Cover art by Janet Biehl.

Vincent Gerber, a social ecologist from Switzerland, has written a new book about the life and work of Murray Bookchin. Murray Bookchin et l’écologie sociale, une biographie intellectuelle (published by Ecosociété) presents the main principles of social ecology and the story of their emergence through the life of Murray Bookchin. It offers an historical and personal context to explain the evolution of social ecology and Murray’s contributions to it. By interconnecting the story of the man with the development of his ideas, the book offers an original view of social ecology that seeks to help readers understand its main principles. It also examines the ways in which social ecology relates to other movements and how it has influenced a variety of thinkers. With particular attention to making the ideas accessible, the book presents social ecology more like a story than as a purely theoretical book.

This book is the first “originally French” book (i.e., not a translation) about Murray Bookchin’s social ecology. Since there haven’t been many books on the subject in ten years (since Chaia Heller’s Ecology of Everyday Life), it will be interesting to see how it is received, particularly in the French speaking countries of Europe where social ecology is not yet well-known.

The book includes a preface by Jean-François Filion, professor at UQAM, Montréal. A large extract of the preface can be read on the Ecologie Sociale website: http://www.ecologiesociale.ch/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=61:preface&catid=8:cateblog&Itemid=15.