A selection by ourselves of some books which either informed the development of the ecology movement or chart aspects of its history.

We are not publishing these with links to any particular online reseller. If you have a local new or secondhand bookshop we would encourage you to use that. There are some links to specialist online booksellers in the On-Line section under Resources. Out of print books can often be obtained from secondhand booksellers online book eg ABE Books and others.

We start here with Silent Spring although there is a wide range of earlier literature and philosophy which provide the core threads in the strands of the green movement. Interested readers would do well to look at Thoreau, Goethe, Wordsworth, Spinoza, Blake and many more.

Silent Spring - Rachel Carson - 1962. Often credited with kickstarting the modern ecology movement.

The Making of a Counter Culture - Theodore Roszak - 1969. Describes the rise of the counter-culture movement in 1960s america.

The Greening of America - Charles A Reich - 1970. A paen to the new consciousness that was arising. Topped the New York Best Seller list on Dec 27th 1970 and other weeks. Possibly one of the first uses of "green" in the ecological sense.

Eco-activists: Youth fights for a Human Environment - Michael Allaby - 1971. It describes and provides a history of the emergence of a grassroots ecological movement.

Limits to Growth - Meadows, Randers, Meadows & Beherens  - 1972. Often misunderstood as prediction, in fact presenting a modelling tool. Sold 30 million copies and is the best-selling environmental book of all time.

Where the Wasteland Ends - Theodore Roszak - 1972. A critque of "single-vision" scientific rationalism from an ecological point of view.

Ecotopia - Ernest Callenbach - 1975. A eco-utopian novel drawing on ideas current in the West Coast counterculture and AltTech movements. Widely read at the time and influential. Callenbach stress that it is not strictly a Utopia (description of an ideal world) but has its flaws and is a progress rather than an end state.

The Complete Book of Self Sufficiency - John Seymour - 1976. Expanded 'coffee table' companion to 'Self Sufficiency',1976. Widely read and influential in the UK.

A Guide for the Perplexed - E.F. Schumacher - 1977. A critique of modern materialistic values from a philosophical standpoint. Described by himself as "what my life has been leading up to" it summarises all his thinking in accessible form.

Ecotopia Emerging - Ernest Callenbach - 1981. A prequel to Ecotopia describing the story of the emergence of the state of Ecotopia. See also the Ecotopian Encyclopaedia, 1981.

Thinking Green: An Anthology of Essential Ecological Writing - Michael Allaby, ed. 1989. A collections of essays from 19th & 20th centuries including pieces by Hobbes, Malthus, Carson and Schumacher (and others) dealing with early ecological ideas


Magazines & Periodicals

A wide range of more or less short-lived paper based news-sheets and periodicals flourished as cheap instant printing became available in the late 60's and early 70's. Many of these would carry occasional ecology themed articles or items, some were dedicated to particular aspects of the wider movement. Resurgence and The Ecologist were the central two planks of this structure and survive, albeit recently merged, to this day. The Resurgence/Ecologist website contains a complete archive of back issues. Since about 2000 there has been a shift to online presentation. Here we list significant paper based publications.

Peace News - first published 1936. Of particular interest during the late 60's to mid 80's as it aligned with both CND and GreenCND and also the wider pacifist movement.


Resurgence - first published May 1966. Bimonthly. General spiritual ecology theme.

Whole Earth Catalog - from 1968 to 1972 and intermittently till 1998. Published by Stewart Brand in the US although widely read in the UK it detailed tools and techniques for counterculture and alternative life-styles.

The Ecologist - first published July 1970. Initially monthly, later bimonthly. More campaign based than Resurgence.

The Land Is Ours Newsletter - from 1996-2002. Bimonthly/quarterly. TLIO formed with the Newbury bypass campaign as a result of a call to arms by George Monbiot in The Guardian in February 1995.

The Land - first published 2006. Biannual. Continues deep-ecology land based theme from TLIO.


  • General (13)

    General articles describing some aspect of our history.

  • Campaigns (0)
  • Events (0)

    Articles about specific events

  • Opinions (5)

    Articles which express a personal view or analysis of some aspect of our history.

  • Organisations (2)

    Articles relating to particular (formal or informal) organisations. Sub-categories are created once an organisation has more than two articles.

    • Oxford Groups (4)

      This category collects together all articles and materials about groups based in Oxford.

      Oxford during the 1970s was a centre of green-eco activity. Oxfam had been founded in Oxford in 1942. In 1970/1 the first Ecology-Action group in the UK was founded in the city. There was an active branch of Friends of the Earth (FoE) with a shop and campaign headquarters in city. As in many university towns there was a thriving 'alternative' scene In 1976 the Political Ecology Research Group (PERG) was created in Oxford. PERG spawned a campaigning arm in the Oxford Ecology Movement (OEM) quite independently of the Ecology Party. OEM was created explicitly to contest the 1979 elections. Some members of OEM then formed an Oxford Ecology Party (OEP) which soon became part of the national Ecology Party. People from OEP then went on to found Green Line magazine which was run as a collective and continued throughout the 1980s.


    • Green Collective (6)

      Articles about the Green Collective activities - see also Events category for specific events like individual Gatherings and the Green Collective newsletters in the document archive.

    • Peace Groups (1)

      A wide variety of peace organisations flourished during the cold war period ranging from the anarchist through the christian to the peace establishment (CND) and even "Tories Against Cruise & Trident" (TACT)

    • Political (0)

      Articles about explicitly political organisations with electoral ambitions. If there are more than two articles about a particular organisation the they will form a sub-category and also appear in the next level sub-menu at the top of the page. Groups within a Party (eg party-based eco/environment groups) will be listed with the parent party.


      • PEOPLE and Movement for Survival (4)

        Movement for Survival was announced in the January 1972 issue of the Ecologist. Although not formally a political party it was the first organisation in the world to publicly organise for political action on ecological grounds. Overwhelmed by the response to the Blueprint for Survival issue the Ecologist team did not have the capacity to effectively set up the organisation and passed the unsorted responses to the PEOPLE group.

        Formed in December 1972 PEOPLE existed as an organisation until it name changed to Ecology Party in 1975. PEOPLE merged with (in effect took over) Movement for Survival during 1973 and in 1974 stood candidates in both the general elections.

      • Ecology Party (2)

        The Ecology Party, or Eco as it was familiarly known, existed from 1975 when PEOPLE debated a change of name and finally opted to become Ecology Party, through until 1985 when the name was again changed to The Green Party.

      • Eco & Green Party (4)

        Articles covering both Ecology Party and Green Party years - eg lists of conferences, leaders etc

      • Green Party (0)

        In 1985 the Ecology Party formally changed its name to the Green Party. At that stage it covered the whole of the UK including Scotland.

  • People (8)

    Articles about particular individuals - including biographies, obituaries, interviews, and memories of a particular person by the author.

    Please remember that all such items are extremely subjective and always should always be read with awareness of who wrote it and why.

    For articles about individuals written specifically for Green History see the sub-categories Green Pioneers, Green Activists, and Green Thinkers. The Person Index provides a full list of names with a one line summary for each.

    • Green Pioneers (11)

      Short potted biographies of some key Green activists and thinkers who pre-date 1972. List available in blog layout (with picture and intro text) or table layout (all listed on a single page)

      • For short introductions to those who were active in the UK in the early stages see Green Activists.
      • For general articles about individuals including obituaries and interviews see People.
    • Green Activists (1)

      Short potted biographies of people who were active in getting the green movement going in the UK. Many are still alive. These pieces are written specifically for the Green History project.

      Obituaries, personal memories and reprints of articles about key individuals first published elsewhere can be found under the general People category.

      See the Person Index for a full list of names and click on the name for a list of all articles referencing or about them. 

    • Green Thinkers (0)

      Philosophers and writers on Ecology and Green ideas.

      This section will contain short details of some significant eco-green thinkers with links to more information.

      examples include:

      • Arne Næss
      • EF Schumacher
      • Fritzof Capra
  • Library (13)
  • Article Updates (11)

    This section contains information about new and updated articles.


    On the right the six most recent articles by creation date. Below the occasional articles giving details of the changes since the previous article. New update articles are generated either monthly or when there a number of new items to show. In between times the current update article gets updated.

  • Editorial (15)

    typewriterCommentary by the editors on the content and purpose of this site.

  • Publications (5)

    Articles about some of the many publications - magazines, journals and newsletters - which flourished during the period. Introductory articles are under this heading and where there is more material a publication may have its own sub-category.

    Planned for inclusion here in addition to the articles already published (see list below):

    • Resurgence. Since 1966, continues today. Described as "the artistic and spiritual voice of the green movement in the UK". Absorbed The Ecologist in 2012. Full archive available to subscribers at
    • The Ecologist. Since July 1970. Co-founded by Teddy Goldsmith. Published Blueprint for Survival in Jan 1972. Merged into Resurgence in 2012. Full archive available on the website
    • Towards Survival. June 1972-March 1975. Some issues and more info in the Library.
    • The Vole. 1977 to Sept 1981. Edited by Richard Boston. We have located a full set of back numbers which we hope eventually to have the resources to scan and make available in the Library area.
    • Christian Ecology Group News/Green Christian
    • Green Anarchist
    • GreenFly - rumoured to have existed in Oxford before Green Line started
    • A Pinch of Salt
    • ...

    In addition you will find organisation newsletters under the relevant organisation entry in the Library - PEOPLE, Ecology Party, Green Party, Green Collective, Green CND

    Please do make additional suggestions - especially if you have samples that we could scan and use.

    • Green Line Contents Listings (9)

      Green Line was published from early 1982 through to the late 1990's. It was a 16 or 20 side A4 black and white print with the outer cover printed in 2 colours on coloured paper. It aimed to be the magazine of the green movement.

    • Ecologist (2)