Download Agrarianism and the Good Society: Land, Culture, Conflict, by Eric T. Freyfogle PDF

By Eric T. Freyfogle

Each society expresses its basic values and hopes within the methods it inhabits its landscapes. during this literate and wide-ranging exploration, Eric T. Freyfogle increases tough questions about America's center values whereas illuminating the social origins of city sprawl, dwindling flora and fauna habitats, and over-engineered rivers. those and different land-use crises, he contends, come up quite often due to cultural attitudes that made experience at the American frontier yet now threaten the land's ecological textile. To aid and maintain fit groups, profound changes should be required. Freyfogle's seek leads him down strange paths. He probes Charles Frazier's novel chilly Mountain for insights at the therapeutic strength of nature and exams the knowledge in Wendell Berry's fiction. He demanding situations reporters writing approximately environmental matters to get past well-worn rhetoric and clarify the real offerings that americans face. In an imaginary activity commercial, he matters a decision for a countrywide environmental chief, opting for the abilities and data required, being attentive to cultural stumbling blocks, and looking out severely at intended allies. analyzing contemporary federal elections, he principally blames the conservation reason and its inattention to cultural matters for the decreased prestige of our surroundings as a decisive factor. Agrarianism and the great Society identifies the social, historic, political, and cultural stumbling blocks to people' concord with nature and advocates a brand new orientation, person who starts with fit land and that greater displays our utter dependence on it. In all, Agrarianism and the great Society bargains a severe but hopeful consultant for cultural switch, crucial for someone attracted to the advantages and artistic chances of in charge land use.

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Additional info for Agrarianism and the Good Society: Land, Culture, Conflict, and Hope (Culture of the Land)

Sample text

He took up the matter of culture, and of the role of wilderness in shaping it. ” That starting point was wilderness—the raw land itself, functioning in ways that kept it productive. ” Sometimes, Leopold implied, that artifact proved durable. Sometimes it did not. When humans stumbled, it was time to start over. ” Leopold intended his Almanac for a general audience, landowners above all. He could lead the typical reader only so far. ”22 Even with such readers, Leopold felt constraint. Perhaps only a few of them would understand his embedded message, but they would have to suffice.

11. An important early study of Leopold’s ecological ideas about wildlife is Susan L. Flader, Thinking Like a Mountain: Aldo Leopold and the Evolution of an Ecological Attitude toward Deer, Wolves, and Forests (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1974). His ideas about the cultural values of wildlife, about hunting, and about how wildlife study might stimulate cultural change are best told in Newton, Aldo Leopold’s Odyssey. Further insights are offered in Curt Meine, “Emergence of an Idea,” in Correction Lines: Essays on Land, Leopold, and Conservation (Washington, DC: Island Press, 2004), 117–31.

Each selects one instrument and spends his life taking it apart and describing its strings and sounding boards. This process of dismemberment is called research. ”8 When they focused on their narrowly defined goals, even well-trained scientists could fail to see that their work might be misdirected as well as incomplete. A common flaw was that conservation proposals typically dealt with symptoms, not underlying diseases. Leopold bemoaned that when a soil loses fertility, we pour on fertilizer, or at best alter its tame flora and fauna, without considering the fact that its wild flora and fauna, which built the soil to begin with, may likewise be important to its maintenance.

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