No one can be whole alone; no one can be free alone. Rather, Berry holds that “[t]o be whole and free is…to be at home in a place and in a community where one knows and is known,” and where its boundaries include soils, waters, plants, and animals.
“The real wealth of a country … does not reside in the hectic exchanges on the stock market or the rivers of commodities that flow through every household without belonging there. It resides in local communities, in the work that holds them together, and the deep investment represented by a home, a place and the endowment across generations of human love.”
In sum, Finding a New Midwestern History is an exemplary compilation of historical interpretations both renewed and new. The enthusiasms of Garland, Wright, and Turner—registered a century and a quarter ago—have found compelling new voices, testifying to the Midwest’s remarkable past, and present.
In light of the the economic crisis - and the bright light it sheds on the failings of modern capitalism - there is a need to reconsider older arguments of a "Third Way," a social and economic system that in important respects would be neither capitalist nor socialist.