"If information highways are the wave of the future then I will build information country roads on which the traveller can reach the truth faster by going slower. . . ." On these same country roads, far from the intrusions of modern technology, the Amish, Quakers, and other "plain folk" live their unencumbered lives, close to the land, in peaceful, smoothly-run communities. The thought-provoking, often challenging essays in The Plain Reader are written by men and women who rarely speak outside the borders of their local townships, and provide us with unique perspectives on life stripped down to necessity. Originally published in Plain Magazine, these pieces are sure to inspire reflection. Reading about a garden cooperative in Connecticut, the raising of a home with only plaster and straw in hand, a fascinating trip to New York City through Amish eyes, compels each of us wonder: Can I too survive without television or that high-tech appliance cluttering my kitchen counter? Am I just a cog in the wheel of the global economy? Is isolation from one another and from the earth the simple destiny of humankind? Each rich, personal essay in this provocative collection offers solace, wisdom, joy, and quiet space for contemplation.
Scott Savage is the editor of Plain magazine and a cofounder of the Center for Plain Living. He is also the editor of A Plain Reader: Essays on Making a Simple Life. He organized the Second Luddite Congress in Barnesville, Ohio, where he now resides.