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“My work has been motivated,” Wendell Berry has written, “by a desire to make myself responsibly at home in this world and in my native and chosen place.” In Home Economics, a collection of fourteen essays, Berry explores this process and continues to discuss what it means to make oneself “responsibly at home.”
His title reminds us that the very root of economics is stewardship, household management. To paraphrase Confucius, a healthy planet is made up of healthy nations that are simply healthy communities sharing common ground, and communities are gatherings of households. A measure of the health of the planet is economics—the health of its households. Any process of destruction or healing must begin at home. Berry speaks of the necessary coherence of the “Great Economy,” as he argues for clarity in our lives, our conceptions, and our communications. To live is not to pass time, but to spend time.
Whether as critic or as champion, Wendell Berry offers careful insights into our personal and national situation in a prose that is ringing and clear.
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Wendell Berry is the author of thirty-two books of essays, poetry and novels. A native Kentuckian, he lived and taught in New York and California before returning permanently to the Kentucky River region, where he farms on 125 acres in Henry County. He has received numerous awards for his work, including one from the National Institute and Academy of Arts and Letters in 1971, and, most recently, the T.S. Eliot Award.
Novelist and poet Berry offers an eclectic group of essays on subjects ranging from economics and education to agriculture and the feminist movement. In "Six Agricultural Fallacies," for example, he argues in his typically individualistic way, that agriculture cannot be considered an industry because industry centers on machinery, which is not alive, while agriculture is a matter of living and breathing organisms. He also maintains that a factory may break down and machinery will fall into disrepair, but that soil, when properly used, will never "wear out." Elsewhere he praises the art of working by hand. Noting that he is not an authority on many of his subjects, he gives his opinions nonetheless, which help make this collection quirky and amusing.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description North Point Press, 1987. Paperback. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0865472750
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