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Life Is a Miracle: An Essay Against Modern Superstition Paperback – May 15, 2001
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Berry's slender essay offers a thoughtful repudiation of an increasingly technological--and, some would say, soulless--culture. --Gregory McNamee --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
He saliently attacks biotechnology, enviro-engineering and many of the modern technological fields that attempt at a reductive view of nature and our relationship to it.
I will treasure this book long after the software I have written is turned to dust.
The only complaint I have is that Berry is constantly apologizing for his "lack of expertise" in the sciences he criticises. Mr. Berry, if you are reading this, you need not worry about your expertise. Indeed, it is the mark of a true scientist that she be more interested in what a person has to say than whether or not they have the "credentials" to say it. You keep talking, I wan't to listen! "Thy life is a miracle. Speak yet again"
In order to understand this book, it's important to know some background about its author. Wendell Berry is a farmer, poet, and social critic who has written multiple non-fiction works critiquing American capitalism, industrialized agriculture, imperialism, selfish competition, and our society's lack of ecological stewardship. Berry's perspective as a farmer has proven consistently interesting throughout his career, but his writings are also defined by the localist, theological philosophy he subscribes to. Berry argues that a human being's selfhood is tied into the world around it. This implies that the quality of our lives depends on the relationship we cultivate with our surroundings, whether in their ecological, cultural, or economic forms. All human beings have an already-existing metabolism with their world which is mediated through their own unique position in life.Read more ›
Kansas where I heard Wendell Berry speak. At least two speakers at the
Festival said they had changed the course of their lives after reading words
written by Wendell Berry.
In this book, I found such life changing words in sections 6 - 8. I got
bogged down however in the first sections discussing E.O. Wilson's work
"Consilience". I slowly made my way through sections 1-4 and found much
to think about but decided to skip section 5. I was then delighted to find
the style of writing Berry has used in many of his other books (and in his
"We should give up the frontier and its boomer "ethics" of greed, cunning,
and violence, and, so near too late, accept settlement as our goal. Wes
Jackson says that our schools now have only one major,upward mobility,
and that we need to offer a major in homecoming. I agree, and would only
add that a part of the sense of 'homecoming' must be homeMAKING, for we
now must begin sometimes with remnants, sometimes with ruins."
"The time is past, if ever there was such a time, when you can just
discover knowledge and turn it loose into the world and assume that
you have done good.
This, to me, is a sign of the incompleteness of science in itself-which
is a sign of the need for a strenuous conversation among all the branches
of learning. This is a conversation that the universities have failed
to produce, and in fact have obstructed."
Still, much of what Berry is concerned about concerns us all, and I like his noble and emphatic style. I just wish he would concentrate on the real villains, the "military-industrial complex" that Eisenhower warned us about, which now includes, according to Berry (and I do in part agree), our universities and the medical establishment. But Berry repeatedly sprays at the wrong targets in an indiscriminate manner. He calls pollution "the most ubiquitous result of modern chemistry" (p. 20). We're all against pollution, but it is not the most ubiquitous result nor is it caused by science. It is caused by industry. The most ubiquitous result of modern chemistry is the increase in the number of people on this planet (chemistry has helped us grow more food). Our pollution of the planet is a side effect caused by the failure of our institutions to confront the problem.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not a fan of the book. But cheap alternative to buying at my Colleges bookstore. Needed it for a class. good quality book though.Published 2 months ago by Brooksby
Wendel berry is a very profound critic and poet. i love the perspective he brings out as a "new" way of looking at our society.Published 7 months ago by fenix777tj
This book posed an interesting argument. I agreed with what mr. Berry said about half the time. However, the did seem to ramble at times, and also he uses words which, while show... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Melissa
berry is a treasure should be read by all highly reccomendedPublished 18 months ago by RICHARD SCHEIBERLE
Life Is A Miracle, by Wendell Berry, seeks to topple the current paradigm surrounding the nature and purpose of science. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Prince_of_Light
Wendell Berry has come up often enough over the last couple of years that I finally had to buy one of this books. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Greta S. Hyland
E.O. Wilson's 'Consilience' is a mind-opener. Wendell Berry's 'Life is a Miracle' is a mind-closer. Wilson delivers scientific theory and Berry is the one stuck in superstition. Read morePublished on October 6, 2013 by Max J. Pucher
E.O. Wilson's Consilience is based on the outdated 18th century notion that humans have uniquely rational brains and can use them to completely understand, and thus rationally and... Read morePublished on August 1, 2013 by A Customer
A great case against reductionism and needed questions about some of our socity's assumptions. The argument rebuts E.O. Read morePublished on April 24, 2013 by Friar