"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
The Art of the Commonplace gathers twenty essays by Wendell Berry that offer an agrarian alternative to our dominant urban culture. Grouped around five themesan agrarian critique of culture, agrarian fundamentals, agrarian economics, agrarian religion, and geobiographythese 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.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)|
Table of Contents
|Introduction: The Challenge of Berry's Agrarian Vision||vii|
|Part I||A Geobiography|
|"A Native Hill"||3|
|Part II||Understanding Our Cultural Crisis|
|The Unsettling of America||35|
|Racism and the Economy||47|
|"Feminism, the Body, and the Machine"||65|
|Part 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|
|Part IV||Agrarian Economics|
|"Economy and Pleasure"||207|
|"The Whole Horse"||236|
|"The Idea of a Local Economy"||249|
|"A Bad Big Idea"||262|
|"Solving for Pattern"||267|
|Part 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|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Absolutely wonderful. If only more people were putting words on paper that held the prophetic merit that Mr. Berry seems to possess in all his writings. Although some of these essays were hard to relate to at times, there was an intrinsic value to this whole collection that help me see relevance in areas I might not normally find it. What a gift he is, and I can't wait to read more.
This amazing book challenges one's thinking in many ways- from the dehumanization of our consumer culture to the loss of community to the loss of touch of where are food comes from.
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.
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!