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"Read [him] 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 In this collection of essays, first published in 1993, Wendell Berry continues his work as one of America's most necessary social commentators. With wisdom and clear, ringing prose, he tackles head-on some of the most difficult problems which faced near the end of the twentieth-century. Berry elucidates connections between sexual brutality and economic brutality, and the role of art and free speech. He forcefully addresses America's unabashed pursuit of self-liberation, which he says is "still the strongest force now operating in our society." As individuals turn away from their community, they conform to a "rootless and placeless monoculture of commercial expectations and products," buying into the very economic system which is destroying the earth, our communities, and all they represent. Throughout the book Berry asks, What is appropriate? What is worth conserving from our past and preserving in our present? What is it to be human and truly connected to others? What does it mean to be free?
In this new collection of essays, Wendell Berry continues his work as one of America's most necessary social commentators. With wisdom and clear, ringing prose, he tackles head-on some of the most difficult problems which face us as we near the end of the twentieth century. Berry begins the title essay with the Anita Hill–Clarence Thomas hearings as an example of a “process that has been well established and well respected for at least two hundred years—the process . . . of community disintegration.” Community, a “locally understood interdependence of local people, local culture, local economy, and local nature,” bound by trust and affection, is “being destroyed by the desires and ambitions of both private and public life which for want of the intervention of community interests, are also destroying one another.” He then moves on to elucidate connections between sexual brutality and economic brutality, and the role of art and free speech. Berry forcefully addresses America's unabashed pursuit of self-liberation, which he says is “still the strongest force now operating in our society.” As individuals turn away from their community, they conform to a “rootless and placeless monoculture of commercial expectations and products,” buying into the very economic system which is destroying the earth, our communities, and all they represent. Throughout the book Berry asks, What is appropriate? What is worth conserving from our past and preserving in our present? What is it to be human and truly connected to others? What does it mean to be free?
There are those in America today who seem to feel we must audition for our citizenship, with ''Patriot'' offered as the badge for those found narrowly worthy. Let this book stand as Wendell Berry's application, for he is one of those faithful, devoted critics envisioned by the Founding Fathers to be the life's blood and very future of the nation they imagined. Adams, Jefferson, and Madison would have found great clarity in his prose and great hope in his vision. And today's readers will be moved and encouraged by his anger and his refusal to surrender in the face of desperate odds. Books get written for all sorts of reasons, and this book was written out of necessity. Citizenship Papers, a collection of 19 essays, is a ringing call of alarm to a nation standing on the brink of global catastrophe.
Over the years, Berry has sought to understand and confront the financial structure of modern society and the impact of developing late capitalism on American culture. For this collection, Berry offers essays from the last 25 years, alongside new essays about the recent economic collapse.
In six essays, Berry considers the degeneration of language that is manifest throughout our culture, from poetry to politics, from conversation to advertising, and he shows how the ever-widening cleft between words and their referents mirrors the increasing isolation of individuals and their communities from the land.--From publisher's description.
Considered one of the definitive statements on sex and sexuality from a Christian perspective, Sex for Christians offers frank yet compassionate discussion that is at once refreshingly open-minded and strongly biblical. Broad-ranging and direct, the book begins with a theological overview of human sexuality - its created goodness, its sinful distortion, and its redeemed potential. Lewis Smedes then treats specific sexual issues for single and married persons, presenting plain-spoken yet responsible perspectives on such things as erotic fantasies, petting, and adultery. This revised edition also features an extensive new introduction by Smedes that brings his original work to bear on pressing issues today - AIDS and talk of "safe sex", cohabitation, homosexuality, and the need to develop Christian strategies regarding sex. Following two decades of social development since this book first appeared, Smedes now presents an even clearer statement of the Bible's moral standards regarding our sexuality. His attempt to present "a Christian perspective for a truly human sexual life" results in a sexual morality that, within a biblical perspective, is as liberating as it is limiting.
The continuing war in Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, the political sniping engendered by the Supreme Court nominations—contemporary American society is characterized by divisive anger, profound loss, and danger. Wendell Berry, one of the country's foremost cultural critics, responds with hope and intelligence in a series of essays that tackle the major questions of the day. Whose freedom are we considering when we speak of the “free market” or “free enterprise”? What is really involved in our national security? What is the price of ownership without affection? Berry answers in prose that shuns abstraction for clarity, coherence, and passion, giving us essays that may be the finest of his long career.

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