The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry [NOOK Book]

Overview


"Here is a human being speaking with calm and sanity out of the wilderness. We would do well to hear him."—The Washington Post Book World

Art of the Commonplace gathers twenty essays by Wendell Berry that offer an agrarian alternative to our dominant urban culture. Grouped around five themes—an agrarian critique of culture, agrarian fundamentals, agrarian economics, agrarian religion, and geo-biography—these essays promote a clearly defined and compelling vision important to all people dissatisfied with the ...
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The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry

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Overview


"Here is a human being speaking with calm and sanity out of the wilderness. We would do well to hear him."—The Washington Post Book World

Art of the Commonplace gathers twenty essays by Wendell Berry that offer an agrarian alternative to our dominant urban culture. Grouped around five themes—an agrarian critique of culture, agrarian fundamentals, agrarian economics, agrarian religion, and geo-biography—these essays promote a clearly defined and compelling vision important to all people dissatisfied with the stress, anxiety, disease, and destructiveness of contemporary American culture.

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 benefit both? And, how does the corporate takeover of social institutions and economic practices contribute to the destruction of human and natural environments?

Through his staunch support of local economies, his defense of farming communities, and 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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Editorial Reviews

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.
From The Critics
A collection of 21 previously published essays by social critic Berry. Berry argues that the increasing urbanization of our culture and the increasing industrialization of our agriculture are two of the most dangerous trends attacking American's ability to lead authentic lives. He promotes a new vision of American agrarianism that addresses culture, economics, and religious values. His essays are accompanied by an introductory explanation of his overall thought penned by Wirzba (philosophy, Georgetown College). Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582439242
  • Publisher: Counterpoint Press
  • Publication date: 8/10/2003
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 217,280
  • File size: 465 KB

Meet the Author


Essayist, novelist, and poet, Wendell Berry has written more than thirty books. He 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. The recipient of several awards and grants, his work has appeared in numerous magazines and journals. He is the author of The Paradis of God: Renewing Religion in an Ecological Age (Oxford University Press) and editor of The Essential Agrarian Reader: The Future of Culture, Community, and the Land (University Press of Kentucky). He lives in Kentucky with his wife and four young children.
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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Challenge of Berry's Agrarian Vision
Pt. I A Geobiography
"A Native Hill" 3
Pt. II Understanding Our Cultural Crisis
The Unsettling of America 35
Racism and the Economy 47
"Feminism, the Body, and the Machine" 65
"Think Little" 81
Pt. III The Agrarian Basis for an Authentic Culture
"The Body and the Earth" 93
"Men and Women in Search of Common Ground" 135
"Health Is Membership" 144
"Sex, Economy, Freedom, and Community" 159
"People, Land, and Community" 182
"Conservation and Local Economy" 195
Pt. IV Agrarian Economics
"Economy and Pleasure" 207
"Two Economies" 219
"The Whole Horse" 236
"The Idea of a Local Economy" 249
"A Bad Big Idea" 262
"Solving for Pattern" 267
Pt. V Agrarian Religion
"The Use of Energy" 279
"The Gift of Good Land" 293
"Christianity and the Survival of Creation" 305
"The Pleasures of Eating" 321
Acknowledgments 329
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 25, 2014

    Highly recommend

    If we all read Wendell, and lived the way he points, we would not have the pollution or the loss of arable land that we have. We'd sure have great gardens and healthy food, plus a return to being linked with the earth. All good things. This is an easy read, hard to put down; be ready to take notes, underline, etc. A keeper.

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  • Posted October 7, 2011

    Joyous reading.

    Reading the work of Wendell Berry is, and always has been a joy. This collection of essays is certainly no different in that respect. In fact, I can see this becoming one of those special books that keeps finding its way into my hands for years to come. Berry has the special gift of not only writing some of the finest descriptions of nature ever put on paper, but he has the rare gift of making us feel that we are right beside him as he treks through the hills and valleys of Kentucky. So much so that one almost expects to see wet soil clinging to the bottoms of our shoes after reading these marvelous passages. Simply brilliant!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2012

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