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The Unsettlers Audiobook

The Unsettlers: In Search of the Good Life in Today's America

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Publisher's Summary

The radical search for the simple life in today's America.

On a frigid April night, a classically trained opera singer, five months pregnant, and her husband, a former marine biologist, disembark an Amtrak train in La Plata, Missouri, assemble two bikes, and pedal off into the night, bound for a homestead they've purchased sight unseen. Meanwhile, a horticulturist, heir to the Great Migration that brought masses of African Americans to Detroit, and her husband, a product of the white flight from it, have turned to urban farming to revitalize the blighted city they both love. And near Missoula, Montana, a couple who have been at the forefront of organic farming for decades navigate what it means to live and raise a family ethically.

A work of immersive journalism steeped in a distinctively American social history and sparked by a personal quest, The Unsettlers traces the search for the simple life through the stories of these new pioneers and what inspired each of them to look for - or create - a better existence. Captivating and clear-eyed, it dares us to imagine what a sustainable, ethical, authentic future might actually look like.

©2017 Mark Sundeen (P)2017 Penguin Audio

What the Critics Say

"Well researched, immediately engaging, immensely readable, and ultimately inspiring. This is the perfect read for DIY-types with dreams of saving the world, or at least their own backyards." (Booklist)

"Engaging, honest, and deeply personal...[Sundeen's] superb reporting produces revealing portraits of modern hippies...inspiring.... Provocative reading for anyone who has ever yearned for a life of radical simplicity." (Kirkus Reviews)

"Sundeen...ask[s] important questions about technology, the economy, and the moral implications of being both critic and participant in our society." (Publisher's Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (66 )
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4.5 (60 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Sam DeSocio 02-06-17
    Sam DeSocio 02-06-17 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    34
    9
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    "A seriously wonderful book"

    I very much enjoy this work. At a few points I was confused by stories inside stories, but quickly caught on. This might be the closest thing to a overview of homesteading and counter cultural with an eye to the world context. It was also a beautiful book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mona Haydar 08-16-17
    Mona Haydar 08-16-17 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Story
    "Excellent. Researched. Relevant."

    In depth, personal, well -researched, Sundeen's is a book for our times. He stretches back to the Founding Fathers, through slavery and the Great Depression, and into Reganomics and the death of the family farm. But he does it through three personal, compelling stories. The three couples in the book are what make it a great story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    06-25-17
    06-25-17 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
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    Story
    "Excellent reporting and reflections!"

    Backstories were personal and meaningful. Would have been more interesting to use either more narrators or various intonations by one reader.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 04-03-17 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    3
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    Story
    "A tale of white dude guilt"

    I had a hard time finishing this book. It mostly depicted white dudes and their guilt about life. The black experience is so foreign to this guy that he devotes a lot of time to "how black folks ended up in Detroit," when no other character gets the same kind of treatment. I believe the author is a journalist, and he does paint a decent portrait, but I couldn't finish it. White dude existentialist ennui in a environmentalist setting just isn't that interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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