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January 1, 1994
Paul Gipe

The Land of the Living: The Danish Folk High Schools and Denmark's Non-Violent Path to Modernization by Steven Borish


A Dutch colleague, Rinie van Est, referred me to a fascinating book by American anthropologist Steven Borish. The book, Land of the Living, is based on Borish's study of the Danish folkehĂžjskol system in the early 1980s. His book is an articulate examination of Danish culture. His theme is that Denmark could -- should -- be used as a model for the post modern development of the USA in what he calls, paraphrasing E.F. Schumacher, "development with a human face."

Of interest for those of us who work with wind energy is Borish's reason for choosing the first folk high school in his study: it offered a course on wind energy. In fact, Borish discusses Danish interest in wind energy at length.

For anyone who has worked with Danes or wondered how such a small country could have such a big impact on the world of renewable energy, Borish's book offers some intriguing insights.

The Land of the Living: The Danish Folk High Schools and Denmark's Non-Violent Path to Modernization by Steven Borish, 1991, ISBN: 1-57733-108-7, 516 pp. 88 photos, 6x9, paper, $34.95; ISBN: 0-931892-62-7, 516 pp., 88 photos, 6x9, hardcover, $49.95. Available from Blue Dolphin Publishing, P.O. Box 8, Nevada City, CA 95959, Phone: 530 265 6925, Fax: 530 265 0787, bdolphin@netshel.net, www.bluedolphinpublishing.com.

Table of Contents

List of Maps, Tables, and Photographs

Foreword by Vagn Skovgaard-Petersen

Preface and Acknowledgments

PART I. INTRODUCTION

1. Nature and Purpose of the Inquiry

The History of Denmark Through Maps

PART II. CLOUDED IMAGES, HOPEFUL REALITIES

2. The Foreign Image of Denmark

3. A First Look at Modern Denmark

PART III. THE ORIGIN OF THE FOLK HIGH SCHOOLS

4. Revolution Without Violence: The Danish Land Reforms of the Late Eighteenth Century

5. The Rise of the Danish Folk High School

IV. THEMES IN THE DANISH NATIONAL CHARACTER

6. Democracy and Egalitarianism

7. Balance and Moderation

8. Hygge and the Art of Celebration

9. Welfare and Social Responsibility

10. Through a Glass Darkly: A Counter-Perspective on Danish National

PART V. THE DANISH FOLK HIGH SCHOOLS IN THE 1980s AND BEYOND

11. A Year in Three Danish Folk High Schools

12. A Critical Reappraisal

Notes

A Select English Bibliography

Index


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