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A packet of hand-scrawled letters found in a stranger's rucksack tells of self-sufficient communities growing from the ruins of California's housing collapse and the global recession. In unfinished Mojave Desert housing tracts and foreclosure ghost towns on the raw edges of the chaotic cities of the West, people have gathered to grow their own food, school their own children and learn how to live without the poisons of gossip, greed, television, mobile phones and the Internet. Encouraged by an enigmatic wanderer known only as B, the communities thrive as more families and workers are discarded by an indifferent system. But this quiet revolution and its simple rituals cannot stay unnoticed for long, because the teachings of B threaten an entire structure of power and wealth dependent upon people toiling their lives away to buy things they don't need.