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Rain Reviews

"After a five-year hiatus, this much-celebrated publication is once again promoting community self-reliance, sustainable technology, and sound environmental policy in the Northwest's Cascadia bioregion and around the world. RAIN premiered in the 1970s, when it quickly became a vital resource for the growing movements interested in ecology and appropriate technology. From energy politics to family farms to community renewal to everyday art, RAIN was known for the topics it covered and its strong commitment to a better, more sustainable future. The new RAIN promises to uphold this tradition. The theme of the first new issue is decentralized politics; detailed articles focus on examples as diverse as the village democracies of Laos to the University of Oregon's experiment in community planning to Switzerland's long tradition of community politics. And, like the old RAIN, one of the best things about the new RAIN is that it provides information on many additional resources - from books to organizations to other publications - for readers to turn to for more information." -Laurie Ouellette, Utne Reader (July/Aug 1991). 

"This skinny but always meaty mag has been around for almost as long as WER. RAIN got its start as an alternative-energy information source, then segued into more community-oriented interests. Over the years, RAIN has flourished, faded, and flourished once again - a veritable Phoenix. These days, it is one of the best sources for community-building concepts and tools. Its roots are in Eugene, Oregon, a city that has had more than average experience in implementing the ideas that most people on our side of the fence only talk about. There's a bit of New Left tone to it, but no raving. I learn something essential in every issue. RAIN is back on my must-read list. -J. Baldwin, Whole Earth Review (Fall 1992), reprinted in The Millennium Whole Earth Catalog (1994, p. 144) 

RAIN (Vol.14, #1 / Winter-Spring '91) is back after a long absence as a much improved, 48-page quarterly magazine of "Decentralized Politics." This issue includes an interesting unattributed essay extolling "The Lao alternative" (according to the author the "refection of any kind of centralized, modern Nation State is a hallmark of the region"), a good piece on "Medieval movements & the origin of Switzerland." and an account of one example of Christopher Alexander's participatory architectural program in the "The Oregon Experiment after twenty years." Worth checking out. - from Anarchy (1991) 

RAIN (Vol.14, #2/Winter-Spring '92) is a 56-page quarterly decentralist/appropriate technology magazine. This issue includes articles on community supported agriculture and on bicycles, along with an essay titled "Real and imagined communities" (on false community and the nation-state), and lots of reviews (including Greg Bryant's long, sympathetic review of Murray Bookchin's The Rise of Urbanization and the Decline of Citizenship. - from Anarchy (Summer 1992)

"After five years in hiatus, the Oregon-based decentralist journal RAIN has reappeared. The Winter/Spring 1991 issue is a brilliant collection, with articles on ecology and economy in Laos, the mediaeval Swiss cantons and Italian city-states, and experiments in participatory campus planning in Oregon. -Ecosocialist Review (Summer 1991)

"I devoured RAIN. The issue they sent me had to do with natural economies astutely analyzed as they are described. You get a good sense for the mechanisms of paradigm shift. 'Ah ha! That's how come.'" - from The New Settler Interview (1991)

"RAIN, the Oregon-based journal of sustainable living and alternative politics, is back in print after a five-year hiatus. As the editors Danielle Janes and Greg Bryant say, in the five years during which RAIN was out of print, 'ecological and community destruction, social injustice, alienation, isolation, imperialism and domination have not gone away.' A good reason to go on talking." - from The Workbook (Winter 1991)

"RAIN Vol.14, #2, Winter/Spring 1992; RAIN is back in full strength after a five year hiatus. The theme of this issue is "Working Communities." In addition to "The Bike Column," which is a regular feature, there's an article on "Making Workbikes for the Neighborhood" that calls for decentralizing and personalizing bike production. A self-sufficient village in India created by leprosy survivors, sustainable agriculture, direct self-government, alternative economies and book reviews are just a few of the multitude of goodies in here. Production values are high, with good use of artwork and professionally screened photographs. If I have a pick of the month, this is it." (CB) - from Frontier Report (April 1992) 

"This isn't really an anarchist journal; they prefer the term 'decentralism', which is anarchism with a community democracy face. The Winter-Spring 1992 issue includes: D.C. activists' "community documentaries;" work-bikes as replacements for cars and trucks, and other stories of biking activism; a self-managed village of lepers in India; a review of books on nationalism, including Benedict Anderson's deconstruction of nationalism Imagined Communities; a history of the city; and a review of Green groups and periodicals, including a blurb about ESR. -from Ecosocialist Review (Summer 1992)

"RAIN, a much-needed voice of sanity looking at ecology, community, and politics from the perspective of decentralized and human-scale cooperation, has resumed publication after a hiatus of several years. Volume 14, #1 features Laos, the origins of Swiss democracy, CSA's, Workbikes, Community Television, and Decentralist Cities. Reviews are fresh, graphics a pleasing mix of line art and photos. Back issues remain available. This journal does a lot to restore our real history. Good news in the most profound sense. A must for grassroots activists. Value for money at $20/4 issues. Large format, 56pp. B/W." -from The Permaculture Activist (August 1992)