Here is a list of books and DVDs available in the Transition Section at the Ridgway Public Library. If you would like to add to this collection, just tell the librarian to please add your book or DVD to the Transition section. Then please let us know so we can add it to the list below. Thank you.


The Ascent of Humanity. Charles Eisenstein. 

Book description: This is an extraordinary book. Eisenstein has put his finger on the core problem facing humanity—namely: separation. All the crises that humanity now face are grounded in the belief that we are separate—separate from each other, separate from the biosphere that sustains us, separate from the universe that has brought us forth. This is a tour-de-force filled with astounding insight, wit, wisdom and heart.”—Christopher Uhl, author of Developing Ecological Consciousness: Paths to a Sustainable Future

Creating a World That Works For All; Sharif M. Abdullah; Berrett-Koehler, 1999

Book Description: In Creating a World That Works for All, Abdullah takes a look at the mess we live in — and presents a way out. To restore balance to the earth and build community, he says, people must stop blaming others, embrace inclusivity, and become “menders”. He outlines three simple tests — for “enoughness”, exchangeability, and common benefit — to guide people as they transform themselves and the world.

The Sacred Matrix; Dieter Duhm; Verlag Meiga, 2008

Book Description: Dieter Duhm places the origin of our cultural violence in pre-history–patriarchy’s destruction of the peaceful goddess culture approximately 5000 years ago. He then examines the way out of the destructive culture formed around that violence and its attendant mind-set. I found this book profound and thought-provoking —Paula James

Thriving Beyond Sustainability: Pathways to a Resilient Society; Andres R. Edwards; New Society Publishers, 2010

Book Description: Thriving Beyond Sustainability draws a collective map of individuals, organizations, and communities from around the world that are committed to building an alternative future—one that strives to restore ecological health; reinvent outmoded institutions, and rejuvenate our environmental, social, and economic systems. The projects and initiatives profiled are meeting the challenges of the day with optimism, hope, and results, leading the way in:

  • Relocalization
  • Green commerce
  • Ecological design
  • Environmental conservation
  • Social transformation

Thriving Beyond Sustainability was a Gold Medal Winner, 2011 Living Now Book Awards, Social Activism

Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of TransitionCharles Eisenstein; Evolver Editions, 2011

Book Description:  Sacred Economics explores avant-garde concepts of the New Economics, including negative-interest currencies, local currencies, resource-based economics, gift economies, and the restoration of the commons. Author Charles Eisenstein also considers the personal dimensions of this transition, speaking to those concerned with “right livelihood” and how to live according to their ideals in a world seemingly ruled by money. Tapping into a rich lineage of conventional and unconventional economic thought, Sacred Economics presents a vision that is original yet commonsense, radical yet gentle, and increasingly relevant as the crises of our civilization deepen.

Sacred Economics official website:

The Transition Handbook: From Oil Dependency to Local Resilience (Transition Guides); Rob Hopkins; Chelsea Green, 2008

Book Description: We live in an oil-dependent world, arriving at this level of dependency in a very short space of time by treating petroleum as if it were in infinite supply. Most of us avoid thinking about what happens when oil runs out (or becomes prohibitively expensive), but The Transition Handbook shows how the inevitable and profound changes ahead can have a positive outcome. These changes can lead to the rebirth of local communities that will grow more of their own food, generate their own power, and build their own houses using local materials. They can also encourage the development of local currencies to keep money in the local area.

The Transition Companion: Making Your Community More Resilient in Uncertain Times (Transition Guides)Rob Hopkins; Chelsea Green, 2011

Book Description:  The Transition Companion picks up the story today, drawing on the experience of one of the most fascinating experiments under way in the world. It tells inspiring tales of communities working for a future where local economies are valued and nurtured; where lower energy use is seen as a benefit; and where enterprise, creativity, and the building of resilience have become cornerstones of a new economy.

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference; Malcolm Gladwell; Back Bay Books, 2002

Book Description:  The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a small but precisely targeted push cause a fashion trend, the popularity of a new product, or a drop in the crime rate. This widely acclaimed bestseller, in which Malcolm Gladwell explores and brilliantly illuminates the tipping point phenomenon, is already changing the way people throughout the world think about selling products and disseminating ideas.

The End of Money and the Future of Civilization; Thomas H. Greco, Jr.; Chelsea Green, 2009

Book Description: The End of Money and the Future of Civilization demystifies the subjects of money, banking, and finance by tracing historical landmarks and important evolutionary shifts that have changed the essential nature of money. Greco’s masterful work lays out the problems and then looks to the future for a next stage in money’s evolution that can liberate us as individuals and communities from the current grip of centralized and politicized money power.

Told with verve and wit, The End of Money explores an aspect of our daily lives so fundamental that we rarely stop to think about it. You’ll never look at a dollar bill the same again.

Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability; David Holmgren; Holmgren, 2002

Book Description: David Holmgren brings into sharper focus the powerful and still evolving Permaculture concept he pioneered with Bill Mollison in the 1970s. It draws together and integrates 25 years of thinking and teaching to reveal a whole new way of understanding and action behind a simple set of design principles. The 12 design principles are each represented by a positive action statement, an icon and a traditional proverb or two that captures the essence of each principle.

The Great Turning: from Empire to Earth Community; David C. Korten; Berett-Koehler Publishers, 2006

Book Description: From the Transitions web site:

Korten traces the roots of Empire and charts the evolution of its instruments of control, from absolute monarchies to the multinational institutions of the global economy. He describes efforts to develop democratic alternatives to Empire, such as the founding of the United States and shows how elitists with an imperial agenda have undermined the American experiment.

Empire is not inevitable, and we can turn away from it. Korten draws on evidence from evolutionary theory, developmental psychology, and religious teachings to show that a life-centered, egalitarian, sustainable, democratic Earth Community is possible.

Nelson, Anitra, Life Without Money: Building Fair and Sustainable Economies; Anitra Nelson & Frans Timmerman; Pluto Press, 2011

Book Description: The money-based global economy is failing. The credit crunch undermined capitalism’s ability to ensure rising incomes and prosperity while market-led attempts to combat climate change are fought tooth and nail by business as environmental crises continue. We urgently need to combat those who say “there is no alternative” to the current system, but what would an alternative look like? The contributors to Life Without Money argue that it is time radical, non-market models were taken seriously. The book brings together diverse voices presenting strong arguments against our money-based system’s ability to improve lives and prevent environmental disaster. Crucially, it provides a direct strategy for undercutting capitalism by refusing to deal in money, and offers money-free models of governance and collective sufficiency.

A Prosperous Way Down: Principles and Policies; Howard T. Odum & Elisabeth C. Odum; University Press of Colorado, 2008

Book Description: A Prosperous Way Down considers ways in which a future with less fossil fuel could be peaceful and prosperous. Although history records the collapse of countless civilizations, some societies and ecosystems have managed to descend in orderly stages, reducing demands and selecting and saving what is most important.

The authors make recommendations for a more equitable and cooperative world society, with specific suggestions based on their evaluations of trends in global population, wealth distribution, energy sources, conservation, urban development, capitalism and international trade, information technology, and education.

Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water; Marc Reisner; Penguin, 1993

Book Description: “Beautifully written and meticulously researched.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch. This updated study of the economics, politics, and ecology of water covers more than a century of public and private desert reclamation in the American West.

The Man Who Quit Money; Mark Sundeen; Riverhead Trade, 2012

Book Description: The Man Who Quit Money is an account of how one man learned to live, sanely and happily, without earning, receiving, or spending a single cent. Suelo doesn’t pay taxes, or accept food stamps or welfare. He lives in caves in the Utah canyonlands, forages wild foods and gourmet discards. He no longer even carries an I.D. Yet he manages to amply fulfill not only the basic human needs-for shelter, food, and warmth-but, to an enviable degree, the universal desires for companionship, purpose, and spiritual engagement. In retracing the surprising path and guiding philosophy that led Suelo into this way of life, Sundeen raises provocative and riveting questions about the decisions we all make, by default or by design, about how we live-and how we might live better.

Inquiries Into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms, and Fertility Mattered; Woody Tasch; Chelsea Green, 2008

Book Description: From the book flap:

  • Could there ever be an alternative stock exchange dedicated to slow, small, and local?
  • Could a million American families get their food from CSAs?
  • What if you had to invest 50 percent of your assets within 50 miles of where you live?

Such questions–at the heart of Slow Money–are the first step on our path to a new economy and a new culture. Inquiries into Slow Money is a call to action for designing capital markets built around–not extraction and consumption but–preservation and restoration.

Resilience Thinking: Sustaining Ecosystems and People in a Changing World; Brian Walker, PhD, David Salt and Walter Reid; Island Press, 2006

Book Description: In Resilience Thinking, scientist Brian Walker and science writer David Salt present an accessible introduction to the emerging paradigm of resilience. The book arose out of appeals from colleagues in science and industry for a plainly written account of what resilience is all about and how a resilience approach differs from current practices. Rather than complicated theory, the book offers a conceptual overview along with five case studies of resilience thinking in the real world. It is an engaging and important work for anyone interested in managing risk in a complex world.


The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990, Cuba’s economy went into a tailspin. With imports of oil cut by more than half and food imports cut by 80 percent, people were desperate. This fascinating and empowering film shows how communities pulled together, created solutions, and ultimately thrived in spite of their decreased dependence on imported energy.

A New We: Ecological Communities and Eco-villages in Europe

Now more than ever before people all over the planet are seeking new sustainable models for living. EcoVillages and ecological communities have been emerging as a viable alternative where people can live together in cooperation and harmony with the natural world. “A New We” explores 10 such communities in Europe and opens doors to further exploration and discovery on the new ‘Global EcoVillage & Sustainable Community Network’!   (from

Living without Money

The documentary Living Without Money portrays the life of 68 year old Heidemarie Schwermer, a German woman who made a deliberate choice to stop using money 14 years ago. She cancelled her apartment, gave away all of her belongings, and kept nothing but a suitcase full of clothes. This was a decision that changed the entire outlook on her life dramatically. (from

The Economics of Happiness

The Economics of Happiness’ features a chorus of voices from six continents calling for systemic economic change. The documentary describes a world moving simultaneously in two opposing directions. On the one hand, government and big business continue to promote globalization and the consolidation of corporate power. At the same time, all around the world people are resisting those policies, demanding a re-regulation of trade and finance – and, far from the old institutions of power, they’re starting to forge a very different future. Communities are coming together to re-build more human scale, ecological economies based on a new paradigm – an economics of localization.