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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Embracing Luddism: Stop the Progress, I Want to Get Off! is a non-fiction social-issues book written by J. Ronald Adair. In 1812, Ned Ludd, a textile worker, led his co-workers in a rebellion against the dangers of the industrial revolution. The author sees himself as a selective Luddite which could be seen as ironic, considering his long association with the modern technology which has so changed the cultural landscape. This work is designed to introduce the topic of a rapidly evolving world and to show younger readers how they can resist the tide of modernism. Adair discusses both the good and bad aspects of modern culture, and exposes the unconsidered costs paid by those espousing the modernist philosophy. He challenges young readers to stand apart from the pack mentality of their peers and to dare to look at a different way of living, a simpler and more fulfilling one. While he doesn't recommend instantly eschewing all modern comforts and tech, he does give a number of suggestions on how small changes can make a big difference in the quality of one's life.
J. Ronald Adair's non-fiction social-issues book, Embracing Luddism: Stop the Progress, I Want to Get Off!, may be geared toward younger readers, but the appeal of his Selective Luddism philosophy is bound to attract readers of all ages. Adair's suggestions make a lot of sense, and his insistence that you don't need to go all the way in the opposite direction makes trying a few small steps backward virtually effortless. I loved his ideas on how to get off the grid or, at least, to gradually disencumber oneself of the cultural trappings that often become virtual prisons for many. And his wry comments about the breadwinner who works all hours to ensure that each member of the family has a data plan and all the modern conveniences until he or she prematurely dies is sure to resonate with at least a few readers who've been wondering how they got so tangled up in red tape, consumerism and credit. Adair's book is also a delightful read; he writes in a conversational style that's quite irresistible -- and his ideas often make a lot of sense. This is a book to read through, ponder a bit, and then use as a reference guide as one begins the process of disengaging from modernism. Embracing Luddism: Stop the Progress, I Want to Get Off! is most highly recommended.