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When Eleanor Agnew, her husband, and two young children moved to the Maine woods in 1975, the back-to-the-land movement had already attracted untold numbers of converts who had grown increasingly estranged from mainstream American society. This is their story, in all its glories and agonies, its triumphs and disasters (many of them richly amusing), told by a woman who experienced the simple life firsthand but has also read widely and interviewed scores of people who went back to the land. Most of them, it turns out, came back from freedom and self-sufficiency, either by returning to urban life…mehr

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When Eleanor Agnew, her husband, and two young children moved to the Maine woods in 1975, the back-to-the-land movement had already attracted untold numbers of converts who had grown increasingly estranged from mainstream American society. This is their story, in all its glories and agonies, its triumphs and disasters (many of them richly amusing), told by a woman who experienced the simple life firsthand but has also read widely and interviewed scores of people who went back to the land. Most of them, it turns out, came back from freedom and self-sufficiency, either by returning to urban life or by dressing up their primitive rural existence but they held onto the values they gained during their back-to-the-land experience.