Monday, September 16, 2013

Review: Art of the Commonplace

Author: Wendell Berry

Title: The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry
Description: This is a collection of Berry’s essays and speeches.   
Source: Free on Kindle.
Writing style: I had read Berry’s fiction, but this is the first extended reading I’ve done in his non-fiction. I was surprised that he came across as much more Christian in his non-fiction than in his fiction.
Audience: Anyone interested in economics, ecology, sustainable living, agriculture, or Christianity.
Major ideas: In order for an economy to be Christian, it has to take creation into account. If the future isn’t acknowledge as a part of the economy, it will be an economy of death (as is modern capitalism). The industrial economy is concerned with getting as much out of all the available resources (soil, animals, and people) as possible before those resources are exhausted.

Wrap-up: Berry is a powerful writer, and though I was already sympathetic to this point of view, I found my thinking changing even more. Unfortunately, I didn’t inherit a farm to go plant, and I hesitate to offend my neighbors and my nose with chickens, but I will be thinking in my future shopping decisions about how to make even more local, sustainable purchases. 5/5*

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