The Gift of Good Land: Further Essays Cultural and Agricultural

The Gift of Good Land: Further Essays Cultural and Agricultural

by Wendell Berry

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The Gift of Good Land: Further Essays Cultural and Agricultural by Wendell Berry


The essays in The Gift of Good Land are as true today as when they were first published in 1981; the problems addressed here are still with us and the solutions no nearer to hand. One of the insistent themes of this book is the interdependence, the wholeness, the oneness of people, the land, weather, animals, and family. To touch one is to tamper with them all. We live in one functioning organism whose separate parts are artificially isolated by our culture.

The twenty-four essays in this collection cover a variety of subjects; the author’s journeys to the Peruvian Andes, to the desert of southern Arizona, and to Amish country to study the evolution of ancient native agricultural practices. In “Solving for Pattern,” Mr. Berry lists fourteen critical standards for solving agricultural problems that can just as easily be used as standards for solving personal and family problems. In the title essay, the author examines our Judeo-Christian heritage to discover parallels with the Buddhist doctrine of “right livelihood” or “right occupation.” He develops the compelling argument that the “gift” of good land has strings attached. We have it only on loan and only for as long as we practice good stewardship.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781582434841
Publisher: Counterpoint Press
Publication date: 05/01/2009
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 646,918
Product dimensions: 4.90(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Well Berry has worked a farm in Henry County, Kentucky, for some two decades. He is a past fellow of both the Guggenheim Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, and he received an award for his writing from the National Institute and Academy of Arts and Letters in 1971. He has emerged as an eloquent spokesman for conservation, common sense, and sustainable agriculture, topics he has pursued in The Unsettling of America and in Meeting the Expectations of the Land (coedited with Wes Jackson and Bruce Colman). His poetry includes A Part, The Wheel and Collected Poems: 1957-1982. His novels have included Nathan Coulter and A Place on Earth, and among his other collections of essays are Recollected Essays: 1965-1980 and Standing by Words. He is a writer with a rare combination of intelligence, eloquence, and integrity; as Wallace Stegner has written, "It is hard to say whether I like this writer better as a poet, an essayist, or a novelist. He is all three, at a high level."

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