Talk:Helen and Scott Nearing

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Fair use rationale for Image:Nearing Book Cover1.JPG[edit]

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Image:Nearing Book Cover1.JPG is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

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BetacommandBot (talk) 18:57, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Barbara and Tom Good[edit]

Is it known if the Nearings inspired the TV sitcom The Good Life? —Tamfang (talk) 16:46, 5 September 2008 (UTC)


When did Helen and Scott meet and get married? Languagehat (talk) 12:54, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Move request withdrawn Mike Cline (talk) 14:36, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

Helen and Scott NearingHelen Nearingrelisted--Mike Cline (talk) 14:39, 3 February 2012 (UTC) Split couple as per separate Scott Nearing article. I propose Helen and Scott Nearing becomes a disambiguation page to Helen Nearing and Scott Nearing articles. Nirvana2013 (talk) 10:38, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

I guess the point of the article as it exists is that 'the whole is greater than the sum of the parts', in this case. Scott Nearing was an outspoken individual, who had a teaching career up to a point, wrote books on economic and soical matters, and had a little bit of noteriety for minority views in the decentralist-socialist vein. But he was a rather obscure figure. Helen was a musician, but I do not think she had much of a career as a musician. But together, due primarily to their first long-popular book, Living the Good Life, they achieved something as "people of influence" in certain circles. Those circles were not especially political (let alone, socialistic) – but instead had more to do with self-reliance, rural living, organic horiculture, building with stone, etc.
Their later books elaborated on the themes and info of Living the Good Life. These writings, and the sort of hands-on education the Nearings made available to the people who went and visited, or stayed with them for a while, was their life on their land.Joel Russ (talk) 21:27, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Helen also wrote several books on her own (at least six in fact). At the moment it seems a bit sexist (i.e. Helen is nothing without Scott). Scott has his own article after all. Margaret Killinger wrote a biography of Helen called The Good Life of Helen K. Nearing published in 2007 (doctoral thesis available as pdf - warning large file). At first Helen and Scott only had a joint article because there was not enough material to justify individual one's. This is no longer the case; Scott has his own article and Helen has enough for a stub. Information referring to their life as a couple living off-the-land can be reflected in both articles. Nirvana2013 (talk) 11:16, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I can see your points, Nirvana2013. And I think there's been no attempt to be sexist (however it might look). My point is mainly this: Helsn & Scott were major inspirers or spurs to the "back to the land movement" of the late 1960s and beyond, and splitting up the current article will inevitably reduce the amount of material about their 'model' lifestyle – because they lived it as an inter-active team or pair. Much as when a pair of mountain climbers support/protect each other with a rope, or a pilot and navigator fly a plane, etc. There is enough room on Wikipedia for three articles, actually – one for Helen, one for Scott, one for Helen & Scott. Afterall, there are many articles (many bios, too) for more frivolous, lightweight topics and characters than the Nearings, on Wikipedia now! Y'know, the Beatles were four individuals (each with his own article), but they were also "the Beatles"... etc, etc, etc.Joel Russ (talk) 21:10, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
I have no problem with three articles. I can now see that couples represented on Wikipedia are listed under the category married couples. Nirvana2013 (talk) 16:50, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Relisting comment - it appears that there is consensus to split the articles. Doing so does not require admin intervention as there are no existing redirects that must be dealt with and its just content that needs adjusting. The move from Scott and Helen to Scott and Helen (dis) just requires editing of content. Is anyone ready to step up an commit to making these content changes if the move request is closed with a decision to split?--Mike Cline (talk) 14:39, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
I am happy to split, however I do not believe there is consensus. Joel Russ would prefer to keep the article on the couple. He has suggested starting a third one for Helen only i.e. one for Helen, one for Scott, one for Helen & Scott. I am also happy with Joel Russ's suggestion i.e. not a split but new article to be created for Helen. Nirvana2013 (talk) 17:01, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
Fine, still doesn't require admin intervention, just someone to make the appropriate content edits. Once those are underway, I'll close this RM. --Mike Cline (talk) 17:07, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
Stub created at Helen Nearing. Feel free to close my move request. Nirvana2013 (talk) 11:22, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The cash-income issue raised by Jean Hay Bright's book[edit]

The latter portion of the article now states that, in her book, Jean Hay Bright "takes issue with the notion that the Nearings truly supported themselves completely from the sale of their so-called "cash-crops" of Maple Syrup (in Vermont) and blueberries (in Maine) by pointing out that they both received large inheritances and she provides documentation to support this assertion. Her stated reason for making this point is that she has known people who have tried (and failed) to emulate the Nearings' supposed total economic self-sufficiency, and she wants to spare people from plunging into homesteading naively believing that a cash crop can cover all of a family's need for cash." I haven't yet read Hay Bright's book, and I don't dispute Hay Bright's facts, which the wiki article text says are well substantiated. But I think something that would be good to clarify in the article is: at what points did Scott or Helen come into these inheritances? Did either of them inherit during the period (1932-1951) when they lived in Vermont and tapped maple trees and made syrup for sale? (Their first book was their story of that period.) Or did they inherit later, during Scott's advanced-age years, when they lived in Maine?Joel Russ (talk) 00:03, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

I endorse what you say. This question of their inheritances seems to me an absolutely crucial one. After all, the ideal of economic self-sufficiency lies at the very heart of their views and their way of life, and is the one by which they are most remembered today, is it not? Could their claims that they were economically self-sufficient be hypocritical to some to degree? That is such a important question and needs to be settled before any balanced biography of their lives can be written, whether a brief one as here in Wikipedia or anywhere else. --P123cat1 (talk) 15:18, 27 April 2014 (UTC)


The Wikipedia article on Helen Nearing mentions that she was Scott Nearing's second wife. Who was his first wife and should it not appear in this article? His first wife is not mentioned in the Wikipedia article on Scott Nearing either. There is no mention of children of these marriages either, in any of the three articles on the couple. These are basic biographical details which seem to have been overlooked. --P123cat1 (talk) 15:18, 27 April 2014 (UTC)