From the publisher’s description:
Looking across three centuries of want and prosperity, war and peace, this work introduces a cast of practitioners and proponents of the simple life, among them Thomas Jefferson, Scott and Helen Nearing, Jimmy Carter and Jane Addams. It finds that nothing is simple about our mercurial devotion to the ideal of plain living and high thinking. Though we may hedge a bit in practice and are now and then driven by motives no deeper than nostalgia, this work stresses that the diverse efforts to avoid anxious social striving and compulsive materialism have been essential to the nation's spiritual health.
SubjectsHistory / Philosophy / American History / Simplicity / Simple Living / Cultural History /
Shi, David E. (NHC Fellow, 1982–83). The Simple Life: Plain Living and High Thinking in American Culture. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985.