Wendell Berry (b. 1934) is a writer whose life’s work has been dedicated to “what I value most in the world: the life and health of the earth, the peacefulness of human communities and households.” In essays both deeply personal and powerfully polemical, Berry speaks for a culture of stewardship and husbandry, for the welfare of rural people often forgotten and marginalized, and for the vital role of sustainable farming in preserving the planet as well as our national character. Berry’s writing combines the authority and wisdom of experience—he has lived on and farmed a hilly acreage in Henry County, Kentucky, on sustainable principles for more than half a century—with the grace and clarity of a great American prose stylist.
In this two-volume edition, such landmark books as The Unsettling of America and Life Is a Miracle are included in full, along with generous selections from more than a dozen other volumes, revealing as never before the evolution of Berry’s thoughts and concerns as a farmer, neighbor, citizen, teacher, activist, and ecological philosopher. Throughout he demonstrates that our existence is always connected to the land, and that even in a modern global economy local farming is essential to the flourishing of our culture, to healthy living and stable communities, and indeed to the continuing survival of the human species. Berry’s essays remain timely, even urgent today, and will resonate with anyone interested in our relationship to the natural world and especially with a younger, politically engaged generation invested in the future welfare of the planet