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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

The world has finally awoken to the reality of climate breakdown and ecological collapse. Now we must face up to its primary cause. Capitalism demands perpetual expansion, which is devastating the living world. There is only one solution that will lead to meaningful and immediate change: degrowth.

If we want to have a shot at halting the crisis, we need to restore the balance. We need to change how we see nature and our place in it, shifting from a philosophy of domination and extraction to one that's rooted in reciprocity and regeneration. We need to evolve beyond the dogmas of capitalism to a new system that is fit for the 21st century. But what does such a society look like? What about jobs? What about health? What about progress?

This audiobook tackles these questions and traces a clear pathway to a post-capitalist economy. An economy that's more just, more caring and more fun. An economy that enables human flourishing while reversing ecological breakdown. An economy that will not only lift us out of our current crisis, but restore our sense of connection to a world that's brimming with life. By taking less, we can become more.

 PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2020 Jason Hickel (P)2020 Penguin Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Less Is More

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Everyone should listen to this

If you love your children, and life in general, perhaps this is the most important book you'll read of your lifetime. Expect science based doom & gloom, but also solutions, both practical and enjoyable. Implementable by our personal actions and our vote.

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Mandatory reading!

Should be included in every educational curriculum, regardless of one's field of study. I'm including it in my courses on sustainable innovation.

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Must read for everyone!

One of the most important books I've ever read. The political economy and ecology of the last 500 years. Plus a pathway to save our planet and move to a regenerative future. Thank you for writing this Jason. And for respecting First Nations perspectives throughout the book.

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interesting book. a must read for us all...

one of the best written books I have read lately. pragmatic, well documented, interesting.

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  • Igor Panaghiu
  • 09-26-20

We are only part of the nature, nothing more.

Humanity can only survive if post-capitalism profits will be used for mother earth recovery.
This book is a masterpiece.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Myles Hocking
  • 10-01-20

Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh dear.

TL:DR; This book is a rantathon for people who the type of people who fail the Gapminder test (most people sadly). If you fail the gapminder test, don't buy this book as it will only worsen your already overly-negative view of the world. Instead but go and research until you pass it, maybe try Pinker's Enlightenment Now, or just relax and read something funny.

I tried to read this as a nice chap I met through solar-charity-investment recommended it. But try as I might I can't get through it.

Hickel is definitely very hateful and despising of 'capitalism'. No doubt in any civilisation from the Sumarians, to the Mongols to the Ottomans, a Hickel would have been there railing against the treatment of the poor and lambasting the riches of the rich. In the two chapters I managed to read of this book I understand Hickel has no universal sense of empathy, where he is able to understand how all humans work together in societies and buy and sell goods and services and improve each other's lot. Rather he is convinced it's a stitch up and he only ever uses his empathy and sympathy for those he considers down-trodden. For instance, he mentions pre-medieval life expectancy was 43 and after 'enclosures' of agricultural lands in Europe is dove down to 31. Now, I'm not going to go and research those particular medieval stats, but what is certainly true today is that global life-expectancy has shot-up over the last hundred years in every nation and the average is 72 and rising. So we're all doing super-duper thank you very much, but Hickel wants the system that delivered this to be ripped apart.

Another example I was shocked to hear was that Henry VIII created the Vagabond Act and after destituting all these subjects of his, he had 75,000 of them executed. What a terrible person! Except when I researched this, that 75,000 figure seems to come from one reference from a French Catholic history, who weren't to impressed at Henry's Roman Catholic Brexit. Serious analysis of this period suggests Henry VIII can barely have ordered the executions of more than a few hundred individuals. I could go on, but I shan't waste my saliva.

So rather than give it to you straight Hickel would rather have you think and feel that 'the rich', 'the 1%, 'the elites' only sequester money (he posits no reason why or where they put it) and do this by oppressing the poor who in his view in a capitalist society do nothing but lose. Again, in the majority of agricultural history leaders, kings, and monarchs have been in a difficult situation of strike or be struck, Money generally has had to go back into investments in infrastructure, soldier's wages, and defenses. And whilst it can buy the largest and most diverse set of fineries for the uber-rich of any age, they are beholden to the overall conditions of the time. Take Queen Anne, who had 18 children, none of whom made it to adulthood, most of which were stillborn, some died of smallpox, and others survived just long enough to be baptised. Or all the way to 1927 when the most powerful man the President of the United States, Calvin Coolidge watched inept as his son died from a blister he got from playing tennis. Today almost every child in the world has access to antibiotics. Thanks society. Thanks 'capitalism'.

Hickel may have some important information and arguments, but if he has they are wrapped in a thick smear of misplaced bitterness.

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  • Dani D
  • 02-24-21

Fantastic read!!

Brilliant book that brings to light many of the issues surrounding the climate emergency and the damaging ecosystems. Couldn't recommend this more.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Montberte
  • 08-20-20

Excellent read

Loved this book. Not my normal read but decided to read something new. No regrets as it was very much a brain exerciser.

4 people found this helpful

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  • D
  • 02-16-21

Life changing!

A real eye opener. This book ties together so much in such an absorbable way. It explains how we arrived where we are and what we can do about it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Fabian Stefan
  • 01-25-21

Brilliant and full of hope!

this is a book that everyone should listen and contemplate upon, There isn'tother way and many will disagree, but if it is to think about our children's future, then we have no excuse!
Mind opening and perspective changing advisory!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ivana
  • 01-13-21

Everyone should read this book

Please read this book and then ask yourself how can you be part of solution

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mr. W. Sanderson
  • 09-19-20

worth it for thehistory of capitalism bits

on first listen was really impressed by the history of capitalism bits and felt the solutions were a bit less clearly presented. for.obcious reasons I guess in that he's talking about possibilities as opposed to historical events. still think arguments could have been better argued towards the end of the book. would recommend

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  • D. Rudman
  • 09-22-22

Good at challenging the mindset of growth

It's good to hear a different point of view about economics, but sometimes the alternatives don't sound entirely convincing. It would be good if these different ideas were more widely discussed.

Convincingly read by the narrator.

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  • Jacq
  • 08-24-22

Stunning

Just that, if you've got as far as reading the reviews don't hesitate any further.

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  • Nick
  • 05-24-22

Insightful & Compelling

A great introduction to the degrowth movement which is gaining considerable momentum in the scientific community. Hickel provides persuasive arguments for the societal transformation needed to prevent an acceleration of the ongoing ecological disaster.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-16-22

everyone needs to read this book

absolutely fantastic and inspiring book. there is hope for us yet if we can implement the ideas from this book. I wish we could make it mandatory reading for all politicians and persons with power, and essential reading in secondary school. It should be a guide book and bible for a new age of living in harmony with the earth.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-21-22

Mind Blowing

I have been familiar with “Degrowth” for some time now but the eloquence and ease in which Jason Hickel can further explain it is captivating and enticing. There were so many moments where I felt like I had lightbulb moments because it just makes sense, Jason makes so much sense and it inspired me to take a long hard look at my life and my values. It is a must read for everybody and I’ve taken to recommend it as vital reading for every single one of the candidates in my area who are currently running for federal government. I hope they too have the same light bulb moments.

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  • Keith
  • 08-26-21

Polemic, and utopian

Jason retrospectively attributes all that is bad in the last 500 years to a single cause, capitalism, without considering the reality of population growth, individual greed, and human nature. He sees the public as victims incapable of individual agency. He selectively interprets other cultures and never once considers the evolution of economic systems and emergence of CSR. A narrow world view, possibly from a sheltered life, and boy, has he got it in for Descartes!

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  • liliana guerrero
  • 06-11-21

Excellent book

If you wonder what solutions our world needs in order to survive our current climate crisis, this is a great book for you.
If you are ready to debunk capitalism and the ideas that have led us into our current situation of injustice, inequality and ecological catastrophe, this is the book for you!

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  • Linda M. Cockburn
  • 05-08-21

Excellent stuff

I've been writing a book on the concept of reciprocity for a while and this interconnects with my thinking to the point I was giant YESing throughout it. A great precis on the history of capitalism too. It puts today's world in perspective, as well as a comprehensive list of ideas on how to combat it. Well worth a listen despite the off-putting title.