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. Todays 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.
“The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it we can have no community, because without proper care for it we can have no life.”
― Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture
Where to get it?
farmaggedon movie review
roundtable at Labiondo Farm
Helen Atthowe on Sustainability and Efficiency
BBQ of the Gods
Wendell Berry and Wes Jackson
small farm forum
The Land Institute
Wendell is one of my favorite authors (if not my favorite).
If you haven't read "The Long-Legged House", this book is one of his best collections and so many of those essays could have been written today. It was first published in 1969.
“It is certain, I think, that the best government is the one that governs the least. But there is a much-neglected corollary: the best citizen is the one who least needs governing.” ― Wendell Berry, The Long-Legged House
Have a great day.
Tom...I haven't seen the book you mention. I am lazy about waiting to come across things so I don't find everything but I think I will see if our library will find it. I have seen that much of his work (poems and essays mostly) is online even though he doesn't use or like computers himself. A few years ago I wrote him a 'thank you' for his work and actually recieved a nice reply
Where do you start to review a book like this? I'm not worthy of a review, but I will share at least this. Much could be written about his elegant and thoughtful diction and turn of phrase that we don't hear anymore in our spoken language. It's clear the man is a poet. But, I think the main point that I walk away with after reading TUOA is that the man was so prophetic in such an eloquent way. He didn't prophesy in general and vague ways, what he wrote in detail so many decades ago have come true in detail today and will continue to be discovered. In one volume, you have a succinct description of the bane that is industrial agriculture and the modern mindset and how it will degrade our biosphere and our society. He is no luddite, believe me. The bonus is that not only with the "how" of all this, but Berry in his unique way of communicating takes on the "why" of what has happened to us in this post-modern age. We walk away realizing our own complicity in the negative and, in that realization, can come to see our opportunity to take up the positive.
You can read this one every 2-3 years.