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Next Door

to the

Good Life  


by Jean Hay Bright



10th Anniversary edition

(May 7, 2014) 


380 pages

includes 24 family photos

      ISBN 978-0972092449





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Some of Jean's Other Writings


     Updated a decade after its original publication, this memoir by Jean Hay Bright chronicles the years in the 1970s when the author and her first husband, a traumatized Vietnam veteran, homesteaded on 25 rugged Maine acres sold to them by Living the Good Life authors Helen and Scott Nearing, and the aftermath of that experience in the decades that followed.


Jean also used her investigative reporting skills to try to resolve some long-standing and nagging questions about the Nearings, focusing particularly on their finances over the decades. Her research also turned up some surprising and enlightening facts about how Helen and Scott Nearing actually lived and died.


The revised edition has a new Prologue by Susan Hand Shetterly, more family photos, an expanded Afterword, as well as details and a new chapter pulled from Scott Nearing's FBI file, including documentation of Scott's listing in J. Edgar Hoover's Custodial Detention program.

     This book, 40 years in the making, will make you laugh, make you cry, and  surprise you with its detail (Jean's mom saved her letters) as it recounts the joys and pains of one personal homesteading experience. In writing this book, Jean also put her investigative reporting skills to work to resolve some nagging questions, and has come up with some astonishing and controversial facts about how Helen and Scott Nearing really lived -- and died.


(This book has staying power -- Sales on have held up well since its publication in 2003!)

Jean's Other books:



A Tale of Dirty Tricks

So Bizarre:

Susan Collins v

Public Record


Revised and reprinted 2007





Proud to Be a




American Liberal



Proud to Be a Card-Carrying,

Flag-Waving, Patriotic American Liberal

by Jean Hay


Published in 1996 to help defray some leftover campaign expenses,

this book is even more relevant today.


Direct from the grass roots to you,

in 50 tight columns, essays and campaign speeches,

read what Jean Hay has to say about...

...liberalism:  "Hate to tell you, folks, but taking your definition of a liberal from Rush Limbaugh is akin to taking your definition of a Jew from Hitler, either before or after he, as Marge Schott explained, 'went too far.' "

...abortion rights:  "I do not see my America in the Republican drive to declare the wombs of American women to be government property."

..the military: "People who do not respect people of other genders or sexual orientation should not be issued weapons and taught how to kill."    

...on career women having babies while single: "I have known such women, and I can find no fault with their decision -- or their children ... I think it makes some men nervous when some women decide they can do without them."

...violence: "Real men know how to control themselves."

also "Do we really now live in a country where the neighbors can consider someone perfectly normal, except for the fact that he's killed a couple of people?"

...the flag-burning amendment:   "Better the flag than the federal building. The flag can take it."


...seizing the opportunity:   "When God hands you an apple, you bite."




Look inside the book

ISBN 0-9657759-0-9

208 pages

Introduction by

Helen Nearing

Foreword by

David Bright


 Signed Copy $15

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A Tale of Dirty Tricks So Bizarre:

         Susan Collins v. Public Record

Revised 2008 edition

                    by Jean Hay Bright

Susan Collins is at it again, accusing her 2008 challenger of hiring someone to videotape her at a public parade.

     (Gasp! Shocking!) 

Read her ridiculous charges, and the Maine and Washington DC media's reaction to them.

     (Hint: the Bangor Daily News does not come out well on this one either).



Table of Contents






From First Printing in 2002


It worked in 1996 -- to rescue a political campaign in trouble,

Susan Collins, with the help of a willing newspaper reporter,

 resorted to lying and trashing her opponent's reputation

over the fact that someone was looking at her public record.


Read this behind-the-scenes account of that

U.S. Senate race in Maine

and the startling -- and successful -- libel suit that followed.

It may forever change the way you read your local newspaper.

128 pages, including scans of critical public records and court documents
ISBN 0-9720924-0-4     Published July 2002

                    2nd printing October 2007

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Meanwhile..    Tale of Dirty Tricks

Proud to Be...Liberal


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© 1998 Jean Hay, Bangor, Maine; © 1999-2000 Jean Hay, Dixmont, Maine; © 2001-2018 Jean Hay Bright, Dixmont, Maine;
All Rights Reserved.

All materials appearing on are protected by copyright as a collective work or compilation under U.S. copyright and other laws and are the property of Jean Hay, aka Jean Hay Bright.                                                    You may not (except for your own personal, noncommercial use) copy, reproduce, distribute, publish, display, perform, modify, create derivative works, transmit, or in any way exploit any content on                       without the express written permission of Jean Hay Bright.