Circles of Strength: Community Alternatives to Alienation


127 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 1-55092-203-3
DDC 305




Edited by Helen Forsey
Reviewed by Alice Kidd

Alice Kidd is an editor with The New Catalyst editorial collective in
Lillooet, B.C.


So often when we talk about the issues that affect most of us we focus
on the individual, the family, and the society. Any other grouping falls
into the invidious category of “special-interest group.” In recent
years, more and more people have been calling for some attention to be
paid to another scale of association—one bigger than the family and
smaller than the society as a whole: the community.

This collection of interviews, articles, stories and poetry conveys the
key issues of community. Prominently featured is a section on
“Difficulties, Dilemmas, and the Search for Balance.” Many
communities form as alternatives to mass society; most are begun in a
burst of idealism that often doesn’t last past the honeymoon period.
Few of us realize just how much is involved in taking over full control
of and responsibility for one’s life. Food and shelter are often the
easy things. Raising children, maintaining physical-plant systems,
dealing with waste, communicating among the participants/members of the
community, dealing with leadership, supporting the community
economically, and relating to the rest of the world—all these can
bring unforeseen problems. In other sections, Forsey addresses the
questions “Why do people look for community?” and “Where do we go
from here?”

People are increasingly looking for alternative ways to live their
lives. This slim volume provides a number of different ways to explore
community, as well as some examples of the benefits and the difficulties
of living in community. It is an excellent place to start looking.


“Circles of Strength: Community Alternatives to Alienation,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 12, 2024,