Unsettling of America
An acclaimed novelist, poet, environmentalist, and farmer argues for a deeper connection to the land and community for the sake of America’s future.
Since its publication in 1977, The Unsettling of America has been recognized as a classic of American letters. Wendell Berry argues that good farming is a cultural and spiritual discipline. Todays agribusiness, however, takes farming out of its cultural context and away from families. As a result, we as a nation are more estranged from the land—and from the intimate knowledge, love, and care of it.
Sadly, as Berry notes in his Afterword, his arguments and observations are more relevant than ever. We continue to suffer loss of community, the devaluation of human work, and the destruction of nature under an economic system dedicated to the mechanistic pursuit of products and profits. Although “this book has not had the happy fate of being proved wrong,” Berry writes, there are good people working “to make something comely and enduring of our life on this earth.” Wendell Berry is one of those people, writing and working, as ever, with passion, eloquence, and conviction.
“Wendell Berry is one of those rare individuals who speaks to us always of responsibility, of the individual cultivation of an active and aware participation in the arts of life.” —The Bloomsbury Review
“[Berry’s] poems, novels and essays . . . are probably the most sustained contemporary articulation of America’s agrarian, Jeffersonian ideal.” —Publishers Weekly