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Another Turn of the Crank

4.20  ·  Rating Details  ·  253 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
This popular collection features six essays on sustainability and stewardship from one of America's most important cultural critics. Provocative, intimate, and thoughtful, Another Turn of the Crank reaches to the heart of Wendell Berry's concern for our nation, its communities, and their future.
Hardcover, 109 pages
Published October 1st 1995 by Counterpoint LLC (first published 1995)
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This short book of essays helped give me some focus on how to see the world and approach my living in it. I relay needed the “pick me up” it gave me after getting so worn down every day by the evidence of the inconvenient truth of the mess we’re in and worn down by the ineffective polarization sowed by all the pundits out there. No one rises above the fray and gets you back to the basics like Wendell Berry, whom you might call an agrarian philosopher with a gift of language well honed by his wri ...more
Feb 26, 2015 Raydu18 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like many of Wendell Berry’s collections of essays, Another Turn of the Crank is about how to live on planet Earth.
This book consists of five essays, all of which focus on agriculture and the community. Modern farming is much different from traditional farming. Here is how:
Modern farming puts its emphasis on efficiency while traditional farming sees farming as an art.
The mass deployment of farming machinery has ousted people from the farm. It is as if farmers are “specialists” who are easily re
A difficult book for me. It starts amazingly, with powerful, well-considered ideas that I agree with strongly. It progresses to powerful, well-considered I disagree with but still respect because of the mix of experience, emotion, and intellect that Berry employs to make his point. But the further the collection progresses, the more it descends into bully-pulpitism, as when Berry uses an essay about responsible forestry to rail against abortion, or a speech about community health to denounce the ...more
Sep 06, 2011 Adam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every time I read another Wendell Berry book, I fall further in love with his way of thinking. This book was published 15 years ago, and it just seems so relevant today. And unlike so many pundits who are happy to just grouse about everything that's "wrong" with America, Berry takes the time to separate the good and the bad of a situation and actually SUGGEST HOW IT COULD BE FIXED.

Knowing that there's at least one person out there who has this much good sense gives me hope. It makes me want to m
Tamara Hill Murphy
I started reading Berry's poetry. Years after I began reading his fiction. In 2012, I started on his essays. I'm a fan all the way around. There's a certain amount of sentimentality he includes in each genre that never felt gratuitous, especially grounded in the soil of the good soil of robust language and story. Reading this book of essays, I found myself for the first time feeling like the Farmer's prophetic voice for our country signaled too little too late.

Granted, this book of essays compi
Mar 14, 2011 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essays
Berry is a poet and a farmer who has given a charming, thought-provoking collection of essays on farming, work, community, and health among other topics. What surprised me was 1) how much me want to change the way I think about things, particularly establishing and preserving local communities; 2) how Berry challenged both conservative and liberal/progressive ideological camps (e.g. conservatives, he notes, believe political power is best preserved and exercised at the local level but are comfor ...more
Sep 27, 2011 Kerfe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, essays
I had read and heard ABOUT Berry; so when I saw this in the library, I decided to give it a try.

I'm torn between a 3 and a 4, but decided to go higher, mostly because of the content. The writing did not seem particularly inspiring to me although there are plenty of good sturdy quotable sentences and occasionally Berry's words do become poetic. His heart is, mostly, in the right place.

The theme of interconnectedness particularly resonates. Berry emphasizes that we are only part of the larger worl
Jun 02, 2015 Fred rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collection of essays (like all Berry essays) is a no-nonsense way to see ourselves - where we have come from, where we are, and where we are going.
And typing this on a computer makes me feel guilty.
Marcus Fioravante
Wendell Barry is a very thorough thinker and writer, I very much enjoyed his thoughts and call to action on building small rural communities and his critical view of the powers in control. I will say that especially in the later essays it becomes even more clear that he is still a white, cisgender christian male and even though through his writing there is an awareness of privilege, he is short in bringing diversity into his insights and suggestions, especially when he talks briefly about aborti ...more
Bruce Henderson
Aug 29, 2010 Bruce Henderson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a short series of essays on living ethically emphasiizing one's role in the community and understanding that this role can be influential for the community. The author's discussion of the importance of the local community is persuasive, but as he puts it, ideological conservatives and liberals both may find some of what he says problematic. Regardless, his discussions are interesting and finding how your views fit may provide you with opportunity to discover if your views are indeed ...more
Feb 22, 2015 Charlene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first intro to Wendell Berry. Need to read more.
Nov 17, 2012 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy reading Wendell Berry and the partial Luddite in me clings to his words. In this book I especially liked his discussion (albeit short) of our relationships with animals. He states: "Finally we must see that we cannot be made kind toward our fellow creatures except by the same qualities that make us kind toward our fellow humans." If we haven't learned how to practice kindness towards each other it is going to be difficult(for some of us) to learn to be kind to animals. History seems to b ...more
Maughn Gregory
A slim book of wise, beautiful essays on farming, wilderness, consumption, and the wisdom of local communities. Perhaps the most useful trope in this book is Berry's distinction between "boomers" and "stickers," as observable in the settlement of the American west and dramatized in the fiction of Wallace Stegner: "boomer and sticker, exploitation and settlement, caring and not caring, life adapted to available technology and personal desire and life adapted to a known place."
Jan 12, 2009 heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who liked The Omnivore's Dilemma
Shelves: foodanddrink
Not really food and drink, but agro-social-cultural. I should make that a new category. The last essay, a speech, hit home for me in a way much of the other essays did not. However, Berry's measured and compassionate prose speaks to just why the U.S. cannot sustain its current agricultural practices. Berry is the original farmer-writer-activist, and actually practices what he preaches.
Nov 26, 2007 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a really wonderful little book by a philosopher/farmer from West Virginia. It is similar to a Sand County Almanac in style and talks about rural America, farming culture, our connection with nature, and how all of this relates to our moralities and values in the modern world. It's an excellent and fast read, and highly worthwhile! One of my favorite books (book of essays).
Aug 24, 2011 Jacob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is a collection of 6 essays, the last "Health is Membership", is as relevant now as it was 17 years ago when it was written. The best of the bunch by far.

I very much enjoy Wendell Berry's writing. I hate to give this book 3 stars, but unless you are deeply entrenched in a rural/farming/forest community, you may find this book a little tedious.
Jan 30, 2008 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nancy, Kerry, Beth
Wendell Berry is an excellent essayist. Hailing from Kentucky and focusing on agrarian issues, tobacco, farming, etc., he is fascinating to read and well ahead of the curve on America's current environmental and social issues. This is a short book with some well written essays expanding at times to items such as abortion and health.
I enjoyed and agreed with many of Berry's thoughts and critics on modern society, nature, conservationism, spirit and community. Community especially. But his naive and sexist comments on women's bodily autonomy disgusted me thoroughly.
Tattered Cover Book Store
Author/poet/rancher Linda Hasselstrom recomended this book as part of the Rocky Mountain Land Library's "A Reading List For the President Elect: A Western Primer for the Next Administration."
Beth Anne
Nov 02, 2011 Beth Anne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My previous attempts to get into Wendell Berry had failed. For some reason, this collection of essays came at just the right time. Loved this collection.
Makes me cry every time. This made me feel good about what life could be and why I need to fight the good fight at all costs.
Apr 16, 2009 Anda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, favorites
WB is a fabulous writer. I can always read his books in a single sitting, although I like to spend some time reflecting as well.
James B
Dec 06, 2010 James B rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great! Thanks Jesse for the book!
I can't wait to read more of his works and 'work out' with others life.

Jan 25, 2009 Vincent rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
so, if we owe more to each other than mere social contract, what is that more? Berry starts the answer....
WOW. This book by far is the most rational and thoughtful thing I have read in years.
Oct 19, 2012 Kristen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just reading this makes me feel like I am a better person for having done so...
Sep 10, 2008 Rawley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read Wendell Berry. Please! The Earth is begging you!
Yvonne marked it as to-read
May 28, 2016
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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."
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“The promoters of the global economy...see nothing odd or difficult about unlimited economic growth or unlimited consumption in a limited world.” 26 likes
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