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What Matters?: Economics for a Renewed Commonwealth Paperback – May 18, 2010
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The bulk of Berry’s new essay collection consists of older pieces, mostly from two out-of-print books, which complement the five new pieces in tone and substance. They are, altogether, the reasoned and insistent exhortations of a man with a cause who, rather than mellowing with age and wisdom, continues to grow in forcefulness and vision. The main thrust of the book is the proper ordering of economics, so that it addresses common human realities instead of the demands of financial systems. To support stable communities, from the household to the nation, economics should put nature foremost (“Virtually nobody,” Berry complains, “regards nature as an economic resource”), succeeded by land use, manufacturing, and consumption, in a four-part structure of valuation. Unsurprisingly to those who have followed Berry’s half-century of writing, reverence and stewardship are key qualities of spirit for such an economy. Moreover, like the great mid-twentieth-century cultural critic Paul Goodman, whom Berry acknowledges here, Berry proposes an agenda of concrete changes in agricultural policy to enable the reordered economy he so cogently describes. Invaluable counsel. --Ray Olson
"The reasoned and insistent exhortations of a man with a cause who, rather than mellowing with age and wisdom, continues to grow in forcefulness and vision." Booklist
Praise for Sex, Economy, Freedom & Community
"Read it with pencil in hand, make notes, and hope that somehow our country and the world will soon come to see the truth that is told here." The New York Times Book Review
Berry once again carves out a unique position in American social debate: not liberal (he hates big government), not conservative (he hates big corporations), not libertarian (he would balance individual rights with those of the commonwealth), but always sharp-tongued and aglow with common sense.” Kirkus Reviews
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Content- I'm fairly new to reading Wendell Berry, and this book has served as a good introduction to his thoughts on community life through the years. There are recent essays, and those from several decades ago. Berry is a brilliant critic of modern economic and community life. He holds a mirror up to American society and demands that we look at ourselves more critically, with a hope that we might be renewed.
Physical quality of the book I received - I'm not sure what happened with this printer, but the book I received was actually cut wrong. Pages were not fully cut apart, requiring me to actually read with a knife in hand to separate pages. The book itself was not even cut in the shape of a rectangle with right-angle corners, but a slight parallelogram. The text is printed at a slight angle on the page. It's not unreadable, but I wonder what happened to quality control at this printer...or if they even cared.
I'd recommend his writings to anyone concerned about the environment, local economy and the general future of our world.
Amazing. I like when writers make you THINK
A collection of essays over time and from varying points. A must have if you are serious about being sustainable, want quality of life or just realise the current economic views are neither realistic nor sustainable.