The Unsettling of America

By Wendell Berry,

Book cover of The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture

Book description

Since its publication in 1977, The Unsettling of America has been recognized as a classic of American letters. In it, Wendell Berry argues that good farming is a cultural and spiritual discipline. Today’s agribusiness, however, takes farming out of its cultural context and away from families. As a result, we…

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2 authors picked The Unsettling of America as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Wendell Berry is a Kentucky farmer, a prolific author, an environmental activist, cultural critic, and poet.

In this book, one of his many, he raises important questions about the practice of agriculture in the United States and some of the consequences including loss of small farms and communities, the ecological effects, energy use, and agriculture's externalities.

His work has been largely ignored by the agricultural community including most faculty in colleges of agriculture. He writes eloquently about his concern that man was not made to rule the world and his claim that to rule the world we must conquer it.…

Poet, novelist, and culture critic Wendell Berry decries the sinister tendency of American “progress” to displace, impoverish, or destroy established communities and their lands. Early victims were Native Americans; among the most recent have been small farmers. This is a book of, but not specifically about, southern Appalachia; Berry’s subject is America at large, but he lives at, works on, and derives inspiration from a hill farm in northeastern Kentucky. His thinking, sprung from these roots, is deeply and genuinely conservative. Unlike those corporate anarchists or spiteful malcontents who claim that label today, he actually advocates conservation. Every discerning reader…

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