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
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.
Realize your potential by simplifying your life.
"Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else."
~ Leonardo Da Vinci
Location: Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep clay/loam with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
Jones...We lost quite a few books to the 'woods' when we first moved here...I still prefer a book to a computer screen though!
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:)
"We're all just walking each other home." -Ram Dass
"Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder."-Rumi
One of the best books I've read in the last 25 years. I give this 10 acorns out of 10.
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.
For those familiar with Wendell Berry and his writings, this is another essential work. I love Wendell's books on agriculture and his unique and eloquent writing style reveal the tragedies of corporate agribusiness and its influence on culture. Going far beyond the abuse of soil which can be easy to see to those living in and driving through America's sprawling acres of cropland, this book sheds light upon the myriad of other far reaching consequences that industrial agriculture besets upon rural Americans, having had and still dealing a firsthand impact on the ruination of their communities. Written more than forty years ago now, this book could easily be about todays agriculture, rural people and the continuation of politically driven and economy based crop production.
"Study books and observe nature; if they do not agree, throw away the books." ~ William A. Albrecht
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