The Abundant Community: Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods, by John McKnight and Peter Block. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2010 Community: The Structure of Belonging. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2008 The Answer to How Is Yes: Acting on What Matters. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2001 Freedom and Accountability at Work: Applying Philosophic Insight to the Real World, by Peter Koestenbaum and Peter Block; San Francisco: Jossey Bass/Pfeiffer, 2001 Flawless Consulting: A Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used; San Francisco: Pfeiffer, 2011 Stewardship: Choosing Service Over Self Interest. San Francisco: Berrett Koehler, 1993
The Careless Society, Basic Books, 1996 Building Communities from the Inside Out, Jody Kretzmann coauthor, ACTA Press
Four-Fold Way: Walking the Paths of the Warrior, Teacher, Healer and Visionary, Harper San Francisco, 1993 Living in Gratitude: A Journey That Will Change Your Life, Sounds True, 2011
The Practice of Prophetic Imagination, Fortress Press, 2012
Journey to the Common Good, Westminster John Knox Press, 2010
Open Space Technology: A User’s Guide. San Francisco: Berrett Koehler, 2008 Wave Rider: Leadership for High Performance in a Self-Organizing World. San Francisco: Berrett Koehler, 2008 The Power of Spirit: How Organizations Transform. San Francisco: Berrett Koehler, 2000
Full Voice: The Art and Practice of Vocal Presence, by Babara McAfee and Peter Block; Barrett-Koehler, 2011
No More Throw-Away People: The Co-Production Imperative
(2nd Edition, Essential Books 2004)
What We Are Reading
We asked our provocateurs to share what they are currently reading and the books that have had great impact on their lives. They’ve included a few notes on why these book have meaning for them.
Subverting Greed: Religious Perspectives on the Global Economy. Ed by Paul F. Knitter and Chandra Muzaffar. Orbis Books. 2002. This anthology contains the religious perspectives of the world’s spiritual traditions and reveals that the majority of them agree on the subject of economics. They emphasize ‘equity and charity’, which does not support the current global perspective of the politics of scarcity or greed. Timely, thought provoking, and action-oriented!
Why Religion Matters. Huston Smith. Harper Collins. S.F. 2001. An extraordinary scholar and humble, wise man, Huston Smith brings to us many relevant books, but this one, and his classic, Forgotten Truth have profoundly touched me. They both inspire and dispel cynicism and despair in dissenting times.
Why the World Doesn’t End: Tales of Renewal and Loss. Greenfire Press, 2012, by Michael Meade. I am finding this book a timeless resource, which initiates everyone into remembering the deep mythological and psychological thread of life, which intertwines the inner life of spirit and the outer life or purposeful action. I couldn’t stay with just two impactful books from the past, so here are three that I could winnow down from ten that have had a significant impact on me and my work over all these years.
Masks of God: Primitive Mythology. Joseph Campbell. Viking Press, N.Y. 1964. This is one of many books that this renowned mythologist left as a remarkable legacy. He taught me the power and importance of ancient and modern myths as transmitters of worldwide values, visions and challenges. His passion for his work and conversations with me had a life-changing impact on my work.
Millennium: Tribal Wisdom and the Modern World. David Maybury-Lewis. Viking, N.Y. 1992. David Mayberry-Lewis, professor of anthropology at Harvard, shows how wisdom is found in hidden patterns of meaning that can renew individuals and re-unite the community. This book honors the varied wisdoms found in both tribal and modern societies. He inspired me to look at what is commonly shared beyond appearances. This book was a major influence in my writing The Four Fold Way.
Culture and Commitment. Margaret Mead. Anchor Press/Doubleday, N.Y. 1978. Of all her books, this one was especially prophetic about the evolutionary change that would arrive when children in post-figurative cultures would teach the elders. Prior, in pre-figurative cultures, three generations would live and assist each other. Currently, in co-figurative cultures similar ages would live together during similar stages of development. This is her most brilliant, yet least known work, which has global relevance today in increasing understanding and tolerance between the generations.
Tao te Ching (pick your version – my favorite is Ursula Guin’s) and
Do Nothing and Do Everything by Qiguang Zhao (Professor at Carlton College and a modern Taoist.)
Why do I like them? What’s not to like about the “Tao te Ching”? And Zhao writes in a charming, insightful, and often humorous way, not unlike Lao Tzu. And a special appeal for me is that the Tao te Ching might just be the best introduction to Open Space and how to effectively navigate an open, self organizing world. To be sure Lao Tzu wrote some time ago, but not before Open Space, I think.
The World I Live In by Helen Kellar in which she tells how she knows the world (brilliantly) without hearing or seeing. A magnificent reminder of how senseless most of us are with all 5 senses.
The Vermont Papers by old friend John McClaughry. The best guide I know to remembering and creating real democracy at the local level.
Lifetime Influential Books:
No Contest by Alfie Kohn
In our competitive era, the assumption is that competition is the method for creating excellence. This myth is debunked by Kohn in this research based book that proves that cooperation beats competition in the important life goals.
Deschooling Society by Ivan Illich. A great exposition on how institutions rob communities of their competence.
Democracy In America by Alexis de Tocqueville. The best way I know to understand the United States is this monumental work written by a 25 year old in 1835. His insights profoundly influenced my understanding of democracy.
The Death and Life of Great American Cities, an old advocacy for urban neighborhoods. Jane Jacobs
Occupy Religion: Theology of the Multitude. Joerg Rieger and Kwok Pui-lan
Lifetime Influential Books:
The Prophets by Abraham Heschel. An exhibit of the dialogical character of God.
Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck. The normative script for the drama of haves and have nots.
All That We Share, by Jay Walljasper. A great overview of the restoration of the common good. Stories, examples, a very digestible journey into the world of those people working for the common good. This is the work of community building and this book is a great primer about practices.
Facing the World with Soul, by Robert Sardello. I am re-reading this for the tenth time. Written as a series of letters about education, the economy, and modern life, but told in an accessible and poetic way.
The Meaning of the City, by Jacques Ellul. This integrates theology and sociology in a fierce, unyielding way. Such a roller coaster of thoughts from all disciplines, very intense and fascinating. Doesn’t matter if you agree with him, his point of view is mesmerizing. So much of what he says strikes home. Worth the ride and guaranteed to make you wonder.
Previous Connecting For Community Provocateurs
Order many of the books listed below through Amazon.com, or similar sites. Most of Peter’s recent work appears only in ConceptSlide™ format. The ConceptSlides™ are currently not for sale. They are proprietary for PK clients and seminars, alone.
Edmund Husserl. The Paris Lectures (Translation and Introduction), 1961. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers
Philosophy: A General Introduction. American Book Company, 1966
The Vitality of Death: 31 Original Essays in Existential Philosophy and Phenomenological Psychology. 1971, Greenwood Press. [Main work]
Existential Sexuality: Choosing to Love. 1976 (Series on Humanistic Psychology, ed. by Rollo May and Charles Hampton Turner. Prentice Hall.)
The Power of Knowing Who You Are. 1974 (Series on Humanistic Psychology, ed. by Rollo May and Charles Hampton Turner. Prentice Hall.)
Is There an Answer to Death? (Series on Humanistic Psychology, ed. by Rollo May and Charles Hampton Turner. (1976) Prentice Hall
Managing Anxiety. Celestial Arts, 1976.
The New Image of the Person: The Theory and Practice of Clinical Philosophy. 1978, Greenwood Press. [Main work]
The Heart of Business: Ethics, Power and Philosophy. 1987, Saybrook Press
Leadership: The Inner Side of Greatness: A Philosophy for Leaders, 1991 Jossey-Bass, Wiley. [Main work]
The Philosophic Consultant: Revolutionizing Organizations with Ideas. Introduction by Warren Bennis. Wiley 2001.
Freedom and Accountability at Work: Applying Philosophic Insight to the Real World, by Peter Koestenbaum and Peter Block; San Francisco: Jossey Bass/Pfeiffer, 2001