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In some ways Good Husbandry stands as a kind of bildungsroman for Essex Farm and, by extension, the support-your-local-farmer movement.
Anyone who seeks to live with integrity in a place ought to seek to know it deeply, yet such knowledge carries with it the risk of disillusionment. It is hard, not in principle but in daily experience, to continue to find joy and beauty in a place one knows to be riven by abuse and injustice.
Thompson illustrates how rural people’s hopes do not align with the interests of those who wield power, be that power political, social, or economic. He teaches us that truth, fact, and reason are often not a part of the American experience for rural people.
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