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 on 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 quite often as a result of cultural attitudes that made experience at the American frontier yet now threaten the land's ecological cloth. To aid and maintain fit groups, profound alterations may 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 genuine offerings that american citizens face. In an imaginary task commercial, he matters a decision for a countrywide environmental chief, deciding upon the abilities and information required, paying attention to cultural stumbling blocks, and looking out severely at meant allies. analyzing contemporary federal elections, he principally blames the conservation reason and its inattention to cultural concerns for the decreased prestige of our environment as a decisive factor. Agrarianism and the great Society identifies the social, old, political, and cultural stumbling blocks to people' concord with nature and advocates a brand new orientation, one who starts with fit land and that higher displays our utter dependence on it. In all, Agrarianism and the great Society bargains a severe but hopeful consultant for cultural swap, crucial for somebody attracted to the advantages and artistic probabilities of in charge land use.

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

Example text

Forest Service in 1926 designated the nation’s first wilderness, in the Gila National Forest in Arizona. 3 In 1935 he and six others founded the Wilderness Society, with Leopold writing its culturally charged manifesto. Leopold continued promoting wilderness protection after moving, in midcareer, from the Southwest to the more densely occupied farm region of central Wisconsin. He is remembered, justly, as the founder of wilderness protection and as a particularly able advocate for it. Leopold’s initial defense of wilderness focused on the recreational value of roadless areas for visitors who really wanted to get away.

In the dark hours of World War II, Leopold took time to illustrate the ways wilderness could bring transformation. ”32 Evening was coming on as Leopold camped beside the Flambeau. Along came two youths in a canoe, two days out in the wilds. The youths were soon to enter the army and were enjoying a taste of freedom before beginning regimented life. Scantily provisioned, the young men were dependent upon themselves and nature. “No servant brought them meals: they got their meat out of the river, or went without,” Leopold observed.

Leopold could see how important human behavior was and, hence, how important social and economic factors were. Behavior was closely linked with popular values and widespread 26 Agrarianism and the Good Society assumptions about land and the human place. If better public behavior was going to come about, American culture had to change. Upon Leopold’s death, his work was largely taken over by an array of technicians rather than by conservationists of similar breadth. Experts divided nature study and conservation into many parts and then allocated the specific tasks.

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