From the renowned social critic, energy expert, and bestselling author James Howard Kunstler, The Harrows of Spring concludes the quartet of his extraordinary World Made By Hand novels, set in an American future of economic and political collapse, where electricity, automobiles, and the familiar social structures of the “old times” are a misty memory.
In the little upstate New York town of Union Grove, springtime is a most difficult season, known as “the six weeks want,” when fresh food is scarce and winter stores have dwindled. Young Daniel Earle returns from his haunting travels around what is left of the United States intent on resurrecting the town newspaper. He is also recruited by the town trustees to help revive the Hudson River trade route shut down peevishly by the local grandee, planter Stephen Bullock. Meanwhile, a menacing gang of Social Justice Warriors styling themselves as agents of the Berkshire People’s Republic appear one evening camped on the outskirts of town. Their leaders are the imposing Amazonian beauty Flame Aurora Greengrass and the charismatic grifter Sylvester “Buddy” Goodfriend, progressive to a fault in their politics and determined to extract whatever tribute they can from the people of Union Grove.
Romance, politics, bunko, violence, and family tragedy swirl through the thrilling finale to Kunstler’s bestselling series. The Harrows of Spring is a powerful, heart-wrenching, and satisfying conclusion to this poignant history of the future.
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About the Author
James Howard Kunstler is the author of thirteen novels, including World Made by Hand , The Witch of Hebron , A History of the Future , and five nonfiction books, including The Long Emergency , Too Much Magic , and The Geography of Nowhere. He has participated in TED conferences and lectured at Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Cornell, MIT, and many other colleges, and regularly appears before professional organizations across the country. He lives in upstate New York.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Excellent finale to the series of World Made By Hand books.
The Harrows of Spring by James Howard Kunstler is the highly recommended fourth and final volume of the World Made by Hand series. After the world has experienced numerous catastrophes and plagues (before this book) the future now resembles the nineteenth century. Spring is coming to Union Grove, a small town in upstate New York, which could be a good thing, but there are problems. Food is scarce in the spring and this year is going to be even more challenging since plantation owner and feudal landlord Stephen Bullock is no longer going to have some of his men take his boat down to Albany for goods. The whole town has depended upon his men making this trip and them paying him for the things they need but can't provide for themselves. Stephen can be a little moody. After his travels, Daniel Earle is back and is starting a paper in town, Brother Jobe and his industrious group are still around too. More disturbing is the group of anti-establishment, hyper-liberals known as the Berkshire People’s Republic who are camping outside of town and have sent a representative to the town. "As the concluding novel in the series powerful, moving tale of insurrection, survival, and what it means to be human." This is an entertaining conclusion to the series. Those who have not read the previous books might want to before jumping into this fourth and final volume. I don't think they stand entirely on their own without the scaffolding provided by the previous volumes. Clearly it reads like a novel set in the past. The roles of women in this society also reflect past duties, which may bother some readers. The Harrows of Spring reflect social critic Kunstler's views in real life. Perhaps not the best written of the series, I'm rating on the series as a whole. Disclosure: My advanced reading copy was courtesy of the publisher for review purposes.