Richard Smyth

Back to Nature

Natural: The Seductive Myth of Nature’s Goodness

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Profile 272pp £20 order from our bookshop

The Natural Health Service: What the Great Outdoors Can Do for Your Mind

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Atlantic 336pp £16.99 order from our bookshop
 

At the outset of Alan Levinovitz’s profound, thoughtful and wide-ranging exploration of the ‘natural’, the author stakes out a middle ground between ‘the orthodoxies of nature worship’ and the categorical dismissal of all appeals to natural goodness (an ‘equally pernicious form of faith’). One might be forgiven for wondering at this point how such common-sense even-handedness can be sustained across some three hundred pages, but Levinovitz confounds these doubts by demonstrating how entrenched the false dichotomy of ‘natural’ and ‘unnatural’ is in 21st-century discourse, far beyond the obvious battlegrounds of, say, food and healthcare.

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