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Green Barbarians

Green Barbarians

Live Bravely on Your Home Planet

Sandbeck preaches a return to a more primitive way of life—a life with more joy and fewer household products. Green Barbarians demonstrates that by mustering a bit of courage and relying less on many modern conveniences, we can live happier, safer, more ecologically and economically responsible lives..
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  • Scribner | 
  • 288 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416571827 | 
  • December 2009
List Price $18.99
This title is temporarily out of stock, please check back soon.

Read an Excerpt


I got the idea for this book as my husband and I were eating a picnic lunch in front of a bonfire in our back four. (We own five acres. A back forty is beyond our capabilities.) My husband, who is more domestic than I, brought a tray loaded with a lovely post-Thanksgiving feast: hot spiced apple cider in a jar; capicola ham; smoked cheese; homemade bread; goat cheese; apples; and pumpkin pie. I was happily contemplating the prospect of enhancing my garden beds with charcoal dust from the soon-to-be-quenched fire, and wondering whether I should wipe the capicola grease on my husband’s pants, since he had forgotten to... see more


To believe yourself brave is to be brave; it is the one only essential thing.

—Mark Twain, Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc

When I began doing the research for this book, I thought I had a fairly good idea of what I would find. I could not have been more mistaken. I thought I understood that Big Business is only interested in money, not in improving their customers’ lives, but when I really began digging, I was deeply shocked by the astounding depth, breadth, and density of Big Business’s indifference not only to their customers’ well-being, but... see more

About the Author

Ellen Sandbeck
Photo Credit:

Ellen Sandbeck

Ellen Sandbeck is an organic landscaper, worm wrangler, writer, and graphic artist who lives with (and experiments on) her husband and an assortment of younger creatures -- which includes two mostly grown children, a couple of dogs, a small flock of laying hens, and many thousands of composting worms -- in Duluth, Minnesota. She is the author of Slug Bread & Beheaded Thistles and Eat More Dirt.


Author Revealed

Ellen Sandbeck
Q. how did you come to write Green Barbarians?

A. I decided that it would be really fun to research ancient and modern ways to do things in order to avoid buying in to the propaganda of Big Business/pharmo/industrial/agrochemical complex. It was really fun, but it was also infuriating,scary and exhausting.

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