The Wisdom of Donkeys

Finding Tranquility in a Chaotic World

The Wisdom of Donkeys

A literary ode to peace, presence, and fulfillment inspired by a walk taken with a most surprising creature. "The demon of speed is often associated with forgetting, with avoidance . . . and slowness with memory and confronting," observes Milan Kundera in his novel Slowness. With that purpose in mind-a search for slowness and tranquility, Andy Merrifield sets out on a journey of the soul with a friend's donkey, Gribouille, to walk amid the ruins and spectacular vistas of southern France's Haute-Auvergne. As Merrifield contemplates literature, science, truth, and beauty amid the French countryside, Gribouille surprises him with his subtle wisdom, reminding him time and again that enlightenment is all around us if we but seek it.

The Wisdom of Donkeys

Finding Tranquility in a Chaotic World

The Wisdom of Donkeys


The Amateur

The Pleasures of Doing What You Love

The Amateur

A radical manifesto about doing what you love Andy Merrifield offers a passionate tribute to the revolutionary spirit of the amateur—a figure who thinks outside the box, takes risks, dreams the impossible dream, seeks independence, and carves out a new world. Merrifield celebrates such square pegs as Charles Baudelaire, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Edward Said, Guy Debord, Hannah Arendt, and Jane Jacobs, each of whom shows us a path of unconventional wisdom and freedom. The Amateur advocates urgently for the liberated life, one that creates the space to question authority.

The Wisdom of Solomon at Work

Ancient Virtues for Living and Leading Today

The Wisdom of Solomon at Work

The wisdom literature of the Old Testament is applied to the modern workplace in a unique celebration of ancient knowledge, its many virtues, and its relevance in modern life.

Running with Sherman

The Donkey with the Heart of a Hero

Running with Sherman

"A delight, full of heart and hijinks and humor . . . McDougall is a gifted storyteller who gets to the heart of the human-animal connection." --John Grogan, author of Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog From the best-selling author of Born to Run, a heartwarming story about training a rescue donkey to run one of the most challenging races in America, and, in the process, discovering the life-changing power of the human-animal connection. When Chris McDougall agreed to take in a donkey from an animal hoarder, he thought it would be no harder than the rest of the adjustments he and his family had made after moving from Philadelphia to the heart of Pennsylvania Amish country. But when he arrived, Sherman was in such bad shape he could barely move, and his hair was coming out in clumps. Chris decided to undertake a radical rehabilitation program designed not only to heal Sherman's body but to heal his mind as well. It turns out the best way to soothe a donkey is to give it a job, and so Chris decided to teach Sherman how to run. He'd heard about burro racing--a unique type of race where humans and donkeys run together in a call-back to mining days--and decided he and Sherman would enter the World Championship in Colorado. Easier said than done. In the course of Sherman's training, Chris would have to recruit several other runners, both human and equine, and call upon the wisdom of burro racers, goat farmers, Amish running club members, and a group of irrepressible female long-haul truckers. An entire community comes together to help save Sherman and, along the way, Chris shows us the joy of a life with animals.

Marx, Dead and Alive

Reading "Capital" in Precarious Times

Marx, Dead and Alive

A contemporary interrogation of Marx’s masterwork Karl Marx saw the ruling class as a sorcerer, no longer able to control the ominous powers it has summoned from the netherworld. Today, in an age spawning the likes of Donald Trump and Boris Johnson, our society has never before been governed by so many conjuring tricks, with collusions and conspiracies, fake news and endless sleights of the economic and political hand. And yet, contends Andy Merrifield, as our modern lives become ever more mist-enveloped, the works of Marx can help us penetrate the fog. In Marx, Dead and Alive – a book that begins and ends beside Marx’s recently violated London graveside – Merrifield makes a spirited case for a critical thinker who can still offer people a route toward personal and social authenticity. Bolstering his argument with fascinating examples of literature and history, from Shakespeare and Beckett, to the Luddites and the Black Panthers, Merrifield demonstrates how Marx can reveal our individual lives to us within a collective perspective – and within a historical continuum. Who we are now hinges on who we once were – and who we might become. This, at a time when our value-system is undergoing core “post-truth” meltdown.

Horse Nations

The Worldwide Impact of the Horse on Indigenous Societies Post-1492

Horse Nations

The Native American on a horse is an archetypal Hollywood image, but though such equestrian-focused societies were a relatively short-lived consequence of European expansion overseas, they were not restricted to North America's Plains. Horse Nations provides the first wide-ranging and up-to-date synthesis of the impact of the horse on the Indigenous societies of North and South America, southern Africa, and Australasia following its introduction as a result of European contact post-1492. Drawing on sources in a variety of languages and on the evidence of archaeology, anthropology, and history, the volume outlines the transformations that the acquisition of the horse wrought on a diverse range of groups within these four continents. It explores key topics such as changes in subsistence, technology, and belief systems, the horse's role in facilitating the emergence of more hierarchical social formations, and the interplay between ecology, climate, and human action in adopting the horse, as well as considering how far equestrian lifestyles were ultimately unsustainable.