Richard A. Bailey is an associate professor of history at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York. A native of north Alabama, he is the author of Race and Redemption in Puritan New England (OUP, 2011). While he continues to write and lecture about “race" and religion in colonial New England, Richard is also currently working on several projects about the life and writings of several Kentucky authors, including Wendell Berry.
Like Bob Dylan, Hamer’s life was marked by protest and songs of protest. Her protests, however, grew from her personal experience on the ground in Mississippi. Kate Clifford Larson’s Walk With Me demonstrates this rootedness in the local and Hamer’s commitment to place in meaningful ways.
Berry connects these major themes from The Hidden Wound to other themes from his many works—work, agrarianism, industrialization, citizenship, affection, and place. In so doing, he offers his readers a fuller-orbed view of his thinking than maybe he has ever done previously. In the end, at least after my first close reading of the volume, I think this work of integration is the most valuable contribution of The Need to Be Whole.
Immortality might not last forever. But I contend that Ed will—through his words and through the lives of those he touched with his generosity and his grace. All of which leads, to a simple blessing, a benediction. “Oh, wow.”