The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry

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9781582431468: The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry

Collected here for the first time, the essential essays from Wendell Berry's writings on agrarianism, agriculture, and community.

Together these twenty-one essays offer an agrarian alternative to our dominant urban culture. Grouped around five themes--geobiography, an agrarian critique of culture, agrarian fundamentals, agrarian economics, and agrarian religion--they provide an excellent introduction to the wide range of Wendell Berry's work. They also demonstrate that Berry's writing promotes a clearly defined agrarian vision compelling to those dissatisfied with the stress, anxiety, ill health, and destructiveness of media-driven culture.

Readers will find in these essays illuminating discussions on questions such as: Why is agriculture becoming culturally irrelevant, and at what cost? What are the forces of social disintegration, and how might they be reversed? How might men and women live together in ways that are to the benefit of both? And how does the corporate takeover of social institutions and economic practices contribute to the destruction of human and natural environments? Whether it be through his staunch support of local economies, his defense of farming communities, or his call for family integrity, Berry emerges as the champion of responsibilities and priorities that serve the health, vitality, and happiness of the whole community of creation.

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About the Author:

An essayist, novelist, and poet, Wendell Berry is the author of more than thirty books. Throughout his career, Berry has received various awards and honors, including the award for writing from the National Institute of Arts and Letters, the Lannan Foundation Award for non-fiction, and the Ingersoll Foundation's T. S. Eliot Award. Berry lives and works in his native Kentucky with his wife, Tanya Berry, and their children and grandchildren. Norman Wirzba is an associate professor of philosophy at Georgetown College, in Georgetown, Kentucky. He is the author of the forthcoming Becoming a Culture of Creation. Wirzba lives in Kentucky with his wife and four young children.

From Library Journal:

Writer and farmer Berry has long been an inspiration to the contemporary agrarian movement and a guiding light to people who care deeply about the health of their land and their communities. In his numerous books of essays, he has thoughtfully and articulately shown how the current consumer-based, profit-driven industrial society not only destroys our natural world but also increasingly harms our social and personal well-being. The 21 essays in this collection, written over the past two decades, provide both a splendid introduction to Berry's work and a stimulating compendium for those already familiar with it. These are beautifully crafted essays, replete with social criticism, righteous anger, moral guidance, and lyrical wording. Above all, they contain a reverence for the beauty and complexity of our natural world and a call to be good stewards of the earth and our limited resources. Berry states that we do not need to rely on constant technological progress to improve our future: "If we take care of the world of the present, the future will have received full justice from us." Highly recommended for public and academic libraries. Ilse Heidmann, Olympia, WA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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