Encyclopedic indeed: this book is 851 large pages (not including the index) of just about everything you could need to know to live self-sufficiently. While no one book has it all, this one does touch on some subjects that I haven’t come across before in my extensive reading, such as giving birth in primitive conditions, caring for your dead, making vinegar (not flavored vinegar but vinegar from scratch), and how to make real animal rennet from the stomach of a calf.
Carla Emery is spoken of reverently by many in the self sufficiency community (including Novella Carpenter) and as far as I can tell may be the American equivalent of John Seymour, the old hand who has done it all and speaks from experience (in the rare instance that she can’t claim expertise, she calls one in to speak on the topic). Self sufficiency is not a hobby but a lifestyle and as such encompasses all aspects of life. Emery seems to understand this.
This is a pretty short review for such a big book, but I really can’t sum it all up. I’m definitely buying a copy now that I’ve finally wrangled one off the shelves of the library, where most copies are immovable reference copies that can’t be checked out.