Issue 14 T.O.C. – Michael Updegraff – “Leaving a Trace”

This post is part of a blog series revealing the table of contents of upcoming Issue Fourteen. As is our custom, we’ll be discussing one article per weekday in order to give you a taste of what is to come. 

The subscription window that includes Issue Fourteen is open now.

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"Kindred Spirits," by Asher Brown Durand. 1849. 

The Industrial Revolution changed everything. From a time when a household or community possessed the knowledge and wherewithal to produce just about everything needed to flourish, the gravity of industrialization moved the center of production out of the household and into factories. It took farmers and homesteaders off the land and placed them in assembly lines, specializing in individual tasks. It beckoned families to leave the struggles of the country and move to the cities – those promising hubs of commerce and prosperity. Much good may have been gained… but what was lost?

In Issue Fourteen, author Michael Updegraff takes an expansive look at the changes brought about by industrialism in America. As technology improved and made possible the harvesting of natural resources on a scale never before seen, policies were implemented to protect the woods and waters from humankind’s new-found mechanical powers. But these policies were often as short-sighted as the initial damage had been, and further widened the new divide between humans and the natural world. Where once we had been an integral part of local ecology, now we were seen as intruders. And the knowledge and connection that had been maintained by those who lived closest to the land was lost. 

But, perhaps, there are ways in which we can begin to return.

"Home in the Woods," by Thomas Cole. 1847.

“Ever bigger machines, entailing ever bigger concentrations of economic power and exerting ever greater violence against the environment, do not represent progress: they are a denial of wisdom. Wisdom demands a new orientation of science and technology towards the organic, the gentle, the non-violent, the elegant and beautiful.” – E.F. Schumacher

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