New book of seminal essays and ideas from the iconic Whole Earth Catalog

Originally published at:


These were the book shelves in my old cubicle.

If you look in the upper left corner you’ll see, behind MAKE #5, a copy of The Last Whole Earth Catalog.

Flipping through the copy my father brought home when I was ten was like . . . well, the closest thing is like when you first discover the Web. Only you discover it after you’ve spent your life on an Amish farm.


I have the first issue!


A catalog, but for which Earth? :sparkles:


Funny enough, that’s my next book review! True story.


So exciting to see this! I devoured the original when it first came out, I and still have my copy… now almost 50 years old.

I hope that many others will be as fascinated, influenced, and inspired as I was.


Don’t give away the ending!


Ah, Whole Earth … I started by reading it, joined the Well when it first started ( and Community Memory before that), went to Odd Fridays, shopped in the store while it existed, eventually wrote a short review on Mandelbrot’s book, even joined the Long Now foundation for a while. Altogether this stream was a pretty substantial part of my life and consciousness. Thanks for bringing attention to this next iteration.


Your photo evokes a special synchronicity for me because I was introduced to the art of Jim Woodring by paging through a Whole Earth Catalog stumbled upon in my university library. Neat.


“Frank’ Real Pa.” Yeah, that was my first exposure to Woodring too, and DAMN, was that one highly weird little adventure.

Had to wait to get to my home computer to find this quote by Stewart Brand, which is from a book review in TLWEC:

“We’re generally down on Utopian thinking around here, holding to a more evolutionary fiasco-by-fiasco approach to perfection.” – Stewart Brand

I totally love that.


Didn’t anyone tell you that you’re supposed to clean weed on a flipped open album cover, preferable Dark Side of the Moon? That would have been a different branching of your universe.

Probably some of the youth spoiled by dispensaries of high quality product here are wondering what this cleaning is and why your weed had seeds and stems.


I love gellflex’s broaching the topic of the particular conditions that led us to that book or books that TOTALLY changed our lives. The idea that, if the brother had taken the Catalog into the bathroom and left it there, your life might have been completely different.

I like the idea that Mary Jane Warner has Her ways of getting you into her welts.

Now I feel old, lol!

A good deal of the WEC is available online:

I have a few and they are great albeit unwieldy for flipping through. I have one of the co-evolution quarterlies, covering the work of the New Alchemists.

I was also lucky enough to find the antipodiean facsimile, the New Zealand WEC:


Why does MIT Press not do ebooks? I’d love to read this but I’m not buying a physical copy to do so…


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