The Essential Agrarian Reader: The Future of Culture, Community, and the Land / Edition 1

The Essential Agrarian Reader: The Future of Culture, Community, and the Land / Edition 1

by Norman Wirzba
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0813122856

ISBN-13: 9780813122854

Pub. Date: 10/28/2003

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

The twenty-first century offers a host of daunting cultural and environmental problems facing a booming world population: community disintegration, social anxiety, international terrorism, voter disenchantment, a growing gap between rich and poor, habitat destruction, biopatenting/biotechnology, global warming, and resource depletion. Standing as an alternative to the

Overview

The twenty-first century offers a host of daunting cultural and environmental problems facing a booming world population: community disintegration, social anxiety, international terrorism, voter disenchantment, a growing gap between rich and poor, habitat destruction, biopatenting/biotechnology, global warming, and resource depletion. Standing as an alternative to the modern paradigms in industry, technology, and economics, agrarianism is not a throwback to a mythical rural past but a sustained and coherent attempt to live faithfully and responsibly in a world of limited resources. With advocates from around the globe, agrarianism is a compelling worldview that challenges the shortcomings of the new global and industrial/technological order. Not simply focused on farming, the agrarian outlook encourages the development of practices and policies that promote the health of land and culture, emphasizing that responsible action occurs most readily when citizens live within local economies where the distance between production and consumption is as small as possible.

Agrarian issues and concerns take on a new urgency in an age of unprecedented urbanization; there are now more prisoners than farmers in the U.S. Fewer people than ever before appreciate, understand, and care for the sources of all life: healthy soil, clean water, vibrant natural habitats, and nutritious food. In developing nations, food and food production have become major health and security issues as industrialized agriculture and globalized trade force small farmers into debt and dispossession. We are beginning to see that belief in a post-agricultural society is false -- even dangerous. Offering fresh insights from the disciplines of education, law, history, urban and regional planning, economics, philosophy, religion, ecology, politics, and agriculture, the original essays in The Essential Agrarian Reader develop a sophisticated critique of our culture's current relationship to the land while offering practical alternatives. Leading agrarians, including Wendell Berry, Vandana Shiva, Wes Jackson, Gene Logsdon, Brian Donahue, Eric Freyfogle, and David Orr, explain how to create genuinely sustainable communities. While lamenting the shortsightedness of recent economic and political ambitions, these writers call for an honest accounting and correction of destructive ways of life. They suggest how our society can take practical steps toward integrating soils, watersheds, forests, wildlife, urban areas, and human populations into one great system -- a responsible flourishing of our world and culture and a celebration manifested in honest work and respect for the land.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813122854
Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
Publication date:
10/28/2003
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
296
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Forewordix
Introduction: Why Agrarianism Matters--Even to Urbanites1
Part 1Agrarian Principles and Priorities
1.The Agrarian Standard23
2.The Resettling of America34
3.The Mind-Set of Agrarianism ... New and Old52
4.Sustainable Economic Development: Definitions, Principles, Policies62
5.Placing the Soul: An Agrarian Philosophical Principle80
Part 2Assessing Our Situation
6.The Current State of Agriculture: Does It Have a Future?101
7.Globalization and the War against Farmers and the Land121
8.The Agrarian Mind: Mere Nostalgia or a Practical Necessity?140
9.All Flesh Is Grass: A Hopeful Look at the Future of Agrarianism154
10.The Uses of Prophecy171
Part 3Putting Agrarianism to Work
11.Country and City: The Common Vision of Agrarians and New Urbanists191
12.New Agrarians: Local Innovators212
13.The Legal and Legislative Front: The Fight Against Industrial Agriculture222
14.Private Property Rights in Land: An Agrarian View237
15.Going to Work259
Further Reading267
Contributors271
Index273

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