New Agrarianism, P / Edition 1

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<p>The engaging writings gathered in this new book explore an important but little-publicized movement in American culture - the marked resurgence of agrarian practices and values in rural areas, suburbs, and even cities. It is a movement that in widely varied ways is attempting to strengthen society's roots in the land while bringing greater health to families, neighborhoods, and communities. The New Agrarianism vividly displays the movement's breadth and vigor, with selections by such award-winning writers as Wendell Berry, William Kittredge, Stephanie Mills, David Orr, Scott Russell Sanders, and Donald Worster.<p>As editor Eric Freyfogle observes in his stimulating and original introduction, agrarianism is properly conceived in broad terms, as reaching beyond food production to include a wide constellation of ideals, loyalties, sentiments, and hopes. It is a temperament and a moral orientation, he explains, as well as a suite of diverse economic practices - all based on the insistent truth that people everywhere are part of the land community, as dependent as other life on its fertility and just as shaped by its mysteries and possibilities.<p>The writings included here have been chosen for their engaging narratives as well as their depiction of the New Agrarianism's broad scope. Many of the selections illustrate agrarian practitioners in action - restoring prairies, promoting community forests and farms, reducing resource consumption, reshaping the built environment. Other selections offer pointed critiques of contemporary American culture and its market-driven, resource-depleting competitiveness. Together, they reveal what Freyfogle identifies as the heart and soul of the New Agrarianism: its yearning to regain society's connections to the land and its quest to help craft a more land-based and enduring set of shared values.<p>The New Agrarianism offers a compelling vision of this hopeful new way of living. It is an essential book for social critics, community activists, organic gardeners, conservationists, and all those seeking to forge sustaining ties with the entire community of life.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In response to an ever-increasing degradation of nature and a despoiling of the land, individuals nationwide have sought to find ways to restore the health of the land and maintain the crucial bonds between people and place. This excellent collection of fiction and nonfiction explores both the far-ranging problems arising from a capitalist industrial society and the restorative practices that "can stimulate hope for more joyful living, healthier families, and more contented, centered lives." In his introduction, editor Freyfogle (natural resources and property law, Univ. of Illinois) points out that the new agrarianism is not an escape to a pristine place but rather many local and varied attempts to achieve effective, enduring land use. All the selections are worthwhile, and several are outstanding. Farmer/poet Wendell Berry's essay focuses on the differences between a manipulative global economy and a caring local one, while Brian Donahue concludes that community ownership and management of much local land is essential to prevent its destruction. All authors agree that a radical change in social values is the key to bringing about a new understanding of our role on Earth. This thoughtful collection is highly recommended for all types of libraries. Ilse Heidmann, San Marcos, TX Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781559639217
  • Publisher: Island Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric T. Freyfogle is the author of Bounded People, Boundless Lands (Island Press, 1998), winner of the 1999 Adult Nonfiction Award of the Society of Midland Authors, and co-editor of For the Health of the Land (Island Press, 1999). He teaches natural-resources, property, and land-use law at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: A Durable Scale
Pt. I New Prospects
Ch. 1 Learning from the Prairie 3
Ch. 2 Linking Tables to Farms 17
Ch. 3 Substance Abuse 29
Ch. 4 Prairie University 45
Ch. 5 The Whole Horse 63
Ch. 6 What Comes Around 81
Ch. 7 The Urban-Agrarian Mind 93
Pt. II The Sirens of Conquest
Ch. 8 The Decline of the Apple 111
Ch. 9 The Competitive Edge 129
Ch. 10 Owning It All 145
Ch. 11 The Wealth of Nature 161
Pt. III Sharing Life
Ch. 12 Great Possessions 181
Ch. 13 Reclaiming the Commons 197
Ch. 14 The Common Life 217
Ch. 15 The Boundary 239
Notes 263
Acknowledgments 273
About the Contributors 275
Index 279
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