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In the twenty-four essays of this collection, Well Berry stresses the carefully modulated harmonics of indivisibility in culture and agriculture, the interdepence, the wholeness, the oneness, of man, animals, the land, the weather, and the family. To touch one, he shows, is to tamper with them all.Here he continues issues first raised in The Unsettling of America; the problems addressed there are still with us and the solutions no nearer to hand, Mr. Berry writes of his journeys to the highlands of Peru, the deserts of southern Arizona, and the Amish country to study traditional agricultural practices. He writes of homesteading, tools and their uses, horses and tractors, family work, land reclamation, diversified land use.In the title essay Mr. Berry draws parallels between the Christian notion of stewardship and the Buddhist doctrine of "right livelihood." He develops the compelling argument that the "gift" of good land has strings attached: the recipient has it only as long as he practices responsible stewardship.
"These books [Recollected Essays and The Gift of Good Land] are the kind that you sp months with, hate to give up, and plan to return to soon and often. There is much pure pleasure in them, both in the spare and crafted eloquence of their prose, and in the breadth and depth of their content. They're reference works of the body and soul..." --The Washington Post Book World
"These pieces are angry, urgent, courageous, joyous and reaffirming." --Philadelphia Inquirer