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.