Home > Announcement, Design the Details > Resilience through reading: Horizon Books honors local luminary with display

Resilience through reading: Horizon Books honors local luminary with display


Bob Russell, a.k.a Captain Blackheart

Community elder, luminary, and cranky pirate Bob Russell from the Neahtawanta Inn and Center isn’t known by everyone, but he sure is known by a lot of us in the community, across the state and in the country. He’s worked on hyper-local projects and he’s worked on international projects, ranging from septage treatment plants to NGO communication networks. Bob is currently living with cancer and the uncertainty of the next stage is part of everyday. If you know Bob, you know that he has spent a lifetime contemplating the uncertainty of the here-and-now and how large, centralized, and impersonal systems have created dangerous dependence on unsustainable regimes. The academic term for this study is resilience.

Recently, Horizon Books set up a display of Bob’s recommended must reads from his rather large library. You’ll find it on its own stand, by the front door next to the spinning stand of cards. No links are provided below to encourage you to shop local, as Bob would have it.

Thank you Horizon Books for honoring Bob!

Bob’s book list

(with description of importance by Bob)


  • For the Common Good by Herman E Daly and John B Cobb Jr.

Our society has swung too far towards individualism dismantling our sense of community membership. Only recognition of the common good can save us.”

  • The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change by Al Gore

A big book, dense with Al Gore’s vision of the where history is headed. Gore is a very smart, complicated thinker. Have a dictionary nearby, you’ll need it.”

  • Sustainability by The World Watch Institute

The most recent annual publication from the World Watch Institute. Sustainability is not a property of Nature, resilience is. Nothing is sustainable in Nature. It is full of change and shifting cycles.”

  • The Wealth of Nature by John Michael Greer


This perhaps the most important and easily read book about economics one can choose. Modern day economics theory misses the eternal connection that bonds real wealth to the eco-system services provided to us by our planet. Money is not wealth.”

  • The Surprising Design of Market Economies by Alex Marshall

This is a very readable book explaining that there really is no economic market place that runs itself rationally. Economic theories that talk of market forces and the “invisible hand of the market” are artificial and missing the truth.”

More books below…

Bob and Dave Barrons produce the public access program, Investigating Community Resilience  Recently, they dedicated three shows to discussing the concept of resilience. Part I is below, Part II and Part III can be viewed online at www.icr.nrec.org


  • What’s the Economy Good for Anyway?  by John DeGraaf and David K BatkerEco

We need to measure Happiness as a metric for judging our societies success and dump the GDP measurement. We are not just consumers, we are complex human beings and citizens.”

  • Prosperity without Growth by Tim Jackson.

The world has to stop consuming more than the planet can provide. This book describes the transition to a steady state economic reality: development without growth.”

  • Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth by Juliet B. Schor

Another favorite dealing with steady state economics. Resource availability will be constrained at best; growth will be difficult at best. We need to find another model.”

  • energyThe Energy Reader by Laura Nader

Energy is the common factor in all that we accomplish in life. Looked at this simply, there are real, earth-bound limits to the supply of easy energy in the future. Our future will be characterized by constrained energy supply with unavoidable limits to growth.”

  • The Localization Reader by Ray DeYoung

A psychologist and a ecologist pull together an unparalleled collection of articles telling how we got to this point in history and where we a going.”

  • Dreaming the Future by Kenny Ausubel

This book tells how resilient communities survive stresses and change through adaptation and creative emergence.”

  • Owning the Future by Marjorie Kelly

How do we make the future that will happen be the future that needs to happen, if human societies are going to survive. What must we grasp first, to change our behavior and not consume too much.”


  • Local Dollars, Local Sense by Michael Shuman

A must read and local favorite. The single biggest export that leaves every local community is the sum total of its citizens’ investment dollars. They are exported into a world wide financial system which we all know is frail. Shuman tells us why we must learn how to invest in Main St. not Wall St.”

  • Rebuilding the Food Shed by Philip Ackerman-leist

This book tells why and how our food should be grown locally. After all, the wealth of our local soil, and all the food it can provide should be kept as local as much as possible.”

  • Full Planet Empty Plates by Lester Brown

Another powerful book from one of the most cogent thinkers of our time. The message might be scary: the geo politics of our food supply make it ever more frail.”

  • Cooked by Michael Pollen

From this book in the author’s series on food, our own health and the health of our food system depends one his #1 rule: Cook Your Own Food!”

  • Engaging Voices 

This book is about governance: the process of making public decisions. It is really about how to listen and how to get along even as we engage differing opinion.”ThinkFast

  • Thinking Fast, Thinking Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Also a book about governance: how do we make governance decisions; how can we do it better; how do we engage effectively?”

  • The World in 2050 by Laurence C. Smith

This is a fascinating read that simply extrapolates developments already taking place across the far northern hemisphere into the year 2050. What will we look like?”

  • The Resilience Imperative by Michael Lewis

The essential reader for Community Resilience. Resilience is not about our ability to bounce back; it is our about ability to adapt to unpredictable change.”

  • Principles of Eco-System Stewardship by F Stuart Chapin III, Gary P. Kofinas, Carl Folke, and M.C. Chapin

If you like text-book style learning or want to teach Resilience thinking this is the one.”


Happy mind expansion. 


Thanks Bob, you are a rock.




Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are that of the author and do not represent the opinions of writers previously published here or any of the organizations, committees, commissions or other affiliation the authors may belong to, unless so stated.

  1. August 23, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Reblogged this on MyWHaT and commented:

    With respect we repost this. As Bob said many times, “you should read this book?

  1. August 26, 2013 at 10:01 am

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