Coming April 2020, Preorder Now
Illuminates the far-reaching harms of believing that natural means “good,” from misinformation about health choices to justifications for sexism, racism, and flawed economic policies.
People love what’s natural: it’s the best way to eat, the best way to parent, even the best way to act—naturally, just as nature intended. Appeals to the wisdom of nature are among the most powerful arguments in the history of human thought. Yet Nature (with a capital N) and natural goodness are not objective or scientific. Natural demonstrates that these ideas are actually religious and highlights the many dangers of substituting simple myths for complicated realities. It may not seem like a problem when it comes to paying a premium for organic food. But what about condemnations of “unnatural” sexual activity? The guilt that attends not having a “natural” birth? Economic deregulation justified by the inherent goodness of “natural” markets?
From the Peruvian rainforest to Yellowstone Park, take an eye-opening journey into the paradox we call “nature.” Parse the logic of a natural bodybuilding competition, meet the patients at a natural cancer clinic, go behind the veneer of natural foods, and unpack the history of natural contraception. And slowly discover why, though nature is humanity’s oldest god, it can't teach us how to live. In fact, it doesn’t care about us in the slightest.
Full of counterintuitive histories, erudite asides and far-reaching philosophical implications, Natural picks apart the fantasy of nature to reveal what really lies behind its wholesome facade. The result is an essential new perspective that shatters faith in Nature’s goodness and points to a better alternative. We can love nature without worshipping it, Levinovitz shows, and we can work toward a better world with humility and dialogue rather than taboos and zealotry.