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Twelve by Twelve: A One-Room Cabin Off the Grid and Beyond the American Dream

Thursday, May 13, 2010 - 5:00pm

Demos and the World Policy Institute present:

Twelve by Twelve  

A book launch, discussion and reception with author and WPI Senior Fellow William Powers. 

 

Why would a successful American physician choose to live in a twelve-foot-by-twelve-foot cabin without running water or electricity?  To find out, writer and activist William Powers visited Dr. Jackie Benton in rural North Carolina.  No Name Creek gurgled through Benton's permaculture farm, and she stroked honeybees' wings as she shared her "wildcrafter" philosophy of living on a planet in crisis.  Powers, just back from a decade of international aid work, then accepted Benton's offer to stay there for a season while she traveled. There, he befriended the eclectic neighbors--organic farmers, biofuel brewers, eco-developers--and discovered a sustainable but imperiled way of life. 

 

In this new book, Powers not only explores this small patch of community but draws on his international experiences with other pockets of resistance.  In what's been called the Walden of the Global Warming Era, this engrossing tale of Powers's struggle for a meaningful life with a smaller footprint proposes a paradigm shift from the "Flat World" to an elusive "Soft World" with clues to personal happiness and global healing.

When:

Thursday, May 13

6 - 7:30 PM
The discussion with the author will be followed by a cocktail reception.

 

Where:

Demos
220 Fifth Avenue (between 26th and 27th Streets)
New York, New York

RSVP: 

This event is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required to reserve a seat and ensure we plan appropriately and minimize waste when ordering.  RSVP to events@worldpolicy.org or call 212.481.5005, Option 2.


About the Author

William Powers has led development aid and environmental initiatives in Latin America, Africa, and Washington, DC. The author of the critically-acclaimed memoirs Blue Clay People and Whispering in the Giant's Ear, his essays on global issues have appeared in media including the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Atlantic, and Slate. He has been interviewed on programs including Fresh Air and Living on Earth and is a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute. Powers lives part-time in New York City. His website is www.williampowersbooks.com.

 

Advanced Praise for Twelve x Twelve

"A penetrating account of what it's like to move to the margins in our particular time and place. It will make you think, hard."

--Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy and founder of 350.org

"A compassionate yet powerful personal odyssey into the heart of what it means to choose to live with less in a world gone mad for more. Bill Powers' Twelve by Twelve is not only a retreat of mind from which we all can draw sustenance as we gird ourselves to confront a world heading for catastrophe, it is also a template we can use to ask ourselves what, really, is important in our lives."

--Mira Kamdar, author Planet India

"Powers' sobering and often hilarious narrative of his life in the Twelve by Twelve offers precious insights into the ways that all individuals living in a fast-paced consumer culture might incorporate different ways of thinking about the natural world into their lives."

--Publishers Weekly

 

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