Sex, Economy, Freedom, and Community: Eight Essays
In this collection of essays, first published in 1993, Wendell Berry continues his work as one of America's most necessary social commentators. With wisdom and clear, ringing prose, he tackles head- ...more
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 fr ...more
This was my first fora ...more
The essay sharing the book's title is worth all the rest of it - read it carefully and repeatedly. The compelling case that it makes is too complicated to recount here - just know that it clarifies much about our current insanit ...more
(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 ...more
"The freedom of the community is the more fundamental and the more 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 ...more
A solid book that cuts through our political divide and continues to hold relevance today. Berry writes clearly and honestly.
Berry is at his best when discussing sex in society because something is clearly wrong with the way the western world approaches the issue and this unhealthy attitude has been exacerbated since the writing of the book (1992-1993),
"Women, though they may dress as ...more
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 more severe now than in the early 90's.
I probably underlined at least one sentence on every page.
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 more 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 c ...more
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 citi ...more
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 more 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 a...more