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Our Only World

Ten Essays

List Price: $16.95

February 9, 2016 | Paperback | 6 x 9, 196 Pages | ISBN 9781619027008

"Stern but compassionate, author Wendell Berry raises broader issues that environmentalists rarely focus on.... his insights are universal because Our Only World is filled with beautiful, compassionate writing and careful, profound thinking." —Associated Press

Since the Second World War ended, America has performed like a gyroscope losing its balance, wobbling this way and that, unable to settle into itself and its own great promise. Wendell Berry has been a voice for that promise, a voice for reason and hope and urgent concern.

As the United States prepares to leave its long war in Afghanistan, it now must contemplate the necessity of sending troops back to Iraq, recalling General Colin Powell’s advice to President Bush: “If you break it, you own it,” as the world’s hot spots threaten to spread over the globe with the ferocity of a war of holy terror and desperation.

The planet’s environmental problems respect no national boundaries. From soil erosion and population displacement to climate change and failed energy policies, American governing classes are paid by corporations to pretend that debate is the only democratic necessity and that solutions are capable of withstanding endless delay. Late Capitalism goes about its business of finishing off the planet, and we citizens are left with a shell of what was once proudly described as The American Dream.

In this new collection of ten essays, Berry confronts head-on the necessity of clear thinking and direct action. Never one to ignore the present challenge, he understands that only clearly stated questions support the understanding their answers require. For more than fifty years we’ve had no better spokesman and no more eloquent advocate for the planet, for our families, and for the future of our children and ourselves.

WENDELL BERRY is an essaying, novelist, and poet, and has written more than thirty books. He lives and works in his native Kentucky with his wife, Tanya Berry, and their children and grandchildren.

Praise

“Stern but compassionate, author Wendell Berry raises broader issues that environmentalists rarely focus on…. In one sense Berry is the voice of a rural agrarian tradition that stretches from rural Kentucky back to the origins of human civilization. But his insights are universal because Our Only World is filled with beautiful, compassionate writing and careful, profound thinking.” —Associated Press

“Even at age 80, Wendell Berry continues to be one of the most compelling social critics of our age. This new collection of essays enhances the basic themes of his previous work, including local economies, conservation of energy, and opposition any powers that destroy land, creatures, and human life. If you are weary of the injustice embedded in daily American life, Berry offers here not easy answers, but rather a vision of a rich and sustainable way of life.” —Relevant Magazine

Our Only World is quintessential Berry….When you pick up this volume, be prepared to spend some time with it because the Big Ideas it holds within its pages are ones you will ruminate on for a long, long time to come.” —Leo Weekly

“[Wendell’s] essays address the growing environmental crisis in the United States and the ‘commerce of violence’ that destroys communities and the land in the name of profit. Yet his writing is thoughtful, pragmatic, and compassionate: as much a call to humanity as a call to arms.” —Biographile

“Asking hard questions and providing even harder answers, Berry never disappoints. Our Only World is worth a nice, slow, contemplative read.” —CiRCE Institute

“His new collection of essays is an austere yet compassionate discussion of contemporary life.” —Sewanee Review

“Adhering to an uncompromising ethic that combines stern humility with compassion, Berry rallies a sense of hope and responsibility for confronting growing physical and political problems… These essays are classic Berry, balancing the fiery conservationist prophet with the lucid and thoughtful poet; the reflective farmer with the visionary writer.” —Publishers Weekly Starred Review

“Early readers of his latest collection, Our Only World, agreed that the poet, novelist, farmer and conservationist continues to be the eloquent voice of reason and thought that has made him a favorite of indie booksellers for more than fifty years.” —Shelf Awareness

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