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Agrarianism and the Good Society: Land, Culture, Conflict, and Hope (Clark Lectures)

Freyfogle, Eric

Verlag: University Press of Kentucky, 2007
ISBN 10: 0813124395 / ISBN 13: 9780813124391
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Titel: Agrarianism and the Good Society: Land, ...

Verlag: University Press of Kentucky

Erscheinungsdatum: 2007

Einband: Hardcover

Zustand: New


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Every society expresses its fundamental values and hopes in the ways it inhabits its landscapes. In this literate and wide-ranging exploration, Eric T. Freyfogle raises difficult questions about America's core values while illuminating the social origins of urban sprawl, dwindling wildlife habitats, and over-engineered rivers. These and other land-use crises, he contends, arise mostly because of cultural attitudes that made sense on the American frontier but now threaten the land's ecological fabric. To support and sustain healthy communities, profound adjustments will be required. Freyfogle's search leads him down unusual paths. He probes Charles Frazier's novel Cold Mountain for insights on the healing power of nature and tests the wisdom in Wendell Berry's fiction. He challenges journalists writing about environmental issues to get beyond well-worn rhetoric and explain the true choices that Americans face. In an imaginary job advertisement, he issues a call for a national environmental leader, identifying the skills and knowledge required, taking note of cultural obstacles, and looking critically at supposed allies. Examining recent federal elections, he largely blames the conservation cause and its inattention to cultural issues for the diminished status of the environment as a decisive issue. Agrarianism and the Good Society identifies the social, historical, political, and cultural obstacles to humans' harmony with nature and advocates a new orientation, one that begins with healthy land and that better reflects our utter dependence on it. In all, Agrarianism and the Good Society offers a critical yet hopeful guide for cultural change, essential for anyone interested in the benefits and creative possibilities of responsible land use.


With skyrocketing gas prices, an economic recession, and the developing presence of chemically altered food, the state of our planet is a growing concern. Going "green" and organic are two of the newest trends intended to decrease our negative impact on the environment and reverse existing damage. The Agrarian Vision: Sustainability and Environmental Ethics explores the significance of agrarian philosophy for modern agriculture and our transition to a sustainable society.

While sustainability remains a national and global concern, many "environmentally committed" individuals do not identify any connection with agrarian ideals. The Agrarian Vision strives to change that perception, particularly in the United States. Paul B. Thompson argues that a philosophy of sustainability requires superior logic, informed by moral and political philosophies, as well as by the environmental philosophy that was once expressed in connection with farming. Internationally regarded as a leading expert in the fields of environmental science and agrarian philosophy, Thompson covers a variety of issues, including ethics, environmental philosophy, food and community, public policy, and agrarian life. His work draws on contemporary and historical scholarship, outlining the best path for sustainability in the modern world.

The Agrarian Vision first offers a historical perspective on sustainability and the debates that have formed over the last 100 years and concludes with modern theories of sustainability and agrarian thought. Challenging us to change how we live to create a sustainable environment way of life, The Agrarian Vision demonstrates that in order to change the world, we must first change ourselves.

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