Friday, July 8, 2011

Harmony by Prince Charles

Title: Harmony
Author: Prince Charles
Publisher: Harper Collins
Published Date: April 13, 2010
Source: Library

What's the Story?:

From "For decades, the Prince of Wales has been studying a wide array of disciplines to understand every aspect of man's impact on the natural world, and in that time he has examined everything from architecture to organic farming to sustainable economics. Now, for the first time, he speaks out about his years of research, presenting a fascinating look at how modern industrialization has led us to a state of disharmony with nature, created climate change, and pushed us to the brink of disaster.
From the rice farms of India to the prairies of America's corn belt, from the temples of Ancient Egypt to the laboratories of industrial designers, Harmony spans the globe to identify the different ways that contemporary life has abandoned the hard-earned practices of our history, a shift that has spurred a host of social problems and accelerated climate change.

Drawing on cases from farming, healthcare, transportation, and design, the Prince of Wales also offers solutions for change, creating a new vision for our world, one that incorporates the traditional wisdom of our past with the modern science of our present to avert catastrophe. In the end, Harmony paints a holistic portrait of what we as a species have lost in the modern age, while outlining the steps we can take to regain the harmony of our ancestors."

My Two Cents:

This is a lofty book with lofty ideas. Are they all bad ideas? Definitely not. I think most of us can agree that on our current trajectory as earthlings with regard to how we treat the earth, we're going to be in trouble. We face a lot of issues: pollutions, limited resources, unplanned growth, etc. Prince Charles tries to tackle a lot of these issues in this book and while there are some very good sections (the architecture and urban design sections were particularly interesting to me), much of his argument seems to meander a bit too much to keep me hooked to this book.

There are some very interesting sections that are worth a read though. As I mentioned Prince Charles argues strongly for "smart growth," a subject that I care deeply about. "Smart growth" means planning growth in such a way that it is conducive for people to live in while ensuring that the growth makes sense environmentally. Prince Charles has worked a lot to create awareness for "smart growth" principles.

The other thing that I loved in this book are the photographs. They are absolutely gorgeous.

Bottom line: this book would have served well with a little more editing. There's some interesting information, you just have to be willing to look for it.

My Review:
2.5 out of 5 stars


  1. Who knew Prince Charles was such an Earth-warrior? :)

    It's interesting to hear that he has these lofty ideals. To me, he always seemed like such a stuffed shirt (one who didn't care too much about these sorts of things). Nice to hear otherwise :)

  2. I would definitely read this one for the photographs alone! I'm sure they're gorgeous.

  3. I have always found Prince Charles fascinating and I think I would enjoy this one. Thanks for the great review!


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