A probing, personal inquiry into the way in which we use the farmlands that sustain us, and the roots of American attitudes towards farming.
The mid-20th-century environmental crisis that led to important protective legislation in the 1970s, is, to poet/farmer Wendell Berry's mind, also a crisis of character, agriculture, and culture. Because Americans are divorced from the land, they mistreat it; because they are divorced from each other, they mistreat those around them. Berry, writing in a prophetic mode, argues that if Americans are to heal the environmental wounds their land has suffered, they will also need to create more meaningful work, sustain happier and healthier lives, and return to what conservatives call "family values." The Unsettling of America is a quarter century old now, but most of its arguments remain current.