The Scott and Helen Nearing Papers

Scott Nearing (1883-1983) & Helen Nearing (1904-1995)
Scott Nearing (1883-1983) & Helen Nearing (1904-1995)

“Life is enriched by aspiration and effort, rather than by acquisition and accumulation.”
— Helen and Scott Nearing in Living the Good Life


The Walden Woods Project’s Thoreau Institute Library holds a rich collection of documents spanning eight decades in the lives of Scott and Helen Nearing, the New England pioneers of homesteading, organic gardening, and sustainable living. The gift of these papers to the Thoreau Institute Library from The Trust for Public Land as an agent for The Good Life Center helps make the library a focal point for the study of the twentieth-century sustainable living movement and the remarkable individuals who influenced it.

Helen Nearing Texts

  • Thoreau: Judged in his own Time (lecture) (PDF)
  • Thoreau: Then and Now (Talk delivered before The Thoreau Society, July 1994) (PDF)

Scott Nearing Texts

  • An ABC of Communism (PDF)
  • Actions for Peace (PDF
  • The American Way of Life (PDF)
  • As Others See Us (PDF)
  • Call to Action (PDF)
  • The Faith That Removes Mountains (PDF)
  • A Humanist Approach to Economics (PDF)
  • The Present World Situation and What We Can Do About It (PDF)
  • The New Age — Will it Be Dark or Golden? (PDF)
  • The New World Order and some of its Immediate Problems (PDF)
  • One Way Out (PDF)
  • Masters and Slaves (PDF)
  • Memorandum for Right Living (PDF)
  • Oil and the Germs of War (PDF)
  • To Promote the General Welfare (PDF)
  • Promoting the General Welfare in 1955 (lecture) (PDF)
  • The Rise and Decline of Christian Civilization (PDF)
  • Teaching is My Job (PDF)
  • Victory Without Peace (PDF)
  • War and Peace (PDF)
  • What the U.S.A. Could Do for the World (PDF)
  • Where is America Going? (PDF)
  • Who Should Pay for the War? (PDF)
  • Why I Believe In Socialism (PDF)
  • Woman and Social Progress: A Discussion of the Biologic, Domestic, Industrial, and Social Possibilities of American Women (PDF | Text) by Scott Nearing and Nellie Marguerite Seeds Nearing