Praise and Reviews

“EXCELLENT letter to the editor. I think our state and country would be a MUCH better place for all of us if more people took interest in politics and had the passion that you
obviously have. It is the lack of interest and enthusiasm that sets us back and the reason these representitives who are complete and total JOKES keep getting put into office.” Amber S. Dixon, Winston-Salem NC

“If truth is a virtue, Ellen LaConte has scored a 10. In a brief statement, she
summed up our dilemma and her suggestions for dealing with it.” Martha Kennedy, Winston-Salem NC

“While we’re referring to books that mean a lot to us, just let me mention a book that has come into my hands in the last few days that I’m extremely excited about called Life Rules. It’s by Ellen LaConte and its very close to my work, the Work that Reconnects in terms of its worldview and its understanding of our present crises and the Great Turning that we must make away from Industrial Growth Society toward smaller, sustainable, healing, healthy and just societies that work with life and the ways living systems work.”–Joanna Macy, Coming Back to Life,  in an interview with Ken Rose on KOWS radio, Occidental CA, July 18, 2011

“Your book is amazing! So comprehensive, so explanatory, so visionary. What a lot of work must have gone into it. I hope it succeeds in reaching lots of people.” Lorna Salzman, Politics As If Evolution Mattered

“Congratulations to you on Life Rules.  It’s an extraordinary book!  Your efforts at writing it well fill the pages.  It’s not an emotionally easy book to read, at least not the first part, even for a seasoned activist.  But the truth is not easy to bear right now.  And you go on to explore the more inspiring truths of how life really works outside of the corner we’ve culturally/economically painted ourselves into.  Thank you for telling the truth and making it all so blessedly accessible to the average reader and brave soul who will open the book and let the truth in.  I am happy to recommend it! I have recently returned from a 10-day Deepening Intensive with Joanna Macy and about 35 other luminous souls.  Joanna recommended the book to us just one week before we arrived, probably just as she finished it herself!  Only a few of us were able to acquire it beforehand.  Some of us were reading it while we were at the intensive, myself included.  I felt very fortunate to be experiencing Part One in that particular context where there was so much support for the emotional charge of seeing with wide vision.  Joanna’s daily teachings also helped me maintain a sense of active hopefulness while allowing the impact of your truth-telling.  I began to read Part Two as the intensive was coming to a close.  I found myself smiling with delight as you described the democracy of Life with so many varied examples. I’m still reading the last third of the book, savoring, trying to commit to memory some of your fine revelations about how Life really works, putting the book down (like this morning) just because I feel so excited!  I’m also thinking about how to entice more people to read it.  I feel inspired by so many of the quotes from other people that you have used and also from passages of your own words.” Claire Maitre, Chrysalis Transitions, Ann Arbor

“Yahhhoooo!!! Ellen LaConte is the best!! Thanks for bringing her back. After the last show I ordered her book right away. If there was a bible for *now*….! Thanks for opening my world to her.”—-Cassandra Teurfs, in response to Caroline Casey’s second interview with Ellen on her Visionary Activist radio show, August 25th

“In the world as it operates today, even the most serious politicians persist in pontificating about matters future history will show were irrelevancies and distractions. If there were someone with authority to require all candidates for high public office to read certain books in preparation for the responsibilities they aspire to undertake, Ellen LaConte’s LIFE RULES should be high on the list of urgently required reading.” —-William R. Catton, Jr., Overshoot, Bottleneck

Hi, Ellen. Hope you are well. This message is from the Irish midlands. I just completed reading your new book, and I must say I loved it. The analysis of contemporary society being akin to the HIV/AIDS virus is stop on. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. My ‘daytime job’ is lecturing part time in a major Irish University. My current research is in the area of eco-pedagogy and the amount of ecological awareness future teachers have. Best of luck, Brian Donovan

In British economist James Robertson’s January 2011 newsletter no. 32: “Ellen LaConte’s book LIFE RULES: Why so much is going wrong everywhere at once and how Life teaches us to fix it (Green Horizon Foundation/iUniverse) was published in October. This endorsement by John B. Cobb, co-author of For the Common Good with Herman Daly, is typical of a score of similar endorsements. “If you read just one book about the sickness that threatens the Earth, you cannot choose better than this one. In eminently readable style and with memorable images, LaConte diagnoses the disease and proposes promising responses. She finds seeds of hope without obscuring the imminence of catastrophe. Her message needs to reach a mass audience”. Ellen likens the sickness that threatens the Earth with the HIV that destroys human immune systems. She explains why the gathering “Critical Mass” of crises – such as Food and Water Shortages, Pollution of Water, Earth and Air, and Species Extinction and Ecosystem Collapse – now calls for a coherent Critical Mass of understanding and action to deal not just with all these systems separately but by dealing with the causes of the disease underlying them, in particular a globalized economy. The last of the three parts of the book is on “Deep Green Methods for Surviving the Global Economy”. It includes chapters on “Mimicking Life’s Economics”, “Mimicking Life’s Politics”, and “Overcoming Obstacles to Deep Green”. There are no easy answers to the present challenge of overcoming the obstacles to the survival of our species, but this book offers the wisdom we need to face up to it.”

“‘Pau’ is the universally used term in Hawai’i for ‘finished.’E.g. ‘pau eat’ = I have completed my meal. So, pau Life Rules tonight about 7 PM. What a read! Great work! Let me coin a couple of new words (variations on Derrick Jensen’s endorsement, ‘elegant’ and ‘eloquent’) Ellenquent and Ellengant!”  Jon Olsen, Maine Green Independent Party Steering Committee

“Love your writing and your content is very valuable to us all. Good work!” Huntington Barclay 

“You’ve pulled off an amazing publishing feat. . . . You have my thanks for this vital work.” Steve Talbott, co-director, The Nature Institute and Editor, In Context

“Ellen LaConte convincingly uses AIDS as a metaphor for the compounding impacts of climate change, peak oil, water and topsoil depletion, overpopulation, and economic collapse—a critical mass of problems currently overwhelming the immune system of the planet. Only another critical mass—this one of informed behavior change toward conservation and localization—can reverse the progress of the disease. This book succeeds in being both comprehensive and inspiring in its diagnosis and prescription.”

Richard Heinberg
Senior Fellow, Post Carbon Institute
Searching for Miracles; Powerdown; The Oil Depletion Protocol; Blackout

“If you read just one book about the sickness that threatens the Earth, you can-not choose better than this one. In eminently readable style and with memorable images, LaConte diagnoses the disease and proposes promising responses. She finds seeds of hope without obscuring the imminence of catastrophe. Her message needs to reach a mass audience.”

John B. Cobb, Jr.
Professor Emeritus, Claremont School of Theology
For the Common Good (w. Herman Daly)
Sustainability: Economics, Ecology & Justice

“Ellen LaConte is the steward of the kind of holistic mind that we humans were born into but that, amid the myriad fragmentations of mass global society, so many have lost. She applies her elastic intelligence to the most important topic we face: the destruction of life and the means by which we may survive. Life Rules is a tour de force and a book to carry with you in the years to come.”

Chellis Glendinning
My Name Is Chellis and I’m in Recovery from Western Civilization
Off the Map: An Exploration into Empire and the Global Economy

“Elegant and eloquent . . . an important work.”

Derrick Jensen
Endgame; A Language Older than Words; Resistance against Empire

“Relocalization, Slow Food and Post-Carbon activists, Permakulturists, radical ecologists, Transition Towners, Greens everywhere take note: This is the rallying cry “Life rules, we don’t.” Life regein, wissen wir nicht! In the LaConte book, Future Shock meets with Small is Beautiful . . . Her Deep Green pages show a 21st century vision of functioning, demokratische, humane surviving on our beautiful planet that is under siege.”

Hans-Jurgen Shank
Agro-Rebel, member Die Grünen, blogger, ÖkoEuroBrief

“It’s as if LaConte googled the world’s environmental and economic woes and distilled them down into a construct that we can all easily understand and digest. Critical reading for anyone who cares enough about our planet to try to save it.”

Miles Frieden, Director
Key West Literary Seminar

“A very valuable and important book. I will gladly recommend it to colleagues in the Great Work. It anticipates readers’ questions and makes the vast complex of present problems comprehensible. . . . It could well be a big seller.”

Herman Greene, Director
The Center for Ecozoic Studies; Publisher, The Ecozoic

“Wonderful summary of what’s wrong and what we need to do, not just economically and ecologically, but also politically. . . . The logic is very persuasive. By the time I put down the book, I was laughing at myself for ever thinking that broad national or global policies would be any use in getting us out of this mess.”

Terry Fowler
Urban Policy Issues: Canadian Perspectives; Building Cities That Work

“While Deep Ecologists explore ways humans can break through to a new level of consciousness in harmony with life, LaConte offers us a compelling reason to provide for ourselves in ways that mimic life: our survival as a species on a livable planet. In a critically challenged world, sustainable means not just Earth-friendly but also lifelike. . . . A very important attempt to wake us up before our global economy ‘puts us and life as we know it—as well as itself—out of business.’”

John Seed
Founder/Director, Rainforest Information Network
Co-author, Thinking Like a Mountain: Toward a Council of All Beings

“Looking back with more than seventy years of experience, I’m of the opinion that LaConte’s conception of democracy, as both characteristic of living systems and the ultimate objective of humanity’s economic and political enterprise, is the most inspired and comprehensive I am aware of.”

Lloyd P. Wells
Co-founder, The Center for Consensual Democracy
Recreating Democracy: Breathing New Life into American Communities

Life Rules brings fresh clarity and urgency to the serious, complex and inter-related issues and crises that we face as a species to either evolve or perish. Any faith unexamined means another life, another generation, unlived. This book examines those value systems and beliefs that have brought on what some see as the End Time, and offers alternative ways of being and doing that can help our species not only survive, but also evolve. As Albert Schweitzer advised, ‘Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace.’”

Dr. Michael W. Fox, veterinarian
Bring Life to Ethics: Global Bioethics for a Humane Society

“There are many books that focus on one aspect of the ecological problems that mankind is generating, but it is rare to find a book like Life Rules that looks at the whole picture. It is a sobering read, and leads to the conclusion that there is a systemic problem in our treatment of Gaia that can justly be compared to a disease process. The current individualistic paradigm can be summed up as ‘Blow you, Jack, I’m all right’. Paradigms can change, and Ellen LaConte shows in which direction our present mind-set should move if humanity and Gaia are to recover from the present disease.”

Dr. Richard Lawson
Parliamentary candidate, Green Party UK

“I hope this book is read far and wide. Overflowing with wisdom, it is a God-send.”

Rabbi Harry Z. Sky
2007 ALA Catalyst for Change Award

“This is not just one more cultural, economic and ecological Jeremiad. Rather, LaConte accomplishes a brilliant synthesis of the work of visionary economists, environmentalists and social critics alike. She’s done our homework for us. But she’s much more than an artful synthesizer of others’ work. Her perspective, ‘big picture’ observations, guiding metaphors and incisive, scrappy prose are all her own. She deftly manages to speak to young people and scholars with equal clarity and force. She tells it like it is, but never leaves us feeling helpless. It’s rare to find a book that tells the dark truth about our current human and planetary condition while simultaneously motivating us to re-think, re-act and step toward the light. This book does.”

Rebecca Kneale Gould
Associate Professor of Religion and Environmental Studies, Middlebury College
At Home in Nature

Life Rules is a powerful call to action that Americans in particular and all global citizens need to heed for humanity’s survival and transformation. Highly recommended.”

Wanda Urbanska
“Simple Living with Wanda Urbanska,” PBS
The Heart of Simple Living; Less is More

“An important book with a compelling argument: that we must be able to see the myriad threats facing the planet, not as discrete problems, but as interconnected issues that must be addressed as a single crisis. . . . Life Rules has the potential to generate a broad public response.”

Walter Fox
Professor of Journalism, Temple University (ret.)
Writing the News: A Guide for Print Journalists

Life Rules is a masterwork for the new millennium . . . a collection of wisdom for a healthy path into the future, the guidebook for a planetary renaissance. This book is for all people who want human life on Earth to prevail and prosper.”

August Jaccaci
CEO: Chief Evolutionary Officer—Leaders Mapping the Future
General Periodicity: Nature’s Creative Dynamics

Life Rules shows that more of us are beginning, in the nick of time, to recognize ourselves, our creations and our natural communities and ecosystems as inextricably interdependent. We see that it is no longer OK that our way of life requires that others’ ways of life be diminished. It is no longer OK that the preservation of our land, health and jobs requires that others’ be destroyed. This book validates those individuals, organizations and movements that are helping to shift the human paradigm from extreme competition, perpetual growth and private gain to cooperation, sustainability and the common good.”

Mary Beth Steisslinger, Integral Systems Biologist
Global Commons Group, Sky Trust

“LaConte sounds depths from which will spring new ways to see cities and buildings become tools for healing our planet. Her book may help to inspire a global movement towards a rediscovery of our sacred commitment to serve as loving Earth stewards.”

Tim Watson
Eco-Restorative architect & teacher
President, EarthWalk Alliance

“LaConte’s well-crafted analogies tie together many environmental and economic issues to show why the world is between a rock and a hard place . . . and why millions of us need to get up and serve in the world.”

Dwayne Hunn
The People’s Lobby; The American World Service Corps
Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things

“In proposing that the earth’s rapidly cascading and interlocked symptoms of environmental and social malaise constitute a syndrome analogous to HIV/ AIDS, Ellen LaConte aptly explains how we managed to arrive at thresholds that could bring down life as we know it in rapid order. This is a chilling synthesis. But not hopeless. . . . It comes down, she says, to tending things in the places we live and work. This is the way out—a return to deep local economies nested in limits and potentials given by nature. She has come up with a book that could change the shape of things to come.”

Ted Bernard
Professor, Environmental Studies Program
Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, Ohio University
Hope and Hard Times; The Ecology of Hope: Communities Collaborate for Sustainability

“I found LaConte’s analogy re AIDS fascinating….an approach that may make the earth’s crisis more plausible and understandable. It is the kind of analogy that even the simplest among us can understand and may be the kind of marketing ‘tool’ that could catch on in ways other approaches cannot.”

Fred Berger, Vice Chairman (retired)
Hill & Knowlton, Inc.