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Winter 2022

Reviving Our Abandoned Small Towns

Across the U.S., our rural communities have become littered with boarded up shops and decaying homes. Many communities that were once centers of manufacturing are now known more as centers of unemployment and opioid addiction, with little to offer their current citizens, let alone the next generation. What would it take to revive the spirit of innovation, hard work, and dedication to making things that are built to last—in other words, the values of craftsmanship—that once built these communities? Could this spawn a kind of American Renaissance? We dedicate our first issue of 2022 to investigating these questions.

Could Small Still Be Beautiful?

For a brief time in the mid-1970s, a British economist named E.F. Schumacher changed the conversation across the Western world with a daring book entitled “Small Is Beautiful.” Schumacher argued that the push for endless growth was destroying the foundations of meaningful work, and it was doomed to fail. Although Schumacher died before he could develop his ideas, a center founded in his name has tried to continue his legacy. Might his message be even more timely today?

By BRYCE T. BAUER

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