'He is unlike anybody else writing today ... After Donald Trump's election, we urgently need to rediscover the best of radical America. An essential part of that story is Wendell Berry. Few of us can live, or even aspire to, his kind of life. But nobody can risk ignoring him' Andrew Marr
'Wendell Berry is the most important writer and thinker that you have (probably) never heard of. He is an American sage' -James Rebanks, author of The Shepherd's Life
Wendell Berry is 'something of an anachronism'. He began his life as the old times and the last of the old-time people were dying out, and continues to this day in the old ways: a team of work horses and a pencil are his preferred working tools. The writings gathered in The World-Ending Fire are the unique product of a life spent farming the fields of rural Kentucky with mules and horses, and of the rich, intimate knowledge of the land cultivated by this work. These are essays written in defiance of the false call to progress, and in defence of the local landscapes that provide our cultural heritage, our history, our home.
In a time when our relationship to the natural world is ruled by the violence and greed of unbridled consumerism, Wendell Berry speaks out to defend the land we live on. With grace and conviction, he shows that we simply cannot afford to succumb to the mass-produced madness that drives our global economy. The natural world will not withstand it.
Yet he also shares with us a vision of consolation and of hope. We may be locked in an uneven struggle, but we can and must begin to treat our land, our neighbours, and ourselves with respect and care. We must, as Berry urges, abandon arrogance and stand in awe.
Compelling, luminous ... our modern-day Thoreau. He is unlike anybody else writing today. He writes at least as well as George Orwell and has an urgent message for modern industrial capitalism ... nobody can risk ignoring him
A fascinating tribute to the life of the land ... Berry's writings are timelier than ever
This collection sees the American published on these islands for the first time, and now he has finally stepped ashore, it's worth getting to know him ... Berry overturns plenty of thoughtful topsoil on environmental issues with a precise pen, and clears any thicket of cosy consensus with a clear eye and cutting hand
Maybe you don't care much about farming, but these essays, which move from food culture to feminism to literacy to global economics, confront the idea that the rotten ways we treat one another are rooted in the rotten ways we treat the land. [...] Berry draws endlessly and non-repetitively on the deep well of the lived truth of farm life, which delivers up sweet, clear lines of poetry and local lore and a kind of immediate authenticity. [...] I believe in the project laid out in The World-Ending Fire, the project of finding our humanity in humility, in living as described in the essay "The Agrarian Standard" as "local adaptation, which requires bringing local nature, local people, local economy, and local culture into a practical and enduring harmony." This is something you can do, something that no government, corporation, church, or law enforcement body can stop you from doing, an action in which you can find some measure of empowerment and freedom for you and your neighbors. It's as easy as planting a tree.