms. Here one of the most eloquent and influential proponents of sustainable agriculture explains what this means. These engaging essays describe what sustainable agriculture is, why it began, and how it can succeed. Together they constitute a clear and compelling vision for rebalancing the ecological, economic, and social dimensions of agriculture to meet the needs of the present without compromising the future.


In Crisis and Opportunity, John E. Ikerd outlines the consequences of agricultural industrialization, then details the methods that can restore economic viability, ecological soundness, and social responsibility to our agricultural system and thus ensure sustainable agriculture as the foundation of a sustainable food system and a sustainable society.

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