Natural: The Seductive Myth of Nature's Goodness (Hardback)
  • Natural: The Seductive Myth of Nature's Goodness (Hardback)
zoom

Natural: The Seductive Myth of Nature's Goodness (Hardback)

(author)
£20.00
Hardback 272 Pages / Published: 26/03/2020
  • 10+ in stock

Available

  • This item has been added to your basket
A TIMES AND SUNDAY TIMES SCIENCE BOOK OF THE YEAR Without our realising it, a single, slippery concept has become a secular deity throughout the modern industrial world. We make terrible sacrifices in its name: of our money, our health, and our planet. That deity is nature itself. From supermarket shoppers to evolutionary biologists, from atheists to pastors, from Alex Jones to Gwyneth Paltrow, we are all prone to the intuitive faith that life should be lived 'naturally'. But nature can't teach us how to live. If we try to stick to its imagined commands, eschewing human artifice in pursuit of Edenic purity, we jeopardise the environment, our health, and our society. (We also waste a lot of money on pots of weird slime). It is time to accept our profound responsibility to shape the world of which our technology and our selves are wholly a part.

Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781788161985
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 553 g
Dimensions: 240 x 162 x 27 mm
Edition: Main


MEDIA REVIEWS
An indispensable read ... The romanticisation of the "natural" is, Levinovitz notes, rooted in privilege. Only those who enjoy a lifestyle sufficiently protected from the ravages of nature have the licence to romanticise it. -- Kenan Malik * Guardian *
A splendid piece of work, as wide-ranging and original as it is well-written... strongly recommended -- Marcus Berkmann * Daily Mail *
Levinovitz shows how the idea of naturalness has pervaded our culture, and been a key justification for homophobia, laissez-faire economics, eugenics, the anti-vax movement and more. It even shapes our bizarre regulation of competitive sport. Timely, wide-ranging and counterintuitive: you'll never look at nature in quite the same way again * Times *
Concise and imaginative ... A tour de force -- Daniel Akst * Wall Street Journal *
Levinovitz's book is an important call for more nuance over simplicity, for compromise over dogmatism, and for embracing uncertainty over certainty. * Science *
Thoughtful, engaging forays into realms where the idea of the natural is most abused. It is remarkably wide-ranging ... Some of the most likeably spiky passages are still highly sceptical. The section on Goop is almost painfully sharp ... The book does much more than sneer and scoff - and this is what makes it interesting ... subtle and serious -- James McConnachie * Sunday Times *
A useful corrective to lazy thinking * Guardian *
Despite Levinovitz taking smart aim at the snake-oil salespeople of late capitalism - those selling expensive natural remedies, natural "cures" for cancer, or loudly advocating "wholly natural" childbirth, sex or sport - he concludes that there is something innately glorious about the non-human natural world. What Levinovitz critiques is what he sees as a religious attitude towards nature. An appeal to natural goodness - with "unnatural" as its evil twin - is among the most influential arguments in all human thought, ancient and modern, east and west. -- Patrick Barkham * Guardian *
This is important stuff, as evidenced every time someone discusses the supposed naturalness and thus supposed inevitability of some appalling human behavior. [Natural] is a superb book - fascinating, accessible, elegantly written, and deeply thought-provoking. -- Robert M. Sapolsky * author of Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst *
In a fascinating tour across time, cultures, and ideas, Alan Levinovitz shows us how the worship of an abstract idea of nature can lead us astray in everything from our health to the laws we pass and even how we structure our governments and our way of life. This book is required reading for anyone who wants to face the scientific and moral challenges of 21st century with a clear head. -- Tom Nichols * author of The Death of Expertise *
Alan Levinovitz provides a bracing corrective to our often misplaced faith in all things derived from nature. Throughout its exploration of a fascinating range of issues, from vanilla to wolves, the book is both thoughtful and addictively readable. -- Deborah Blum * author of The Poison Squad *
evocative, convincing ... this argument for removing "natural" from the altar of absolute good will certainly start conversations, particularly among naturalists and environmentalists. * Publisher's Weekly *
Profound, thoughtful and wide-ranging ... entertaining -- Richard Smyth * Literary Review *

You may also be interested in...

Holy Bible
Added to basket
£20.00
Leather / fine binding
The Power Of Kabbalah
Added to basket
The Screwtape Letters
Added to basket
The Odyssey
Added to basket
£14.99
Hardback
Anam Cara
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
Upanishads
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
Course in Miracles
Added to basket
The Greek and Roman Myths
Added to basket
Autobiography of a Yogi
Added to basket
Fear
Added to basket
£12.99
Paperback
The Righteous Mind
Added to basket
The Sign And The Seal
Added to basket
The Problem of Pain
Added to basket
£8.99
Paperback
Beyond Good and Evil
Added to basket
The Secret History of the World
Added to basket

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.