Stephanie Mills

Selected Works

Keywords: Activist, Biography, E.F. Schumacher, New Economics, Peace Movement
A concise, intellectually rich, and gracefully written biography of Robert Swann, peace activist and pioneer of community economics, On Gandhi’s Path introduces Swann, a WWII vintage absolutist war resister, and his decentralist cohort of pacifists, homesteaders, economic cooperators, and land and monetary reformers. Swann, a friend and colleague of E.F. Schumacher’s, established numerous economic innovations that foster small self-reliant community.
Keywords: Ecology, Feminism, Meditation, Travel, Social Criticism
A collection spanning 25 years, concerning subjects ranging from Peak Oil to Dwarf Lake Iris, with stops in India and the back forty along the way.
Keywords: Memoir, Northwoods, Nature Writing, Ecology, Feminism, Meditation, Social Criticism
Longtime bioregionalist Mills once again confronts, with honesty, literary sensibility and wit, the joy, struggle and chagrin of living closer to the land--and her ideals. Under the aegis of the philosopher Epicurus, using personal stories as her vehicle, Mills reflects on the seasons, more-than-human nature, conviviality, vocation, and our common fate.
Keywords: Aldo Leopold, Bioregionalism, Ecological Restoration, Environmental History
"An instruction manual, a field guide to a sustainable lifestyle, and a glimmer of hope in a damaged world." --Katie Hennessey, Utne Reader
Keywords: Ecology, Environmental Movement, Memoir
A lively memoir of the early days of the ecology movement as it burgeoned in the San Francisco Bay Area. As told by one of its bright lights. Whatever Happened to Ecology? profiles numerous leaders and beaux esprits of the 70s while recounting the author’s intellectual journey through the complexities of bioregional thought and action.
Keywords: Globalization, Luddism, Technological Excess
An artfully edited conference proceedings, this book is a mosaic of ideas and tools for critiquing the big technological picture in the context of the global economy. Fifty distinguished thinkers discuss the negative impacts of the technological revolution and present a healing vision for the 21st century.
Keywords: EarthDay 1990, Environmental Essays, Environmental Literature
An introduction to environmental concern, In Praise of Nature includes five thought-provoking essays by Stephanie Mills followed by expert authors' reviews of, and excerpts from, scores of works and includes an annotated bibliography listing over 100 titles.

My Works


On Gandhi’s Path: Bob Swann's Work for Peace and Community Economics
A concise, intellectually rich, and gracefully written biography of Robert Swann, peace activist and pioneer of community economics, On Gandhi’s Path introduces Swann, a WWII vintage absolutist war resister, and his decentralist cohort of pacifists, homesteaders, economic cooperators, and land and monetary reformers. Swann, a friend and colleague of E.F. Schumacher’s, established numerous economic innovations that foster small self-reliant community.


Tough Little Beauties: Selected Essays and Other Writings by Stephanie Mills

A BOUQUET OF THOUGHT

"THE TITLE OF radical ecologist Stephanie Mills’ collection of essays refers to the lavender irises that flourish along the coastlines of the US and Canada’s northern lakes Huron and Michigan. The tiny flowers are a threatened species against the growing onslaught of chemical pollution and fluctuating clime – and yet they are so hardy, year after year enduring icy blasts of Arctic air, stinging sands, and thunderous tumbles of snow. Digging deeper, the tough little beauties that lie before us are the essays themselves. Each is an ephemeral yet forceful burst of revelation; together, they gather into a bouquet of original thought."

"One must always expect the original from this writer. She blossomed into the public eye in 1969 when, at a time when college campuses were fervent about US militarism and incursions into Southeast Asia, Mills came at the world from a different angle. She delivered her graduating class’s valedictorian lecture at Mills College in Oakland, California on her personal decision not to birth children into a society so fraught with inequity, terror and death – and too many human beings. She has gone on to direct her considerable intellect towards such issues as mass technological society, civil disobedience and ecological restoration via five books and hundreds of articles and speeches."

"Through it all, Mills’ mentor has been the 19th-century American philosopher Henry David Thoreau, who honed his analysis of human society from the remove of a forest and a pond. The lineage shows. While the essays in Tough Little Beauties were penned over three decades and alight on such disparate topics as religious experience, birch trees, birth control, the collapse of civilisation, voluntary simplicity, and ambiguity, the timbre of Mills’ voice never wavers. Like the source of her inspiration, she develops her thoughts in a self-fashioned surround of time and space that emulates that of another era; she draws wisdom and wonder from the delicacies of the natural world; and always, she views humanity’s problems from perches slightly askew from those the rest of us conjure up to use."

"Of note in this collection is ‘The Journey Home’, on the computer’s erasure of place, the vagaries of re-habitation, and the making of a homeland. Of note is ‘Paper Birch’, which melds the psychic tilt of seeking, the press of heavy boot against snow, and the gleam of whiteness of a birch tree into a prose-poem dedicated to awe. Of note is ‘Is the Body Obsolete?’, a pithy response to techno-evolutionists pushing for the ultimate takeover of digital intelligence and the subsequent end of embodiment. Of note is ‘Fun While It Lasted’, a lengthy piece written from the vulnerability of personal proclivities about the fast-approaching exhaustion of ready fossil fuels. Of note is ‘Shuttling Between Wrath and Compassion’, which calls upon slavery abolitionist Julia Ward Howe and poets William Blake and Allen Ginsberg to spin a heart-felt tribute to peace, Nature and motherhood. Of note is ‘The Matrix of Solitude’, an evocation of Thoreau’s penchant for mindfulness and courageous action in the service of 'wild possibilities'."

"Of note is every tough little essay in this hardy little book. For those of us who vigilantly inhabit the uncertain coastline between history and the future, this is a read for all seasons, for all bioregions, for all species. The uniqueness of Mills’ writing springs from a psychic terrain we might describe as engaged distance. Or maybe it is wonder. At times it appears as irony. And always, equanimity. Whatever the inner residence of this unusual writer might be called, it serves. From it she reminds us that not only are floral beauties fragile and persistent but, despite all and no matter what, we are too."

-- Chellis Glendinning is author of Off the Map: An Expedition Deep into Empire and the Global Economy.


Epicurean Simplicity
Longtime bioregionalist Mills once again confronts, with honesty, literary sensibility and wit, the joy, struggle and chagrin of living closer to the land--and her ideals. Under the aegis of the philosopher Epicurus, using personal stories as her vehicle, Mills reflects on the seasons, more-than-human nature, conviviality, vocation, and our common fate.

See Donna Seaman's Booklist review.


In Service of the Wild: Restoring and Reinhabiting Damaged Land
"This is a combination travel guide to places where ecological restoration is particularly inspiring or effective, a memoir of learning more about restoring one’s home place, and a study of how, why, where and when ecological restoration works. Mills visits Aldo Leopolds’s Wisconsin shack, the salmon restoration project in the Northwest, a Utopian restoration community in southern India, and other locales to write – in eloquent, lingering and clear prose – of what she witnesses. She also writes in great depth into the questions of what it means to be wild, virgin, undisturbed. This is an important book for anyone doing anything related to restoration."
--Caryn-Mirriam Goldberg, Goddard College, Annotated Bibliography on Bioregionalism
(http://kawcouncil.wordpress.com/bioregional-bibliography/)


Whatever Happened to Ecology?
"This political and social change memoir is both a story of living, writing and working with an ecological focus, and a critique of societal diminishment of the ecological movement. Written in 1988, this book obviously came out of a time when global warming, the end of peak oil, and the disappearance of honey bees weren’t common knowledge, yet Mills clearly outlines the devastation already unfolding and the need to reclaim our vigilance. This book is also a love story about place and community, and returning to one’s roots."
--Caryn-Mirriam Goldberg, Goddard College, Annotated Bibliography on Bioregionalism (http://kawcouncil.wordpress.com/bioregional-bibliography/)


Turning Away from Technology
An artfully edited conference proceedings, this book is a mosaic of ideas and tools for critiquing the big technological picture in the context of the global economy. Fifty distinguished thinkers discuss the negative impacts of the technological revolution and present a healing vision for the 21st century.


In Praise of Nature
"This unusual annotated bibliography is divided into the sections of Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit, and it includes annotations on a great many ecological sources plus small essays on important thinkers, activists, artists and scholars over the years (such as West Jackson, Rachel Carson, John Muir and others). It’s a treasure trove of great sources, and its only limitation is that many good books have come out since this annotated bibliography was released. All in all, this is a fascinating read that can easily expose you to many important sources in a short but illuminating time."
--Caryn-Mirriam Goldberg, Goddard College, Annotated Bibliography on Bioregionalism
(http://kawcouncil.wordpress.com/bioregional-bibliography/>)

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