By Eric T. Freyfogle
Each society expresses its primary values and hopes within the methods it inhabits its landscapes. during this literate and wide-ranging exploration, Eric T. Freyfogle increases tricky questions about America's center values whereas illuminating the social origins of city sprawl, dwindling natural world habitats, and over-engineered rivers. those and different land-use crises, he contends, come up usually due to cultural attitudes that made feel at the American frontier yet now threaten the land's ecological textile. To help and maintain fit groups, profound changes could 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 checks the knowledge in Wendell Berry's fiction. He demanding situations reporters writing approximately environmental concerns to get past well-worn rhetoric and clarify the genuine offerings that americans face. In an imaginary task commercial, he concerns a choice for a countrywide environmental chief, opting for the abilities and information required, paying attention to cultural hindrances, and searching severely at meant allies. reading fresh federal elections, he mostly blames the conservation reason and its inattention to cultural concerns for the reduced prestige of our surroundings as a decisive factor. Agrarianism and the nice Society identifies the social, ancient, political, and cultural hindrances to people' concord with nature and advocates a brand new orientation, person who starts off with fit land and that larger displays our utter dependence on it. In all, Agrarianism and the great Society deals a severe but hopeful advisor for cultural swap, crucial for someone attracted to the advantages and artistic chances of accountable land use.
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Extra info for Agrarianism and the Good Society: Land, Culture, Conflict, and Hope (Culture of the Land)
It was a loss not just of a lead conservation voice but of a type of conservationist, one who could roll up his sleeves and labor on land yet who understood the broad cultural and economic contexts of land use and conservation. It was the latter skill that made Leopold so valuable, then and now. Even as he mastered scientiﬁc details, he developed a rare ability to distance himself from the day-to-day. He could step back from his surrounding culture, assessing its strengths and weaknesses and identifying why people used and misused land as they did.
In Why Conservation Is Failing and How It Can Regain Ground (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2006), 144–77. 6. Aldo Leopold’s conservation, including his goal of land health, is ably considered in Julianne Lutz Newton, Aldo Leopold’s Odyssey (Washington, DC: Island Press, 2006). 7. The statute is considered, and my points here are ﬂeshed out, in Eric T. Freyfogle, “The Wildlife Refuge and the Land Community,” Natural Resources Journal 44 (2004): 1027–40. 2 A DURABLE SCALE The conservation community in the United States suffered a loss in April 1948, when sixty-one-year-old Aldo Leopold died ﬁghting a grass ﬁre on a neighbor’s farm.
Though the farm looks solvent, the “old oaks in the woodlot are without issue. There are no hedges, brush patches, fencerows, or other signs of shiftless husbandry. ” And on it goes, nature’s “useless” parts pushed aside to 40 Agrarianism and the Good Society promote a small number of favored species, as if we know what it takes for land to work well. “In the creek-bottom pasture, ﬂood trash is lodged high in the bushes. The creek banks are raw; chunks of Illinois have sloughed off and moved seaward.