From the list on village lives as keys to history.
Who am I?
Working as a social anthropologist in Uganda, Ghana, Malaysia, and Catalonia, I became fascinated by villages as microcosms of broader social change, places where history can be observed in the making through the lives and histories of families and of their members. Villages are anything but ‘natural’ communities or social backwaters. They survive (or perish) because people, beliefs, and goods are continually moving in and out. Village lives are certainly shaped by state and society, but the impact goes both ways. Each of my selected books tells a gripping and distinctive story of villagers grappling with social and cultural tension, the forces of change, and the challenges of survival.
Alexander's book list on village lives as keys to history
Why did Alexander love this book?
This too is a tale of three village generations grappling with historical change.
Here the story is about changing ideas of stewardship of the land, an enthralling account of farming ways in flux and of the intricate, back-breaking, and unpredictable work of restoring degraded farmland to health.
The Rebanks family run a hill-farm in a Lake District village. Rebanks’ grandfather started with horse-ploughs. A tractor replaced the horses, yet he still knew the individual ways of every ewe and cow and farmed lightly on the land. But Rebanks’ father, caught in market pressures, industrialized his farming methods.
Progress became the mantra of all the village farmers, including the young Rebanks himself.
Today, although they recognize the precarity of their livelihood and the damage to the land, most see no alternative to intensifying production. When Rebanks decides to switch to regenerative farming to preserve the land for future generations, his fellow…