Ralph Borsodi accomplished an incredible list of things during his long and productive life. He practiced what he preached, creating a number of organizations where his ideas were developed.
Borosdi's legacy was largely lost but has been restored by Transition Centre. His work we find critical to developing resilient communities and the leadership to help form them.
You can find my recent Hermitix (UK) podcast interview about the Borsodi's life and work at this link.
In 1929 Borsodi published This Ugly Civilization, in which he addressed the liabilities and injustices of a highly centralized industrial economy. There were three basic themes in this book:
1. A critique of modern industrial culture.
2. Achieving personal economic independence – homesteading.
3. Enhancing individual potential – education.
A ninetieth anniversary edition of This Ugly Civilization, with a new Introduction by Bill Sharp, is available at Amazon (Link)
In 1934, at the depths of the Great Depression, Borsodi established his School of Living near Suffern, New York. There he provided a compressive program to train homesteaders. He created the first of which became his model of community land trust. Borsodi wrote 15 books, numerous articles, and was a popular speaker.
Borsodi’s School of Living, prior to World War II, was an extensive enterprise with a long list of publications, a number of organized divisions with a variety of functions, providing practical training and adult educational seminar series about achieving a quality life.
Following World War II, Borsodi established two new school of living centers, one in Ohio that continued the homesteading theme, and one in Florida where he developed an experimental university. He then spent several years in India working with Gandhian agrarian educators. Returning to the US, to settling in New Hampshire, he completed his series of books on education, developed a local currency and further developed his model community land trust model there.
Of greatest importance was Borsodi’s seminar problem-centered program for adult education. He first offered seminars his School of Living, wrote a series of three book, formed an experimental university graduate program, continued that work in India to formalized a curriculum and completed a final volume of his system, Seventeen Problems of Man and Society in 1968. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of New Hampshire for his work.
Transition Centre was restored much of Borsodi’s legacy and has adopted much of it for our learning and leadership model.
Two books were produced:
Ralph Borsodi, A Confident Future: The Green Revolution, which explores the homesteading side of the Borsodi/Loomis legacy (Link)
Ralph Borsodi, A Confident Future: Learning and Living, which explore Borsodi’s educational system (Link)
These books can be downloaded at no cost.
A third book, which succinctly summarizes Borsodi’s key ideas and practices, The Essential Ralph Borsodi, has been drafted and is moving towards publication.