Jessica's Reviews > The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays

The Art of the Commonplace by Wendell Berry
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Berry is a frustrating read, because he is often right about so many things ahead of the curve (for instance, decrying high-density feed lots for beef cattle, in 1980), but also, at least in these essays, very shortsighted about the possibilities of modern life. He constantly demands that we participate in communities, by which he quite explicitly means rural farming communities, without recognizing that those communities have never welcomed everyone. And, in truth, people who have left those communities have often gone on to form amazing, vibrant communities of their own. I appreciate Berry's criticisms of industry at large, and especially industrial agriculture, but I would have also appreciated seeing a slightly more expansive idea of what we can replace them with.
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Reading Progress

January 27, 2014 – Shelved
January 27, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
February 19, 2014 –
page 21
5.97% "When I lived in other places I looked on their evils with the curious eye of a traveler...it cost me nothing to be a critic, for I had not been there long and I did not feel like I would stay. But here, now that I am both native and citizen, there is no immunity to what is wrong. ...And so...I am more painfully divided within myself than I could be in any other place."
March 20, 2014 – Shelved as: docked-for-now
October 12, 2014 – Shelved as: simpler
September 17, 2017 – Started Reading
December 27, 2017 – Finished Reading

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