Our planet is approaching a critical environmental juncture. Across the globe we continue to deplete the five pools of carbon - soil, wood, coal, oil, and natural gas - at an unsustainable rate. We've burned up half the planet's known reserves of oil - one trillion barrels - in less than a century. When these sources of energy-rich carbon go into severe decline, as they surely will, society will follow.Former archeologist and Sierra Club activist Courtney White calls this moment the Age of Consequences-a time when the worrying consequences of our environmental actions- or inaction - have begun to raise unavoidable and difficult questions. How should we respond? What are effective (and realistic) solutions?In exploring these questions, White draws on his formidable experience as an environmentalist and activist as well as his experience as a father to two children living through this vital moment in time. As a result, The Age of Consequences is a book of ideas and action, but it is also a chronicle of personal experience. Readers follow White as he travels the country --- from Kansas to Los Angeles, New York City, Italy, France, Yellowstone, and New England.
Set during the Christmas of 1943, nine-year-old Andy Catlett sets off to visit his grandparents in Port William by bus, by himself for the first time. For Andy this is a rite of passage, his first step into manhood.
Wendell Berry proposes, and earnestly hopes, that people will learn once more to care for their local communities, and so begin a restoration that might spread over our entire nation and beyond. The renewed development of local economies would help preserve rural diversity despite the burgeoning global economy that threatens to homogenize and compromise communities all over the world.From modern health care to the practice of forestry, from local focus to national resolve, Berry argues, there can never be a separation between global ecosystems and human communities-the two are intricately connected, and the health and survival of one depends upon the other.Provocative, intimate, and thoughtful, Another Turn of the Crank reaches to the heart of Berry's concern and vision for the future, for America and for the world.
Essential essays are included in this volume from Wendell Berry's writings on agrarianism, agriculture, and community.
Only a farmer could delve so deeply into the origins of food, and only a writer of Wendell Berry's caliber could convey it with such conviction and eloquence. Long before Whole Foods organic produce was available at your local supermarket, Berry was farming with the purity of food in mind. For the last five decades, Berry has embodied mindful eating through his land practices and his writing. In recognition of that influence, Michael Pollan here offers an introduction to this wonderful collection.Drawn from over thirty years of work, this collection joins bestsellers The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Pollan, and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver, as essential reading for anyone who cares about what they eat. The essays address such concerns as: How does organic measure up against locally grown? What are the differences between small and large farms, and how does that affect what you put on your dinner table? What can you do to support sustainable agriculture?A progenitor of the Slow Food movement, Wendell Berry reminds us all to take the time to understand the basics of what we ingest. "Eating is an agriculture act," he writes. Indeed, we are all players in the food economy.
Introduction by Michael Pollan Long Before Organic Produce was Available at Your Local Supermarket. Wendell Berry was farming and writing with the purity of food in mind. For the last five decades, he has embodied mindful eating through his land practices and his writing. In recognition of Berry's influence, Michael Pollan offers an introduction to this new collection. "To read the essays in this sparkling anthology," he writes, "many of them dating back to the 1970s and 1980s, is to realize just how little of what we are saying and hearing today Wendell Berry hasn't already said, bracingly, before. " This compendium joins today's bestsellers as essential reading for all who care about what they eat.
"Citizenship Papers" collects 21 new essays, from celebrations of exemplary lives to critiques of American life, including "A Citizen's Response to the New National Security Strategy" -- a ringing call of caution to a nation standing on the brink of global catastrophe.
Citizenship papers, n 1. Materials prepared for presentation to authorities when making an application for citizenship. 2. Documents presented as proof of citizenship.There are those in America today who seem to feel we must audition for our citizenship, with "Patriot" offered as the badge for those found narrowly worthy. Let this book stand as Wendell Berry's application, for he is one of those faithful, devoted critics envisioned by the Founding Fathers to be the life's blood and very future of the nation they imagined. Adams, Jefferson and Madison would have found great clarity in his prose and great hope in his vision. And today's readers will be moved and encouraged by his anger and his refusal to surrender in the face of desperate odds. Books get written for all sorts of reasons, and this book was written out of necessity.Citizenship Papers collects nineteen new essays, from celebrations of exemplary lives to critiques of American life, including "A Citizen's Response [to the new National Security Strategy]"-a ringing call of caution to a nation standing on the brink of global catastrophe.
The title of this book is taken from an account by Thomas F. Hornbein on his travels in the Himalayas. "It seemed to me," Horenbein wrote, "that here man lived in continuous harmony with the land, as much as briefly a part of it as all its other occupants." Wendell Berry's second collection of essays, A Continuous Harmony was first published in 1972, and includes the seminal "Think Little," which was printed in The Last Whole Earth Catalogue and reprinted around the globe, and the splendid centerpiece, "Discipline and Hope," an insightful and articulate essay making a case for what he calls "a new middle."
Berry's second collection of essays was first published in 1972, and contained eight essays, including the seminal "Think Little," which was printed in "The Last Whole Earth Catalogue" and reprinted around the globe, and the splendid centerpiece, "Discipline and Hope," an insightful and articulate essay of instruction and caution.
First published in 1971, The Country of Marriage is Wendell Berry's fifth volume of poetry. What he calls "an expansive metaphor" is "a farmer's relationship to his land as the basic and central relation of humanity to creation." "Similarly, marriage is the basic and central community tie; it begins and stands for the relation we have to family and to the larger circles of human association. And these relationships are in turn basic to, and may stand for, our relationship to God and to the sustaining mysteries and powers of creation." Each of the thirty-five poems in this collection is concerned with this metaphor. The long sequence that is itself entitled "The Country of Marriage," perhaps the finest single work in the book, is a grave, moving, and beautifully wrought love poem. But the shorter lyrics have an equal grace and beauty-writing that contains the exhilarating lucidity of mountain spring water. And there are most notably, several more poems about the "Mad Farmer," who advises us here to 'every day do something that won't compute.' Berry has here perfected a work that is immediately accessible but that becomes, as we read it again, always more satisfying, reverberant with manifold meanings.
In 1969 Gary Snyder returned from a long residence in Japan to northern California, to a homestead in the Sierra foothills where he intended to build a house and settle on the land with his wife and young sons. He had just published his first book of essays, Earth House Hold. A few years before, after a long absence, Wendell Berry left New York City to return to land near his grandfather's farm in Port Royal, Kentucky, where he built a small studio and lived there with his wife as they restored an old house on their newly acquired homestead. In 1969 Berry had just published Long-Legged House. These two founding members of the counterculture and of the new environmental movement had yet to meet, but they knew each other's work, and soon they began a correspondence. Neither man could have imagined the impact their work would have on American political and literary culture, nor could they have appreciated the impact they would have on one another.Snyder had thrown over all vestiges of Christianity in favor of becoming a devoted Buddhist and Zen practitioner, and had lived in Japan for a prolonged period to develop this practice. Berry's discomfort with the Christianity of his native land caused him to become something of a renegade Christian, troubled by the church and organized religion, but grounded in its vocabulary and its narrative. Religion and spirituality seemed like a natural topic for the two men to discuss, and discuss they did. They exchanged more than 240 letters from 1973 to 2013, remarkable letters of insight and argument. The two bring out the best in each other, as they grapple with issues of faith and reason, discuss ideas of home and family, worry over the disintegration of community and commonwealth, and share the details of the lives they've chosen to live with their wives and children. Contemporary American culture is the landscape they reside on. Environmentalism, sustainability, global politics and American involvement, literature, poetry and progressive ideals, these two public intellectuals address issues as broad as are found in any exchange in literature.No one can be unaffected by the complexity of their relationship, the subtlety of their arguments, and the grace of their friendship. This is a book for the ages.
In this gathering of work from the past fifteen years, Wendell Berry offers poems of remembrance and regeneration, celebrating life's complexities from the domestic to the eternal.
The America many people would like to believe in is convincingly explored in this volume of poems by a writer close to the heart of things. The sanity and eloquence of these poems spring from the land in Kentucky where Wendell Berry was born, married, lives, farms, and writes. From classic pastoral themes both lyrical and reflective, to a verse play, to a dramatic narrative and the manic, entertaining, prescient ravings of Berry's Mad Farmer, these poems show a unity of language and consciousness, skill and sensitivity, that has placed Wendell Berry at the front rank of contemporary American poets.
"Berry richly evokes Port William's [Kentucky] farmlands and hamlets, and his characters are fiercely individual, yet mutually protective in everything they do. . . . His sentences are exquisitely constructed, suggesting the cyclic rhythms of his agrarian world. "--New York Times Book Review.
In the twenty-four essays of this collection, Wendell Berry stresses the carefully modulated harmonics of indivisibility in culture and agriculture, the interdependence, the wholeness, the oneness, of man, animals, the land, the weather, and the family. To touch one, he shows, is to tamper with them all. Here he continues issues first raised in "The Unsettling of America"; the problems addressed there are still with us and the solutions no nearer to hand, Mr. Berry writes of his journeys to the highlands of Peru, the deserts of southern Arizona, and the Amish country to study traditional agricultural practices. He writes of homesteading, tools and their uses, horses and tractors, family work, land reclamation, diversified land use. In the title essay Mr. Berry draws parallels between the Christian notion of stewardship and the Buddhist doctrine of "right livelihood." He develops the compelling argument that the "gift" of good land has strings attached: the recipient has it only as long as he practices responsible stewardship.
For five decades Wendell Berry has been a poet of great clarity and purpose. He is a writer whose imagination is grounded by the pastures of his chosen place and the rooms and porches of his family's home.
In the latest installment in Wendell Berry's long story about the citizens of Port William, Hannah Coulter remembers. Her first husband, Virgil, was declared "missing in action" shortly after the Battle of the Bulge, and after she married Nathan Coulter about all he could tell Hannah about the Battle of Okinawa was "Ignorant boys, killing each other." The community was stunned and diminished by the war, with some of its sons lost forever and others returning home determined to carry on. Now, in her late seventies, twice-widowed and alone, Hannah sorts through her memories: of her childhood, of young love and loss, of raising children and the changing seasons. She turns her plain gaze to a community facing its long deterioration, where, she says, "We feel the old fabric torn, pulling apart, and we know how much we have loved each other." Hannah offers her summation: her stories and her gratitude, for the membership in Port William, and for her whole life, a part of the great continuum of love and memory, grief and strength.
"Ignorant boys, killing each other," is just about all Nathan Coulter would tell his wife, friends, and family about the Battle of Okinawa in the spring of 1945. Life carried on for the community of Port William, Kentucky, as some boys returned from the war and the lives of others were mourned. In her seventies, Nathan's wife, Hannah, has time now to tell of the years since the war. In Wendell Berry's unforgettable prose, we learn of the Coulter's children, of the Feltners and Branches, and how survivors "live right on."
Lectures by distinguished writer, environmentalist and sustainable agriculturalist Berry (U. of Kentucky) on the life and work of Harlan Hubbard, an earlier Kentucky original--writer, painter, and advocate (and prototype) of rural self-sufficiency.
With the expected grace of Wendell Berry comes The Hidden Wound, an essay about racism and the damage it has done to the identity of our country. Through Berry's personal experience, he explains how remaining passive in the face of the struggle of racism further corrodes America's potential. In a quiet and observant manner, Berry opens up about how his attempt to discuss racism is rooted in the hope that someday the historical wound will begin to heal.
The agrarian tradition runs as an undercurrent through the entire history of literature, carrying the age-old wisdom that the necessary access of independent farmers to their own land both requires the responsibility of good stewardship and provides the foundation for a thriving civilization. At the turn of the last century, when farming first began to face the most rapid and extensive series of changes that industrialization would bring, the most compelling and humane voice representing the agrarian tradition came from the botanist, farmer, philosopher, and public intellectual Liberty Hyde Bailey. In 1915, Bailey's environmental manifesto, The Holy Earth, addressed the industrialization of society by utilizing the full range of human vocabulary to assert that the earth's processes and products, because they form the governing conditions of human life, should therefore be understood not first as economic, but as divine. To grasp the extent of human responsibility for the earth, Bailey called for "a new hold" that society must take to develop a "morals of land management," which would later inspire Aldo Leopold's "land ethic" and several generations of agrarian voices. This message of responsible land stewardship has never been as timely as now.
"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," Mr. 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. Mr. 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.
The book is on Wendell Berry's greatest speech during The Jefferson Lecture. It includes a small handful of other recent essays and a wonderful conversation between Mr. Berry, his wife Tanya Berry, and the head of the National Endowment of the Humanities Jim Leech, which took place just after the award was announced. The result offers a wonderful continuation of the long conversation Berry has had with his readers over many years and as well as a fine introduction to his life and work.
When he accepted the invitation to deliver The Jefferson Lecture-our nation's highest honor for distinguished intellectual achievement-Wendell Berry decided to take on the obligation of thinking again about the problems that have engaged him throughout his long career. He wanted a fresh start, not only in looking at the groundwork of the problems facing our nation and the earth itself, but in gaining hope from some examples of repair and healing even in these times of Late Capitalism and its destructive contagions. As a poet and writer he understood already that much can be gleaned from looking at the vocabulary of these problems themselves and how we describe them. And he settled on "affection" as a method of engagement and solution. The result is the greatest speech he has delivered in his six decades of public life. It All Turns on Affection will take its place alongside The Unsettling of America and The Gift of Good Land as major testaments to the power and clarity of his contribution to American thought.We have taken this opportunity to include a small handful of other recent essays and a wonderful conversation between Mr. Berry, his wife Tanya Berry, and the head of the National Endowment of the Humanities Jim Leech, which took place just after the award was announced. The result offers a wonderful continuation of the long conversation Berry has had with his readers over many years and as well as a fine introduction to his life and work.