By Eric T. Freyfogle
Each society expresses its primary values and hopes within the methods it inhabits its landscapes. during this literate and wide-ranging exploration, Eric T. Freyfogle increases tough questions about America's middle values whereas illuminating the social origins of city sprawl, dwindling flora and fauna habitats, and over-engineered rivers. those and different land-use crises, he contends, come up more often than not due to cultural attitudes that made feel at the American frontier yet now threaten the land's ecological cloth. To help and maintain fit groups, profound alterations might be required. Freyfogle's seek leads him down strange paths. He probes Charles Frazier's novel chilly Mountain for insights at the therapeutic strength of nature and checks the knowledge in Wendell Berry's fiction. He demanding situations newshounds writing approximately environmental concerns to get past well-worn rhetoric and clarify the genuine offerings that americans face. In an imaginary activity commercial, he matters a decision for a countrywide environmental chief, deciding upon the talents and data required, paying attention to cultural stumbling blocks, and looking out significantly at meant allies. studying contemporary federal elections, he principally blames the conservation reason and its inattention to cultural matters for the lowered prestige of our surroundings as a decisive factor. Agrarianism and the great Society identifies the social, historic, political, and cultural hindrances to people' concord with nature and advocates a brand new orientation, one who starts off with fit land and that greater displays our utter dependence on it. In all, Agrarianism and the great Society bargains a serious but hopeful consultant for cultural switch, crucial for an individual drawn to the advantages and artistic probabilities of accountable land use.
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Extra resources for Agrarianism and the Good Society: Land, Culture, Conflict, and Hope (Culture of the Land)
What if we set out to forge a new set of cultural values, ones better able to endure? What would those values be? The questions were not hypothetical. American society needed to do just that, in his view. It needed to go back to the land and try again to construct a sound agriculture. Leopold lamented how little ecologists knew about land, and thus how much work was needed to give content to a sound conservation goal. The science of land health was in its infancy and needed to mature quickly. But the bigger challenge facing America was the cultural one.
As Inman works his way west, hiding from home guards who brutalize runaway soldiers, he dreams of a new life with Ada on a mountain farm. Perhaps there, cut off from the downward-sliding culture of the age, he can regain wholeness. Inman’s journey contains echoes of many literary works—The Odyssey, The Canterbury Tales, The Divine Comedy, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. It invites comparison, too, with biblical narratives. By his example Inman leads his war-ravaged people on an exodus toward a land of new hope, to a land that he will glimpse but, like Moses, never inhabit.
With his agrarian skills, Inman gains the upper hand, seizing the farm tool and wielding it by instinct. Inman soon crosses paths with a wayward faithless preacher, Solomon Veasey, who has abandoned his betrothed and is about to kill a young woman whom he has gotten pregnant. Inman straps the trickster to a tree, saves the girl, and exposes the religious fraud. 52 Agrarianism and the Good Society Veasey, though, soon reappears, and we take closer note of him. Driven by a vision of getting rich in Texas, Veasey is recognizably American, ready to scheme and deceive to get ahead.