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Reasoning about Stories

  Devon, PA. Here is something for you that no one will dispute: all complaints about modernity, including those that fit under the rubric of...

The Rediscovery of Agriculture?

RINGOES, NJ. Recently, a friend and I visited Polyface Farm outside Staunton, Virginia. Polyface is owned and operated by Joel Salatin, whose parents...

Farm Stories: Hog Killing

Let this day begin again the change of hogs into people, not the other way around, for today we celebrate again our lives' wedding...

It’s the Economy, Stupid

Los Angeles, CA At the risk of copyright infringement, I want to recommend a song of this title by John McCutcheon which appears on...

The Human Meaning of Property

MT. AIRY, PHILADELPHIA. Before I say something rather abstract about concrete things, a few personal words about what (and who) lies behind these thoughts...

Back to the Land Economy

Well, we are all localists here, watching our national economy stagger and moan.  Is there any room for a conversation about local economies? What would...

Free Riding

Alexandria, VA A few nights ago in Washington D.C., Wendell Berry was among the speakers at what turned out to be a pep rally...

Last Will and Sacrament

PHOENIX, ARIZONA. I don’t think that many reviews have yet appeared, but John Lukacs has just published another memoir, titled Last Rites. Patrick Allitt has an appreciative, but not uncritical, review (subscribers only) in the latest American Conservative. He is right that this volume is not, for a variety of reasons, as “scintillating” as Lukacs’s Confessions of an Original Sinner (1990). But then, Confessions truly is scintillating. It’s one of the finest American memoirs of the twentieth century. What makes it so fine is that it is not simply American. It is also deeply Pennsylvanian. In a state blessed with many more great quarterbacks than great writers, the Hungarian-born, British-educated Lukacs can lay claim to have evoked the character of the southeastern corner of the state as well as anyone ever has. (In this respect, add to Lukacs’s Pennsylvania oeuvre his Philadelphia: Patricians and Philistines and certain sections of A Thread of Years, one of the most memorable books I have ever read.)