The Unsettling of America: Culture & Agriculture

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9780871568779: The Unsettling of America: Culture & Agriculture
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Since its publication 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 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. Although “this book has not had the happy fate of being proved wrong,” Berry writes, there are 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.

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The mid-20th-century environmental crisis that led to important protective legislation in the 1970s, is, to poet/farmer Wendell Berry's mind, also a crisis of character, agriculture, and culture. Because Americans are divorced from the land, they mistreat it; because they are divorced from each other, they mistreat those around them. Berry, writing in a prophetic mode, argues that if Americans are to heal the environmental wounds their land has suffered, they will also need to create more meaningful work, sustain happier and healthier lives, and return to what conservatives call "family values." The Unsettling of America is a quarter century old now, but most of its arguments remain current.

From the Inside Flap:

ssment of modern agriculture and its relationship to American culture--our health, economy, personal relationships, morals, and spiritual values--is more timely than ever. This new edition of Berry's work presents a a classic testament to the value of the American family farm.

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