The Unsettling of America

Culture & Agriculture

Author: Wendell Berry

Publisher: Counterpoint LLC

ISBN: 9780871568779

Category: Nature

Page: 234

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A critical inquiry into the ways Americans have exploited and continue to exploit the land that sustains them, tracing attitudes toward and methods of farming from the eighteenth century to the present

The Unsettling of America

Culture & Agriculture

Author: Wendell Berry

Publisher: Counterpoint

ISBN: 1619026961

Category: Social Science

Page: 240

View: 2401

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Since its publication by Sierra Club Books in 1977, The Unsettling of America has been recognized as a classic of American letters. In it, Wendell Berry argues that good farming is a cultural development and spiritual discipline. Today’s agribusiness, however, takes farming out of its cultural context and away from families. As a result, we as a nation are more estranged from the land—from the intimate knowledge, love, and care of it. Sadly, his arguments and observations are more relevant than ever. We continue to suffer loss of community, the devaluation of human work, and the destruction of nature under an economic system dedicated to the mechanistic pursuit of products and profits. Although “this book has not had the happy fate of being proved wrong,” Berry writes, there are good people working “to make something comely and enduring of our life on this earth.” Wendell Berry is one of those people, writing and working, as ever, with passion, eloquence, and conviction.

The Gift of Good Land

Further Essays Cultural and Agricultural

Author: Wendell Berry

Publisher: Counterpoint Press

ISBN: 9781582434841

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 281

View: 5866

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The essays in The Gift of Good Land are as true today as when they were first published in 1981; the problems addressed here are still with us and the solutions no nearer to hand. One of the insistent themes of this book is the interdependence, the wholeness, the oneness of people, the land, weather, animals, and family. To touch one is to tamper with them all. We live in one functioning organism whose separate parts are artificially isolated by our culture. The twenty-four essays in this collection cover a variety of subjects; the author's journeys to the Peruvian Andes, to the desert of southern Arizona, and to Amish country to study the evolution of ancient native agricultural practices. In Solving for Pattern,” Mr. Berry lists fourteen critical standards for solving agricultural problems that can just as easily be used as standards for solving personal and family problems. In the title essay, the author examines our Judeo-Christian heritage to discover parallels with the Buddhist doctrine of right livelihood” or right occupation.” He develops the compelling argument that the gift” of good land has strings attached. We have it only on loan and only for as long as we practice good stewardship.

A Revolution Down on the Farm

The Transformation of American Agriculture since 1929

Author: Paul Conkin

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

ISBN: 0813173159

Category: History

Page: 240

View: 5116

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At a time when food is becoming increasingly scarce in many parts of the world and food prices are skyrocketing, no industry is more important than agriculture. Humans have been farming for thousands of years, and yet agriculture has undergone more fundamental changes in the past 80 years than in the previous several centuries. In 1900, 30 million American farmers tilled the soil or tended livestock; today there are fewer than 4.5 million farmers who feed a population four times larger than it was at the beginning of the century. Fifty years ago, the planet could not have sustained a population of 6.5 billion; now, commercial and industrial agriculture ensure that millions will not die from starvation. Farmers are able to feed an exponentially growing planet because the greatest industrial revolution in history has occurred in agriculture since 1929, with U.S. farmers leading the way. Productivity on American farms has increased tenfold, even as most small farmers and tenants have been forced to find other work. Today, only 300,000 farms produce approximately ninety percent of the total output, and overproduction, largely subsidized by government programs and policies, has become the hallmark of modern agriculture. A Revolution Down on the Farm: The Transformation of American Agriculture since 1929 charts the profound changes in farming that have occurred during author Paul K. Conkin’s lifetime. His personal experiences growing up on a small Tennessee farm complement compelling statistical data as he explores America’s vast agricultural transformation and considers its social, political, and economic consequences. He examines the history of American agriculture, showing how New Deal innovations evolved into convoluted commodity programs following World War II. Conkin assesses the skills, new technologies, and government policies that helped transform farming in America and suggests how new legislation might affect farming in decades to come. Although the increased production and mechanization of farming has been an economic success story for Americans, the costs are becoming increasingly apparent. Small farmers are put out of business when they cannot compete with giant, non-diversified corporate farms. Caged chickens and hogs in factory-like facilities or confined dairy cattle require massive amounts of chemicals and hormones ultimately ingested by consumers. Fertilizers, new organic chemicals, manure disposal, and genetically modified seeds have introduced environmental problems that are still being discovered. A Revolution Down on the Farm concludes with an evaluation of farming in the twenty-first century and a distinctive meditation on alternatives to our present large scale, mechanized, subsidized, and fossil fuel and chemically dependent system.

Wendell Berry

Life and Work

Author: Jason Peters

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

ISBN: 0813172535

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 368

View: 5688

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Essayist, social critic, poet, “mad farmer,” novelist, teacher, and prophet: Wendell Berry has been called many things, but the broad sweep of his contemporary relevance and influence defies facile labels. With his unique perspective and far-reaching vision, Berry poses complex questions about humankind and our relationship to the land and offers simple but profound solutions. Berry’s essays, novels, and poems give voice to a provocative but consistent philosophy, one that extends far beyond its agrarian core to include elements of sociology, the natural sciences, politics, religion, philosophy, linguistics, agriculture, and other seemingly incompatible fields of study. Wendell Berry: Life and Work examines this wise and original thinker, appraising his written work and exploring his influence as an activist and artist. Jason Peters has assembled a broad variety of writers including Hayden Carruth, Sven Birkerts, Barbara Kingsolver, Stanley Hauerwas, Donald Hall, Ed McClanahan, Bill McKibben, Scott Russell Sanders, Norman Wirzba, Wes Jackson, and Eric T. Freyfogle. Each contributor examines an aspect of Berry’s varied yet cohesive body of work. Also included are highly personal glimpses of Wendell Berry: his career, academic influence, and unconventional lifestyle. These deft sketches of Berry show the purity of his agrarian lifestyle and demonstrate that there is nothing simple about the life to which he has devoted himself. He embraces a life that sustains him not by easy purchase and haste but by physical labor and patience, not by mindless acquiescence to a centralized economy but by careful attention to local ways and wisdom. Wendell Berry: Life and Work combines biographical sketches, personal accounts, literary criticism, and social commentary. Together, the contributors illuminate Berry as he is: a complex man of place and community with an astonishing depth of domestic, intellectual, filial, and fraternal attributes. The result is a rich portrait of one of America’s most profound and honest thinkers.

Nature as Measure

The Selected Essays of Wes Jackson

Author: Wes Jackson

Publisher: Counterpoint Press

ISBN: 1582438935

Category: Nature

Page: 304

View: 4531

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Wes Jackson can teach us many things about the land, soil, and conservation, but what most resonates is this: The ecosphere is self-regulating, and as often as we attempt to understand it, we are not its builders, and our manuals will often be faulty. The only responsible way to learn the nuances of the land is to study the soil and vegetation in their natural state and pass this knowledge on to future generations. In Nature as Measure, a collection of Jackson’s essays from Altars of Unhewn Stone and Becoming Native to This Place, these ideas of land conservation and education are written from the point of view of a man who has practiced what he’s preached and proven that it is possible to partially restore much of the land that we’ve ravaged. Wes Jackson lays the foundation for a new farming economy, grounded in nature’s principles and located in dying small towns and rural communities. Exploding the tenets of industrial agriculture, Jackson seeks to integrate food production with nature in a way that sustains both.

A Continuous Harmony

Essays Cultural and Agricultural

Author: Wendell Berry

Publisher: Counterpoint

ISBN: 9781593760144

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 176

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Berry's second collection of essays was first published in 1972, and contained eight essays, including the seminal "Think Little," which was printed in "The Last Whole Earth Catalogue" and reprinted around the globe, and the splendid centerpiece, "Discipline and Hope," an insightful and articulate essay of instruction and caution.

American Agriculture

A Brief History

Author: R. Douglas Hurt

Publisher: Purdue University Press

ISBN: 9781557532817

Category: History

Page: 424

View: 2865

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R.Douglas Hurt's brief history of American agriculture, from the prehistoric period through the twentieth century, is written for anyone coming to this subject for the first time. It also provides a ready reference to the economic, social, political, scientific, and technological changes that have most affected farming in America. American Agriculture is a story of considerable achievement and success, but it is also a story of greed, racism, and violence. Hurt offers a provocative look at history that has been shaped by the best and worst of human nature.

Bringing It to the Table

On Farming and Food (Large Print 16pt)

Author: Wendell Berry

Publisher: ReadHowYouWant.com

ISBN: 1458758621

Category:

Page: 316

View: 7536

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Only a farmer could delve so deeply into the origins of food, and only a writer of Wendell Berry's caliber could convey it with such conviction and eloquence. Drawn from more than thirty years of work, this collection is essential reading for all who care about what they eat.

Becoming Native To This Place

Author: Wes Jackson

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

ISBN: 081314647X

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 136

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Smedley Butler's life and career epitomize the contradictory nature of American military policy through the first part of this century. Butler won renown as a Marine battlefield hero, campaigning in most of America's foreign military expeditions from 1898 to the late 1920s. He became the leading national advocate for paramilitary police reform. Upon his retirement, however, he renounced war and imperialism and devoted his energy and prestige to various dissident and leftist political causes.

A History of World Agriculture

From the Neolithic Age to the Current Crisis

Author: Marcel Mazoyer,Laurence Roudart

Publisher: NYU Press

ISBN: 1583674918

Category: History

Page: 496

View: 5338

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Only once we understand the long history of human efforts to draw sustenance from the land can we grasp the nature of the crisis that faces humankind today, as hundreds of millions of people are faced with famine or flight from the land. From Neolithic times through the earliest civilizations of the ancient Near East, in savannahs, river valleys and the terraces created by the Incas in the Andean mountains, an increasing range of agricultural techniques have developed in response to very different conditions. These developments are recounted in this book, with detailed attention to the ways in which plants, animals, soil, climate, and society have interacted. Mazoyer and Roudart’s A History of World Agriculture is a path-breaking and panoramic work, beginning with the emergence of agriculture after thousands of years in which human societies had depended on hunting and gathering, showing how agricultural techniques developed in the different regions of the world, and how this extraordinary wealth of knowledge, tradition and natural variety is endangered today by global capitialism, as it forces the unequal agrarian heritages of the world to conform to the norms of profit. During the twentieth century, mechanization, motorization and specialization have brought to a halt the pattern of cultural and environmental responses that characterized the global history of agriculture until then. Today a small number of corporations have the capacity to impose the farming methods on the planet that they find most profitable. Mazoyer and Roudart propose an alternative global strategy that can safegaurd the economies of the poor countries, reinvigorate the global economy, and create a livable future for mankind.

The Art of Loading Brush

New Agrarian Writings

Author: Wendell Berry

Publisher: Counterpoint Press

ISBN: 1619020602

Category: Social Science

Page: 270

View: 2499

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"In Berry’s new book, The Art of Loading Brush, he is a frustrated advocate, speaking out against local wastefulness and distant idealism; he is a gentle friend, asserting, as he always has, the hope possible in caring for the world, and your specific place in it . . . The Art of Loading Brush is singular in Berry’s corpus." ―The Paris Review "Berry's essays, continuing arguments begun in The Unsettling of America 40 years ago, will be familiar to longtime readers, blending his farm work with his interests in literature old and new . . . Vintage Berry sure to please and instruct his many admirers." ―Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "[Berry] has never written better." ―Booklist (starred review) Wendell Berry’s profound critique of American culture has entered its sixth decade, and in this gathering he reaches with deep devotion toward a long view of Agrarian philosophy. Mr. Berry believes that American cultural problems are nearly always aligned with their agricultural problems, and recent events have shone a terrible spotlight on the divides between our urban and rural citizens. Our communities are as endangered as our landscapes. There is, as Berry outlines, still much work to do, and our daily lives—in hope and affection—must triumph over despair. Mr. Berry moves deftly between the real and the imagined. The Art of Loading Brush is an energetic mix of essays and stories, including “The Thought of Limits in a Prodigal Age,” which explores Agrarian ideals as they present themselves historically and as they might apply to our work today. “The Presence of Nature in the Natural World” is added here as the bookend of this developing New Agrarianism. Four stories extend the Port William story as it follows Andy Catlett throughout his life to this present moment. Andy works alongside his grandson in “The Art of Loading Brush,” one of the most moving and tender stories of the entire Port William cycle. Filled with insights and new revelations from a mind thorough in its considerations and careful in its presentations, The Art of Loading Brush is a necessary and timely collection.

Letters to a Young Farmer

On Food, Farming, and Our Future

Author: Martha Hodgkins

Publisher: Chronicle Books

ISBN: 1616896035

Category: Social Science

Page: 176

View: 345

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An agricultural revolution is sweeping the land. Appreciation for high-quality food, often locally grown, an awareness of the fragility of our farmlands, and a new generation of young people interested in farming, animals, and respect for the earth have come together to create a new agrarian community. To this group of farmers, chefs, activists, and visionaries, Letters to a Young Farmer is addressed. Three dozen esteemed leaders of the changes that made this revolution possible speak to the highs and lows of farming life in vivid and personal letters specially written for this collaboration. Barbara Kingsolver speaks to the tribe of farmers—some born to it, many self-selected—with love, admiration, and regret. Dan Barber traces the rediscovery of lost grains and foodways. Michael Pollan bridges the chasm between agriculture and nature. Bill McKibben connects the early human quest for beer to the modern challenge of farming in a rapidly changing climate. Letters to a Young Farmer is a vital road map of how we eat and farm, and why now, more than ever before, we need farmers.

The Soil and Health

A Study of Organic Agriculture

Author: Albert Howard

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

ISBN: 0813132096

Category: Nature

Page: 352

View: 2504

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During his years as a scientist working for the British government in India, Sir Albert Howard conceived of and refined the principles of organic agriculture. Howard’s The Soil and Health became a seminal and inspirational text in the organic movement soon after its publication in 1945. The Soil and Health argues that industrial agriculture, emergent in Howard’s era and dominant today, disrupts the delicate balance of nature and irrevocably robs the soil of its fertility. Howard’s classic treatise links the burgeoning health crises facing crops, livestock, and humanity to this radical degradation of the Earth’s soil. His message—that we must respect and restore the health of the soil for the benefit of future generations—still resonates among those who are concerned about the effects of chemically enhanced agriculture.

The Death of Picasso

New & Selected Writing

Author: Guy Davenport

Publisher: Open Road Media

ISBN: 150401961X

Category: Fiction

Page: 375

View: 9364

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A collection of essays and stories showcasing one of America’s most insightful thinkers at his best Featuring both short stories and critical pieces, The Death of Picasso exhibits the versatility and innovative thinking that drives all of Guy Davenport’s work. As a critic, he takes on topics such as Ruskin’s life and influences and Benson Bobrick’s history of English versions of the Bible, through which Davenport explores how translation has affected the text’s interpretation for centuries. Both his fiction and essays contribute to the eternal conversation on how the arts reflect, inform, and influence the human experience. In his short stories, Davenport vividly evokes entire worlds—such as that of a regatta on the Thames or an air show in Northern Italy—with an eye for telling details that typically go unnoticed. Fact and fiction combine and shift forms throughout the collection, for instance, in “The Concord Sonata” when the author manipulates time and space to put thinkers like Thoreau, Wittgenstein, and W. E. B. Du Bois in conversation. Davenport’s uninhibited imagination and singular gaze reveal both the commonplace and the sublime in a new light.

The Essential Agrarian Reader

The Future of Culture, Community, and the Land

Author: Norman Wirzba

Publisher: Counterpoint Press

ISBN: 9781593760434

Category: Nature

Page: 276

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In this remarkable anthology, 15 essays--from Wendell Berry, Vandana Shiva, and others--call upon people to celebrate the gifts of the earth through honest work and respect for the land.

Citizenship Papers

Author: Wendell Berry

Publisher: ReadHowYouWant.com

ISBN: 145875815X

Category:

Page: 316

View: 9238

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There are those in America today who seem to feel we must audition for our citizenship, with ''Patriot'' offered as the badge for those found narrowly worthy. Let this book stand as Wendell Berry's application, for he is one of those faithful, devoted critics envisioned by the Founding Fathers to be the life's blood and very future of the nation they imagined. Adams, Jefferson, and Madison would have found great clarity in his prose and great hope in his vision. And today's readers will be moved and encouraged by his anger and his refusal to surrender in the face of desperate odds. Books get written for all sorts of reasons, and this book was written out of necessity. Citizenship Papers, a collection of 19 essays, is a ringing call of alarm to a nation standing on the brink of global catastrophe.

What Are People For?

Essays

Author: Wendell Berry

Publisher: Counterpoint

ISBN: 1582434875

Category: Social Science

Page: 224

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Whether suggesting standards for technical innovation or pointing to the ruinous effects of what has become everyday practice, Berry speaks bravely against thoughtlessness, measuring every word as he leads the way toward balancing our currently out-of-kilter society.

Farming

A Hand Book

Author: Wendell Berry

Publisher: Counterpoint Press

ISBN: 1582437637

Category: Poetry

Page: 118

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The America many people would like to believe in is convincingly explored in this volume of poems by a writer close to the heart of things. The sanity and eloquence of these poems spring from the land in Kentucky where Wendell Berry was born, married, lives, farms, and writes. From classic pastoral themes both lyrical and reflective, to a verse play, to a dramatic narrative and the manic, entertaining, prescient ravings of Berry's Mad Farmer, these poems show a unity of language and consciousness, skill and sensitivity, that has placed Wendell Berry at the front rank of contemporary American poets.

The Way of Ignorance

And Other Essays

Author: Wendell Berry

Publisher: Counterpoint Press

ISBN: 1593761198

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 180

View: 1895

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A new collection of essays by the T. S. Eliot Award-winning writer features some of his top writings and explores such themes as security, freedom, and community, in a volume that includes the pieces "The Way of Ignorance," "The Purpose of a Coherent Community," and "Compromise, Hell!" Reprint.