What Are People For?: Essays (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

There are few writers who capture middle America so beautifully. A poet and farmer, Berry writes with scathing clarity about American culture's detachment from Earth. Honestly, reading anything by him will make you think differently, but this collection includes an essay about what culture has in common with decaying soil that is unforgettable. If you enjoyed Hillbilly Elegy, it’s the natural next step to consider What Are People For? 

Picked by Jackie in Fort Greene


Ranging from America's insatiable consumerism and household economies to literary subjects and America's attitude toward waste, here Berry gracefully navigates from one topic to the next. He speaks candidly about the ills plaguing America and the growing gap between people and the land. Despite the somber nature of these essays, Berry's voice and prose provide an underlying sense of faith and hope. He frames his reflections with poetic responsibility, standing up as a firm believer in the power of the human race not only to fix its past mistakes but to build a future that will provide a better life for all.

Praise For…

Praise for Wendell Berry

Wherever we live, however we do so, we desperately need a prophet of responsibility; and although the days of the prophets seem past to many of us, Berry may be the closest to one we have. But, fortunately, he is also a poet of responsibility. He makes one believe that the good life may not only be harder than what we’re used to but sweeter as well.” The New York Review of Books

He is . . . the prophetic American voice of our day.” Christian Science Monitor

Product Details
ISBN: 9781582434872
ISBN-10: 1582434875
Publisher: Counterpoint LLC
Publication Date: May 25th, 2010
Pages: 210
Language: English