Sex, Economy, Freedom, and Community: Eight Essays

Sex Economy Freedom and Community Eight Essays In this new collection of essays Wendell Berry continues his work as one of America s most necessary social commentators With wisdom and clear ringing prose he tackles head on some of the most diff

In this new collection of essays, Wendell Berry continues his work as one of America s most necessary social commentators With wisdom and clear, ringing prose, he tackles head on some of the most difficult problems which face us as we near the end of the twentieth century Berry begins the title essay with the Anita Hill Clarence Thomas hearings as an example of a procesIn this new collection of essays, Wendell Berry continues his work as one of America s most necessary social commentators With wisdom and clear, ringing prose, he tackles head on some of the most difficult problems which face us as we near the end of the twentieth century Berry begins the title essay with the Anita Hill Clarence Thomas hearings as an example of a process that has been well established and well respected for at least two hundred years the process of community disintegration Community, a locally understood interdependence of local people, local culture, local economy, and local nature, bound by trust and affection, is being destroyed by the desires and ambitions of both private and public life which for want of the intervention of community interests, are also destroying one another He then moves on to elucidate connections between sexual brutality and economic brutality, and the role of art and free speech Berry forcefully addresses America s unabashed pursuit of self liberation, which he says is still the strongest force now operating in our society As individuals turn away from their community, they conform to a rootless and placeless monoculture of commercial expectations and products, buying into the very economic system which is destroying the earth, our communities, and all they represent Throughout the book Berry asks, What is appropriate What is worth conserving from our past and p

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Sex, Economy, Freedom, and Community: Eight Essays

  1. Wendell Berry is a conservationist, farmer, essayist, novelist, professor of English and poet He was born August 5, 1934 in Henry County, Kentucky where he now lives on a farm The New York Times has called Berry the prophet of rural America.

942 Reply to “Sex, Economy, Freedom, and Community: Eight Essays”

  1. However you must judge me if you must judge me for being 100% behind this book, for the unapologetic endorsement of it, by all means Please do I ate it up like I was starved for a fat steak dinner.It s the subject I ve been obsessed with community Preoccupied, absorbed, obsessed none are quite the right word Maybe wrestling But I digress Community, as in the whole scale failure of world to protect them, the tattered, battered remnants of the ones that remain Mr Berry writes this from the hills o [...]

  2. So I didn t agree with everything in this book, but Mr Berry warned me in the brilliant preface that I wouldn t so he is forgiven This man is one of the most clear writers I have come across Lots of people talk about common sense nowadays, they should read this to see how common sense can also be logical and clearly outlined I particularly enjoyed his insights on the anti Christian nature of American politics, backed up by plenty of scripture And it does prove prophetic, as right now a most Anti [...]

  3. Wendell Berry presents an urgent message in clear and beautiful writing A perfect balance of intent and rhetoric This work is the voice of conscience our time must heed.

  4. This is a fine collection of essays that has sparked in me a renewed interest in the world, and the ways in which human beings have chosen to live in relation to it Berry s reflections refuse easy categorization and are deeply refreshing in the context of blind and deaf media polarization I was informed about current issues of political relevance by this ten year old book than by many hours of news consumption More importantly, issues are placed squarely in a big picture context, one which effo [...]

  5. This wasn t one of my favorite Wendell Berry books, but I was fascinated by his in depth discussion of community The ways community can be fostered and sustained or destroyed form the crux of this book The freedom of the community is the fundamental and the complex A community confers on its members the freedoms implicit in familiarity,mutual respect, mutual affection, and mutual help it gives freedom its proper aims and it prescribes or shows the responsibilities without which no one can be l [...]

  6. Wendell Berry is prophetic Sometimes he stretches me farther than I m willing to go, but he never fails to be interesting Here are a couple quotes from his list of modern market education truths The smartest and most educated people are the scientists, for they have already found solutions to all our problems and will soon find solutions to all the problems resulting from their solutions to all the problems we used to have Our present sexual conduct having liberated itself from the several trust [...]

  7. I recall thinking, when I first read C.S Lewis and George MacDonald, that they were such excellent writers because they were heretics I was using the term extraordinarily loosely, of course, since all I really meant by it was that neither subscribed to the evangelical doctrines I was raised in But the fact remains that part of what makes these men such compelling writers is that they are both willing to challenge our comfortable assumptions in order to get at the truth This was my first foray in [...]

  8. Wendell Berry is a name that has come up over and over in my reading and in discussions with other readers Most intriguing to me was the fact that his writing covering topics from politics to religion to current affairs, and everything in between has been recommended to me by friends and acquaintances from all political and theological stripes, spanning the entire spectrum from left to right One of the book s endorsements pointed out Berry s unique position in American social debate not liberal, [...]

  9. This is one of those Wendell Berry classics which I had not yet read There are actually quite a few of those, which is funny given how important Berry has been to me I guess I continue to return to those favourites savouring them and allow them to influence me anew.Some of the specifics of this book are dated, but the general themes are not In fact, many of the issues that alarm him are even severe now than in the early 90 s I probably underlined at least one sentence on every page Last week wh [...]

  10. Berry tells it like it is in this accurate portrayal of America We are a country at war with ourselves Berry explores the nature of community and how our contributions and interactions with it have become exploitative The main theme he recapitulates throughout the book is the way that the economy has become global , so no one is looking out for their neighbor The farmers in America are not protected from having to compete with the labor of people working in disparate conditions in the third worl [...]

  11. More like 3.5 5 The title essay, which comprises nearly half of the book, is by far the best although I also enjoyed the essay that defends tobacco farming.Wendell Berry provides readers with eight essays on sex, economy, freedom, and community As the Kirkus Review on the back cover notes, Berry is a maverick, in some ways sympathetic to conservatives, in others on the side of the left Unlike a lot of pundits who pine for the old ways, Berry has a firm appreciation and grasp of how communities [...]

  12. Berry s essays vividly diagnose the stark challenges facing our modern, industrial, urban society They also reveal the weaknesses of his prescription Written during the height of multiculturalism in academia, these essays reveal Berry s bitter resentment that urban minorities have upstaged his own heroes, the simple, down to earth small towners that populated his novels They also reveal a missed opportunity for Berry to have deepened his engagement with his imagined solution, and pushed it out o [...]

  13. I started out with a copy borrowed from the library, and halfway through I ordered one from a local bookseller through I bet there s something for everyone in this book There were times I was moved to tears I nearly always felt like what he was saying was so obvious and logical, it was perplexing how different it was from what prevails in our collective societal psyche It may be a little bit challenging, or it may be very liberating Or it may be just the rambling ideas of a white Protestant hete [...]

  14. this book lost a star due to the horrible titular essay seven of these eight essays are incredibly good, however the anti feminist diatribe that is sex, economy, etc both oversimplifies and overcomplicates the institutions of public and community, as well as individualism and communalism, by analyzing privatized sex v.s publicized sex the result is a blind rant, favoring communities of fundamental goodness a term he doesn t really bother to extrapolate to the pursuit of individual liberties in s [...]

  15. An incisive critique of the consumerist and egotistical attitude shared, in some measure, but the greater part of the American society However, I can t help but think Berry, in these essays, falls prey to a nostalgic reverie in which our current world would resemble those communities which existed 200 years ago in the rural agrarian frontiers While those communities have much to commend them and I appreciate Berry s positive contribution to the development of the community ideal , they are fran [...]

  16. Acerbic and insightful.I particularly like the essay The Problem of Tobacco This needs a second read, because I often picked it up and put it down in the middle of an essay, which disjointed my experience of the book as a whole.I like Berry s poetry better than his nonfiction, but each of these essays gave me something to think about that I had never before considered such as about about how we live in relation to the land and to each other, and the connections between the two, and about cities [...]

  17. Because I agree with many of the opinions Berry expresses in these essays, I really wanted to give this 4 stars However, in many places he comes off as cranky and merely critical, with no concrete suggestions for how obtain the better forms of community that he commends And by criticizing certain movements, he actively shuts out some people from those communities Berry succeeds in making me think, and making me uncomfortable with certain modern assumptions of freedom, but he also makes me uncomf [...]

  18. My all time favorite author This book is a call to resist the consumer mentality of American culture which is so dominant today Wendell advocates for a strong local economy, first and foremost, versus the destructive global economy which is highly advocated by the major corporations who now operate like colonial powers, pillaging countries of their cheap labor and natural resources but showing little loyalty to the indigenous population and land Wendell calls us back to good work which begins in [...]

  19. Berry is spot on, and a delight to read If nothing else, read his preface, The Joy of Sales Resistance Perhaps one of my favorite lines If you have bought this book, I thank you If you have borrowed this book, I commend your frugality If you have stolen this book, may it add to your confusion.

  20. This book is twenty years old and incredibly poignant and timely Berry s wisdom and genius shines through every single page as he deftly reveals systemic issues lying at the heart of our technologically intoxicated, chronically connected world This should be required reading for every student in the United States.

  21. This is undoubtedly one of the best collections I ve read Likewise, the seventh chapter, Christianity and the Survival of Creation, will quickly become one of my favorite essays to read and revisit.

  22. The indispensable form that can intervene between public and private interests is that of community The concerns of public and private, republic and citizen, necessary as they are, are not adequate for the shaping of human life Community alone, as principle and as fact, can raise the standards of local health ecological, economic, social, and spiritual without which the other two interest will destroy one another pg 119 In this group of essays, Berry repeatedly asserts and explains the importanc [...]

  23. One of the very few books that gives a satisfactory complete perspective on how to live a non partisan life as a political being still ruled by spiritual s and a sanctity for all life Blends ideas of capital economy, personal morality, and mindfulness of others into a argument for Community as the dominant political structure This viewpoint motivates Berry s advocacy for non violence in the spirit of Christ s teaching, as well as organic local farming from an Amish scented, duty to the earth and [...]

  24. Okay, since I have a horrible memory, and this is a library book, I m going to use this space to write down all my favorite quotes from the book If you want to see where you are, you will have to get out of your spaceship, out of your car, off your horse, and walk over the ground On foot you will find that the earth is still satisfyingly large and full of beguiling nooks and crannies 20 There should be no relenting in our efforts to influence politics and politicians But in the name of honesty a [...]

  25. Wendell Berry has become a new favorite author of mine His philosophy on life and his political insights are quite congenial to me I find few ideas expressed here and in his other books with which I cannot whole heartedly agree Berry is my kind of conservative anti Big Business, pro agrarian and small local business All of this is expressed with the poet s sensitivity to words I heartily recommend this, and every book by Wendell Berry.

  26. When a co worker noticed that I had Hannah Coulter on hand, he told me to read this book next He said that it would make me think of commonplace, everyday things differently He was right If you wanna think some deep, political, spiritual, economical thoughts while traveling to your husband s childhood farm, this is your book.Per lukeddyoung s suggestion, song soundtrack Mr Wendal by Arrested Development.

  27. Wendell Berry, as always, is prophetically vibrant in this collection of eight essays He is a voice of moral clarity with simple calls to care for the land, the people on your Community, and to the family as the foundation of all society Read him with a glass of whiskey and an open mind, and perhaps we can rise to his call to moral imagination.

  28. This book is a collection of essays first published than 10 years ago but they feel applicable now Wendell Berry provides some really helpful criticisms of the global economic system, environmental degradation, and sexual ethics He makes a convincing argument for adopting a local community based world view and shaping our daily lives to account for the impact our decisions buying power private lives have on people in our neighbourhoods He argues for a rootedness that is uncommon in our transie [...]

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