The Essential Agrarian Reader
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 industrial 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 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 towards integrating soils, water-sheds, forest, 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