The Essential Agrarian Reader: The Future of Culture, Community, and the Land

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Norman Wirzba
University Press of Kentucky, Sep 29, 2010 - Nature - 296 pages
" WITH A FOREWORD BY BARBARA KINGSOLVER A compelling worldview with advocates from around the globe, agrarianism challenges the shortcomings of our industrial and technological economy. Not simply focused on farming, the agrarian outlook encourages us to develop practices and policies that promote the health of land, community, and culture. Agrarianism reminds us that no matter how urban we become, our survival will always be inextricably linked to the precious resources of soil, water, and air. Combining fresh insights from the disciplines of education, law, history, urban and regional planning, economics, philosophy, religion, ecology, politics, and agriculture, these original essays develop a sophisticated critique of our culture’s current relationship to the land, while offering practical alternatives. Leading agrarians, including Wendell Berry, Vandana Shiva, Wes Jackson, Gene Logsdon, Brian Donahue, Eric Freyfogle, and David Orr, explain how our goals should be redirected toward genuinely sustainable communities. These writers call us to an honest accounting and correction of our often destructive ways. They suggest how our society can take practical steps toward integrating soils, watersheds, forests, wildlife, urban areas, and human populations into one great system—a responsible flourishing of our world and culture.

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The essential agrarian reader: the future of culture, community, and the land

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Agrarianism, a set of values rooted in place and soil, is diametrically opposed to global industrialization and devastation. Instead, it strives to appreciate, understand, and care for the earth and ... Read full review


1 The Agrarian Standard
2 The Resettling of America
3 The MindSet of Agrarianism New and Old
4 Sustainable Economic Development
5 Placing the Soul
6 The Current State of Agriculture
7 Globalization and the War against Farmers and the Land
10 The Uses of Prophesy
11 Country and City
12 New Agrarians
13 The Legal and Legislative Front
14 Private Property Rights in Land
15 Going to Work
Further Reading

8 The Agrarian Mind
9 All Flesh Is Grass

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About the author (2010)

Norman Wirzba, associate professor and chair of the philosophy department at Georgetown College, is the author of The Paradise of God: Renewing Religion in an Ecological Age and editor of The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry.

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