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

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

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

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

Synopsis

The twenty-first century offers a host of daunting cultural and environmental problems facing a booming world population: community disintegration, social anxiety, international terrorism, voter disenchantment, a growing gap between rich and poor, habitat destruction, biopatenting/biotechnology, global warming, and resource depletion. Standing as an alternative to the modern paradigms in industry, technology, and economics, agrarianism is not a throwback to a mythical rural past but a sustained and coherent attempt to live faithfully and responsibly in a world of limited resources. With advocates from around the globe, agrarianism is a compelling worldview that challenges the shortcomings of the new global and industrial/technological order. Not simply focused on farming, the agrarian outlook encourages the development of practices and policies that promote the health of land and culture, emphasizing that responsible action occurs most readily when citizens live within local economies where the distance between production and consumption is as small as possible. Agrarian issues and concerns take on a new urgency in an age of unprecedented urbanization; there are now more prisoners than farmers in the U.S. Fewer people than ever before appreciate, understand, and care for the sources of all life: healthy soil, clean water, vibrant natural habitats, and nutritious food. In developing nations, food and food production have become major health and security issues as industrialized agriculture and globalized trade force small farmers into debt and dispossession. We are beginning to see that belief in a post-agricultural society is false -- even dangerous. Offering fresh insights from the disciplines of education, law, history, urban and regional planning, economics, philosophy, religion, ecology, politics, and agriculture, the original essays in The Essential Agrarian Reader 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 to create genuinely sustainable communities. While lamenting the shortsightedness of recent economic and political ambitions, these writers call for an honest accounting and correction of destructive ways of life. 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 and a celebration manifested in honest work and respect for the land.
Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.