Ivan Illich on Conviviality. An Intelectual Biography

Ivan Illich (1926-2002) was an Austrian-born, American public intellectual, who spent twenty years in the so-called underdeveloped territory of Puerto Rico and Mexico. His work is fundamentally interrelated with his transnational life and his multicultural background, resulting in an openness to intercultural learning and living. Illich's term for this participatory way of life was "conviviality," which in turn is the central topic of this book. To the highly original Illich, conviviality was in direct contrast to our modern life, shaped by institutions and our life-long dependence on them. To truly understand his book Tools for Conviviality, and his later writings, this idea needs to be introduced to today’s readership within the context of his peripatetic life.