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What Matters?: Economics for a Renewed Commonwealthby Wendell Berry
Synopses & Reviews
Over the years, Wendell Berry has sought to understand and confront the financial structure of modern society and the impact of developing late capitalism on American culture. There is perhaps no more demanding or important critique available to contemporary citizens than Berrys writings — just as there is no vocabulary more given to obfuscation than that of economics as practiced by professionals and academics. Berry has called upon us to return to the basics. He has traced how the clarity of our economic approach has eroded over time, as the financial asylum was overtaken by the inmates, and citizens were turned from consumers — entertained and distracted — to victims, threatened by a future of despair and disillusion.
For this collection, Berry offers essays from over the last 25 years, alongside new essays about the recent economic collapse, including Money Versus Goods” and Faustian Economics,” treatises of great alarm and courage. He offers advice and perspective that should be heeded by all concerned as our society attempts to steer from its present chaos and recession to a future of hope and opportunity. With urgency and clarity, Berry asks us to look toward a true sustainable commonwealth, grounded in realistic Jeffersonian principles applied to our present day.
Book News Annotation:
Farmer, thinker, and prolific author Wendell Berry has been called an agrarian-environmentalist-localist. In this collection of essays written over the past 25 years, including current essays about the recent economic crisis, he calls for a commitment to a sustainable commonwealth grounded in Jeffersonian principles applied to present conditions. According to Berry, "From an economic point of view, a society in which every schoolchild 'needs' a computer, and every 16-year-old 'needs' an automobile, and every 18-year-old 'needs' to go to college is already delusional and is well on its way to being broke." A foreword by Herman E. Daly (economics, University of Maryland) explains why economists should read these essays written by a non-economist. Berry has written more than 50 books of poetry, fiction and essays, and was recently awarded the Cleanth Brooks Medal for Lifetime Achievement. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Over the years, Berry has sought to understand and confront the financial structure of modern society and the impact of developing late capitalism on American culture. For this collection, Berry offers essays from the last 25 years, alongside new essays about the recent economic collapse.
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