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Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture

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Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture Cover

ISBN13: 9780871568779
ISBN10: 0871568772
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In The Unsettling of America Wendell Berry argues that good farming is a cultural development and spiritual discipline. Today's agribusiness, however, takes farming out of its cultural context and away from families, and as a nation we are thus more estranged from the land - from the intimate knowledge, love, and care of it. Sadly, as Berry notes in the afterword to this new edition, his arguments and observations are still relevant today. We continue to suffer loss of community, the devaluation of human work, and the destruction of nature under an economics dedicated to the mechanistic pursuit of products and profits.

Synopsis:

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.

Sadly, as Berry notes in his Afterword to this third edition, his arguments and observations are more relevant than ever. We continue to suffer loss of community, the devaluation of human work, and the destruction of nature under an economic system dedicated to the mechanistic pursuit of products and profits. Although “this book has not had the happy fate of being proved wrong,” Berry writes, there are good 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.

Synopsis:

Berry's assessment 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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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Zachary Luber, January 1, 2010 (view all comments by Zachary Luber)
great book...changed my views on the current state of affairs in the agricultural world
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
alexandra.zelle.rettman, November 21, 2009 (view all comments by alexandra.zelle.rettman)
This is an amazing book. Although the topic isn't considered very exciting to most people, its writing is not bland, and it is very thought provoking. Wendell Berry, discusses man’s relationship to the land, and the transformation from farming being a family activity, to becoming a business operation. He reminds us that Western European expansion over the past 500 years has been written by exploitive people who’s concern for land stretches as far as how much and how quickly it is able to produce. Berry then describes the nurturer, who instead asks what he can do to care for the land in order that it should be able to have perpetual production.

Berry continues, explaining that a byproduct of farming becoming a less intimate activity between the farmer and the land is that it enables people to consume more then they produce. They take away more from the planet then they contribute. All the technological advances made in recent history have caused society to disintegrate on many different levels. He explores the breakdown of an agricultural culture, the infiltration of corrupt modern views that reach to the future, into a society that’s survival is reliant on ties to it’s past. He scrutinizes the excessive consumption that people do with no connection to its source.

While Berry spells out the root of the problem, the detachment of people to the land, he does not give a precise solution to the colossal deterioration of society today. Instead he describes that part of the problem with finding a solution is that the issue at hand has taken more then 500 years to develop, and therefore mending it isn’t so simple. Finding a solution is also that much harder to spot because the majority of people today have lost sight of the concept “work and reward”. Nothing in life truly comes easy. Modern society thinks it does because of technology, but Earth is demanding to be paid its overdue bills.

In order for balance to be restored, people must stop depending on machine derived energy, which only produces waste, and start using biological energy which requires profound unity between the farmers and the land in order to produce a healthy society.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780871568779
Author:
Berry, Wendell
Publisher:
Sierra Club Books
Author:
Berry, Wendell
Location:
San Francisco :
Subject:
General
Subject:
Agriculture & Animal Husbandry
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Sociology - General
Subject:
Social aspects
Subject:
Agriculture
Subject:
United States Rural conditions.
Subject:
SOC041000
Subject:
Agriculture -- Economic aspects.
Subject:
General Literary Criticism & Collections
Subject:
Biology-Reference
Copyright:
Edition Number:
3
Edition Description:
Revised Edition
Series Volume:
104-225
Publication Date:
20041131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
246
Dimensions:
8 x 5.5 in 10 oz

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Related Subjects

Business » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
Science and Mathematics » Agriculture » General
Science and Mathematics » Agriculture » Politics and Economics
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Reference
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » General

Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture New Trade Paper
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Product details 246 pages University of California Press - English 9780871568779 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
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.

Sadly, as Berry notes in his Afterword to this third edition, his arguments and observations are more relevant than ever. We continue to suffer loss of community, the devaluation of human work, and the destruction of nature under an economic system dedicated to the mechanistic pursuit of products and profits. Although “this book has not had the happy fate of being proved wrong,” Berry writes, there are good 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.

"Synopsis" by , Berry's assessment 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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