What Are People For

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What Are People For?

What Are People For? Pdf/ePub eBook Author: ,
Editor: Catapult
ISBN: 158243669X
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What Are People For? by , Summary

Ranging from America’s insatiable consumerism and household economies to literary subjects and America’s attitude toward waste, here Berry gracefully navigates from one topic to the next. He speaks candidly about the ills plaguing America and the growing gap between people and the land. Despite the somber nature of these essays, Berry’s voice and prose provide an underlying sense of faith and hope. He frames his reflections with poetic responsibility, standing up as a firm believer in the power of the human race not only to fix its past mistakes but to build a future that will provide a better life for all.

Anxious People

Anxious People Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Fredrik Backman
Editor: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1982121610
FileSize: 458kb
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Anxious People by Fredrik Backman Summary

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove and “writer of astonishing depth” (The Washington Times) comes a poignant comedy about a crime that never took place, a would-be bank robber who disappears into thin air, and eight extremely anxious strangers who find they have more in common than they ever imagined. Viewing an apartment normally doesn’t turn into a life-or-death situation, but this particular open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes everyone in the apartment hostage. As the pressure mounts, the eight strangers begin slowly opening up to one another and reveal long-hidden truths. First is Zara, a wealthy bank director who has been too busy to care about anyone else until tragedy changed her life. Now, she’s obsessed with visiting open houses to see how ordinary people live—and, perhaps, to set an old wrong to right. Then there’s Roger and Anna-Lena, an Ikea-addicted retired couple who are on a never-ending hunt for fixer-uppers to hide the fact that they don’t know how to fix their own failing marriage. Julia and Ro are a young lesbian couple and soon-to-be parents who are nervous about their chances for a successful life together since they can’t agree on anything. And there’s Estelle, an eighty-year-old woman who has lived long enough to be unimpressed by a masked bank robber waving a gun in her face. And despite the story she tells them all, Estelle hasn’t really come to the apartment to view it for her daughter, and her husband really isn’t outside parking the car. As police surround the premises and television channels broadcast the hostage situation live, the tension mounts and even deeper secrets are slowly revealed. Before long, the robber must decide which is the more terrifying prospect: going out to face the police, or staying in the apartment with this group of impossible people. Rich with Fredrik Backman’s “pitch-perfect dialogue and an unparalleled understanding of human nature” (Shelf Awareness), Anxious People’s whimsical plot serves up unforgettable insights into the human condition and a gentle reminder to be compassionate to all the anxious people we encounter every day.

The People in the Trees

The People in the Trees Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Hanya Yanagihara
Editor: Anchor
ISBN: 038553678X
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The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara Summary

Readers of exciting, challenging and visionary literary fiction—including admirers of Norman Rush's Mating, Ann Patchett's State of Wonder, Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible, and Peter Matthiessen's At Play in the Fields of the Lord—will be drawn to this astonishingly gripping and accomplished first novel. A decade in the writing, this is an anthropological adventure story that combines the visceral allure of a thriller with a profound and tragic vision of what happens when cultures collide. It is a book that instantly catapults Hanya Yanagihara into the company of young novelists who really, really matter. In 1950, a young doctor called Norton Perina signs on with the anthropologist Paul Tallent for an expedition to the remote Micronesian island of Ivu'ivu in search of a rumored lost tribe. They succeed, finding not only that tribe but also a group of forest dwellers they dub "The Dreamers," who turn out to be fantastically long-lived but progressively more senile. Perina suspects the source of their longevity is a hard-to-find turtle; unable to resist the possibility of eternal life, he kills one and smuggles some meat back to the States. He scientifically proves his thesis, earning worldwide fame and the Nobel Prize, but he soon discovers that its miraculous property comes at a terrible price. As things quickly spiral out of his control, his own demons take hold, with devastating personal consequences.

Sex, Economy, Freedom, & Community

Sex, Economy, Freedom, & Community Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Wendell Berry
Editor: Catapult
ISBN: 1640091394
FileSize: 587kb
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Sex, Economy, Freedom, & Community by Wendell Berry Summary

""Read [him] with pencil in hand, make notes, and hope that somehow our country and the world will soon come to see the truth that is told here."" —The New York Times Book Review In this collection of essays, first published in 1993, Wendell Berry continues his work as one of America's most necessary social commentators. With wisdom and clear, ringing prose, he tackles head–on some of the most difficult problems confronting us near the end of the twentieth century—problems we still face today. Berry elucidates connections between sexual brutality and economic brutality, and the role of art and free speech. He forcefully addresses America's unabashed pursuit of self–liberation, which he says is ""still the strongest force now operating in our society."" As individuals turn away from their community, they conform to a ""rootless and placeless monoculture of commercial expectations and products,"" buying into the very economic system that is destroying the earth, our communities, and all they represent.

Broken People

Broken People Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Sam Lansky
Editor: Harlequin
ISBN: 1488055769
FileSize: 1901kb
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Broken People by Sam Lansky Summary

Named one of the most anticipated books of the year by Vogue, O, The Oprah Magazine, Parade, Library Journal, Harper’s Bazaar and more “Profound and affecting.”—Chloe Benjamin “Broken People leads us through the winds of time and memory to offer a riveting portrait of transformation. I am better for having read it.”—Jamie Lee Curtis A groundbreaking, incandescent debut novel about coming to grips with the past and ourselves, for fans of Sally Rooney, Hanya Yanagihara and Garth Greenwell “He fixes everything that’s wrong with you in three days.” This is what hooks Sam when he first overhears it at a fancy dinner party in the Hollywood hills: the story of a globe-trotting shaman who claims to perform “open-soul surgery” on emotionally damaged people. For neurotic, depressed Sam, new to Los Angeles after his life in New York imploded, the possibility of total transformation is utterly tantalizing. He’s desperate for something to believe in, and the shaman—who promises ancient rituals, plant medicine and encounters with the divine—seems convincing, enough for Sam to sign up for a weekend under his care. But are the great spirits the shaman says he’s summoning real at all? Or are the ghosts in Sam’s memory more powerful than any magic? At turns tender and acid, funny and wise, Broken People is a journey into the nature of truth and fiction—a story of discovering hope amid cynicism, intimacy within chaos and peace in our own skin.

Think Little

Think Little Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Wendell Berry
Editor: Catapult
ISBN: 1640091742
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Think Little by Wendell Berry Summary

First published in 1972, “Think Little” is cultural critic and agrarian Wendell Berry at his best: prescient about the dire environmental consequences of our mentality of greed and exploitation, yet hopeful that we will recognize war and oppression and pollution not as separate issues, but aspects of the same. “Think Little” is presented here alongside one of Berry’s most popular and personal essays, “A Native Hill.” This gentle essay of recollection is told alongside a poetic lesson in geography, as Berry explains at length and in detail, that what he stands for is what he stands on.Each palm–size book in the Counterpoints series is meant to stay with you, whether safely in your pocket or long after you turn the last page. From short stories to essays to poems, these little books celebrate our most–beloved writers, whose work encapsulates the spirit of Counterpoint Press: cutting–edge, wide–ranging, and independent.

The Hidden Wound

The Hidden Wound Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Wendell Berry
Editor: Catapult
ISBN: 1582436673
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The Hidden Wound by Wendell Berry Summary

An impassioned, thoughtful, and fearless essay on the effects of racism on the American identity by one of our country’s most humane literary voices. Acclaimed as “one of the most humane, honest, liberating works of our time” (The Village Voice), The Hidden Wound is a book-length essay about racism and the damage it has done to the identity of our country. Through Berry’s personal experience, he explains how remaining passive in the face of the struggle of racism further corrodes America’s great potential. In a quiet and observant manner, Berry opens up about how his attempt to discuss racism is rooted in the hope that someday the historical wound will begin to heal. Pulitzer prize-winning author Larry McMurtry calls this “a profound, passionate, crucial piece of writing . . . Few readers, and I think, no writers will be able to read it without a small pulse of triumph at the temples: the strange, almost communal sense of triumph one feels when someone has written truly well . . . The statement it makes is intricate and beautiful, sad but strong.” “Mr. Berry is a sophisticated, philosophical poet in the line descending from Emerson and Thoreau." ―The Baltimore Sun "[Berry’s poems] shine with the gentle wisdom of a craftsman who has thought deeply about the paradoxical strangeness and wonder of life." ―The Christian Science Monitor "Wendell Berry is one of those rare individuals who speaks to us always of responsibility, of the individual cultivation of an active and aware participation in the arts of life." ―The Bloomsbury Review “[Berry’s] poems, novels and essays . . . are probably the most sustained contemporary articulation of America’s agrarian, Jeffersonian ideal.” ―Publishers Weekly

Bullshit Jobs

Bullshit Jobs Pdf/ePub eBook Author: David Graeber
Editor: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1501143344
FileSize: 465kb
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Bullshit Jobs by David Graeber Summary

From bestselling writer David Graeber—“a master of opening up thought and stimulating debate” (Slate)—a powerful argument against the rise of meaningless, unfulfilling jobs…and their consequences. Does your job make a meaningful contribution to the world? In the spring of 2013, David Graeber asked this question in a playful, provocative essay titled “On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs.” It went viral. After one million online views in seventeen different languages, people all over the world are still debating the answer. There are hordes of people—HR consultants, communication coordinators, telemarketing researchers, corporate lawyers—whose jobs are useless, and, tragically, they know it. These people are caught in bullshit jobs. Graeber explores one of society’s most vexing and deeply felt concerns, indicting among other villains a particular strain of finance capitalism that betrays ideals shared by thinkers ranging from Keynes to Lincoln. “Clever and charismatic” (The New Yorker), Bullshit Jobs gives individuals, corporations, and societies permission to undergo a shift in values, placing creative and caring work at the center of our culture. This book is for everyone who wants to turn their vocation back into an avocation and “a thought-provoking examination of our working lives” (Financial Times).

The World-Ending Fire

The World-Ending Fire Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Wendell Berry
Editor: Catapult
ISBN: 1640090290
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The World-Ending Fire by Wendell Berry Summary

The most comprehensive―and only author-authorized―Wendell Berry reader, "America's greatest philosopher on sustainable life and living" (Chicago Tribune). In a time when our relationship to the natural world is ruled by the violence and greed of unbridled consumerism, Wendell Berry speaks out in these prescient essays, drawn from his fifty-year campaign on behalf of American lands and communities. 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 defense of local landscapes, essays that celebrate our cultural heritage, our history, and our home. With grace and conviction, Wendell Berry shows that we simply cannot afford to succumb to the mass-produced madness that drives our global economy―the natural world will not allow 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 neighbors, and ourselves with respect and care. As Berry urges, we must abandon arrogance and stand in awe.

In Defense of Looting

In Defense of Looting Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Vicky Osterweil
Editor: Bold Type Books
ISBN: 1645036677
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In Defense of Looting by Vicky Osterweil Summary

A fresh argument for rioting and looting as our most powerful tools for dismantling white supremacy Looting--a crowd of people publicly, openly, and directly seizing goods--is one of the more extreme actions that can take place in the midst of social unrest. Even self-identified radicals distance themselves from looters, fearing that violent tactics reflect badly on the broader movement. But Vicky Osterweil argues that stealing goods and destroying property are direct, pragmatic strategies of wealth redistribution and improving life for the working class--not to mention the brazen messages these methods send to the police and the state. All our beliefs about the innate righteousness of property and ownership, Osterweil explains, are built on the history of anti-Black, anti-Indigenous oppression. From slave revolts to labor strikes to the modern-day movements for climate change, Black lives, and police abolition, Osterweil makes a convincing case for rioting and looting as weapons that bludgeon the status quo while uplifting the poor and marginalized. In Defense of Looting is a history of violent protest sparking social change, a compelling reframing of revolutionary activism, and a practical vision for a dramatically restructured society.

How to Win Friends and Influence People

How to Win Friends and Influence People Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Dale Carnegie
Editor: Sristhi Publishers & Distributors
ISBN: 8194790891
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How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie Summary

Do you feel stuck in life, not knowing how to make it more successful? Do you wish to become more popular? Are you craving to earn more? Do you wish to expand your horizon, earn new clients and win people over with your ideas? How to Win Friends and Influence People is a well-researched and comprehensive guide that will help you through these everyday problems and make success look easier. You can learn to expand your social circle, polish your skill set, find ways to put forward your thoughts more clearly, and build mental strength to counter all hurdles that you may come across on the path to success. Having helped millions of readers from the world over achieve their goals, the clearly listed techniques and principles will be the answers to all your questions.

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Reni Eddo-Lodge
Editor: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1526633922
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Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge Summary

'Every voice raised against racism chips away at its power. We can't afford to stay silent. This book is an attempt to speak' The book that sparked a national conversation. Exploring everything from eradicated black history to the inextricable link between class and race, Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race is the essential handbook for anyone who wants to understand race relations in Britain today. THE NO.1 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER WINNER OF THE BRITISH BOOK AWARDS NON-FICTION NARRATIVE BOOK OF THE YEAR 2018 FOYLES NON-FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR BLACKWELL'S NON-FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR WINNER OF THE JHALAK PRIZE LONGLISTED FOR THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION LONGLISTED FOR THE ORWELL PRIZE SHORTLISTED FOR A BOOKS ARE MY BAG READERS AWARD

Normal People

Normal People Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Sally Rooney
Editor: Knopf Canada
ISBN: 073527648X
FileSize: 1965kb
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Normal People by Sally Rooney Summary

LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE: A wondrously wise, genuinely unputdownable new novel from Sally Rooney, winner of the 2017 Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award (at 26, tied with Zadie Smith for the youngest-ever recipient)--the quintessential coming-of-age love story for our time. Connell Waldron is one of the most popular boys in his small-town high school--he is a star of the football team, an excellent student, and never wanting for attention from girls. The one thing he doesn't have is money. Marianne Sheridan, a classmate of Connell's, has the opposite problem. Marianne is plain-looking, odd, and stubborn, and while her family is well-off, she has no friends to speak of. There is, however, a deep and undeniable connection between the two teenagers, one that develops into a secret relationship. Everything changes when both Connell and Marianne are accepted to Trinity College. Suddenly Marianne is well-liked and elegant, holding court with her intellectual friends while Connell hangs at the sidelines, not quite as fluent in language of the elite. Throughout their years at university, Marianne and Connell circle each other, falling in and out of romance but never straying far from where they started. And as Marianne experiments with an increasingly dangerous string of boyfriends, Connell must decide how far he is willing to go to save his oldest friend. Sally Rooney brings her brilliant psychological acuity and perfectly spare prose to a novel that explores the subtleties of class, the electricity of first love, and the inescapable challenges of family and friendships. Normal People is a book that you will read in one sitting, and then immediately share with your friends.

White Fragility

White Fragility Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Robin DiAngelo
Editor: Beacon Press
ISBN: 0807047422
FileSize: 606kb
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White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo Summary

The New York Times best-selling book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality. In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people’ (Claudia Rankine). Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.

The Way of Ignorance

The Way of Ignorance Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Wendell Berry
Editor: Catapult
ISBN: 158243929X
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The Way of Ignorance by Wendell Berry Summary

A soulful, searching collection of essays that tackle the complexities of contemporary America from “the prophet of rural America” (New York Times). From the war in Iraq to Hurricane Katrina to the political sniping engendered by Supreme Court nominations—contemporary American society is characterized by divisive anger, profound loss, and danger. Wendell Berry, “the prophet of rural America” (New York Times) and one of the country’s foremost cultural critics, responds with hope and intelligence in a series of essays that tackle the major questions of the day. Whose freedom are we considering when we speak of the free market or free enterprise? What is really involved in our national security? What is the price of ownership without affection? Berry answers in prose that shuns abstraction for clarity, coherence, and passion, giving us essays that may be the finest of his long career. “Everything in the book illumines.” —Booklist “[Berry’s] poems, novels and essays . . . are probably the most sustained contemporary articulation of America’s agrarian, Jeffersonian ideal.” —Publishers Weekly “Wendell Berry is one of those rare individuals who speaks to us always of responsibility, of the individual cultivation of an active and aware participation in the arts of life.” —The Bloomsbury Review

The World Needs More Purple People

The World Needs More Purple People Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Kristen Bell,Benjamin Hart
Editor: Random House Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 0593121988
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The World Needs More Purple People by Kristen Bell,Benjamin Hart Summary

#1 New York Times bestseller! Actress, producer, and parent Kristen Bell (The Good Place, Veronica Mars, Frozen) and creative director and parent Benjamin Hart have a new challenge for you and your kids: become a purple person by embracing what makes YOU special while finding common ground with those around you. What is a purple person? Great question. I mean, really great! Because purple people always ask really great questions. They bring their family, friends, and communities together, and they speak up for what’s right. They are kind and hardworking, and they love to laugh (especially at Grandpa’s funny noises)! A purple person is an everyday superhero! How do you become one? That’s the fun part! Penny Purple will lead you through the steps. Get ready to be silly, exercise your curiosity, use your voice, and be inspired. Looking to reach beyond the political divide of red and blue, Kristen Bell and Benjamin Hart have created a hilarious and joyous read-aloud that offers a wonderful message about embracing the things that bring us together as humans. This book will inspire a whole generation to paint the world purple!

Good to Great

Good to Great Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Jim Collins
Editor: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0062119206
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Good to Great by Jim Collins Summary

The Challenge Built to Last, the defining management study of the nineties, showed how great companies triumph over time and how long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise from the verybeginning. But what about the company that is not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness? The Study For years, this question preyed on the mind of Jim Collins. Are there companies that defy gravity and convert long-term mediocrity or worse into long-term superiority? And if so, what are the universal distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great? The Standards Using tough benchmarks, Collins and his research team identified a set of elite companies that made the leap to great results and sustained those results for at least fifteen years. How great? After the leap, the good-to-great companies generated cumulative stock returns that beat the general stock market by an average of seven times in fifteen years, better than twice the results delivered by a composite index of the world's greatest companies, including Coca-Cola, Intel, General Electric, and Merck. The Comparisons The research team contrasted the good-to-great companies with a carefully selected set of comparison companies that failed to make the leap from good to great. What was different? Why did one set of companies become truly great performers while the other set remained only good? Over five years, the team analyzed the histories of all twenty-eight companies in the study. After sifting through mountains of data and thousands of pages of interviews, Collins and his crew discovered the key determinants of greatness -- why some companies make the leap and others don't. The Findings The findings of the Good to Great study will surprise many readers and shed light on virtually every area of management strategy and practice. The findings include: Level 5 Leaders: The research team was shocked to discover the type of leadership required to achieve greatness. The Hedgehog Concept (Simplicity within the Three Circles): To go from good to great requires transcending the curse of competence. A Culture of Discipline: When you combine a culture of discipline with an ethic of entrepreneurship, you get the magical alchemy of great results. Technology Accelerators: Good-to-great companies think differently about the role of technology. The Flywheel and the Doom Loop: Those who launch radical change programs and wrenching restructurings will almost certainly fail to make the leap. “Some of the key concepts discerned in the study,” comments Jim Collins, "fly in the face of our modern business culture and will, quite frankly, upset some people.” Perhaps, but who can afford to ignore these findings?

What Every BODY is Saying

What Every BODY is Saying Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Joe Navarro,Marvin Karlins
Editor: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0061755664
FileSize: 1132kb
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What Every BODY is Saying by Joe Navarro,Marvin Karlins Summary

Joe Navarro, a former FBI counterintelligence officer and a recognized expert on nonverbal behavior, explains how to "speed-read" people: decode sentiments and behaviors, avoid hidden pitfalls, and look for deceptive behaviors. You'll also learn how your body language can influence what your boss, family, friends, and strangers think of you. Read this book and send your nonverbal intelligence soaring. You will discover: The ancient survival instincts that drive body language Why the face is the least likely place to gauge a person's true feelings What thumbs, feet, and eyelids reveal about moods and motives The most powerful behaviors that reveal our confidence and true sentiments Simple nonverbals that instantly establish trust Simple nonverbals that instantly communicate authority Filled with examples from Navarro's professional experience, this definitive book offers a powerful new way to navigate your world.

Wendell Berry

Wendell Berry Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Jason Peters
Editor: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 0813137659
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Wendell Berry by Jason Peters Summary

A portrait of an American thinker with contributions by Barbara Kingsolver, Bill McKibben, Sven Birkerts, Wes Jackson, and more: “A masterful collection.” —Charlotte Observer Essayist, social critic, poet, “mad farmer,” novelist, teacher, and prophet: Wendell Berry has been called many things, but the broad sweep of his contemporary relevance and influence defies facile labels. With a unique perspective and far-reaching vision, Berry poses complex questions about humankind and our relationship to the land and offers simple but profound solutions. Berry’s writings give voice to a provocative but consistent philosophy that extends far beyond its agrarian core to include elements of sociology, the natural sciences, politics, religion, philosophy, linguistics, agriculture, and other seemingly incompatible fields of study. Wendell Berry: Life and Work examines this wise, original thinker, appraising his written work and exploring his influence as an activist and artist. Each of the contributors—including Hayden Carruth, Sven Birkerts, Barbara Kingsolver, Stanley Hauerwas, Donald Hall, Ed McClanahan, Bill McKibben, Scott Russell Sanders, Norman Wirzba, Wes Jackson, and Eric T. Freyfogle—examines an aspect of Berry’s varied yet cohesive body of work. Also included are highly personal glimpses of Berry: his career, academic influence, and unconventional lifestyle. These deft sketches show the purity of Berry’s agrarian lifestyle and demonstrate that there is nothing simple about the life to which he’s devoted himself. He embraces a life that sustains him not by easy purchase and haste but by physical labor and patience, not by mindless acquiescence to a centralized economy but by attention to local ways and wisdom. This book combines biographical sketches, personal accounts, literary criticism, and social commentary. The result is a rich portrait of one of America’s most profound and honest thinkers.

What Are We?

What Are We? Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Eric T. Olson
Editor: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198039204
FileSize: 488kb
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What Are We? by Eric T. Olson Summary

From the time of Locke, discussions of personal identity have often ignored the question of our basic metaphysical nature: whether we human people are biological organisms, spatial or temporal parts of organisms, bundles of perceptions, or what have you. The result of this neglect has been centuries of wild proposals and clashing intuitions. What Are We? is the first general study of this important question. It beings by explaining what the question means and how it differs from others, such as questions of personal identity and the mind-body problem. It then examines in some depth the main possible accounts of our metaphysical nature, detailing both their theoretical virtues and the often grave difficulties they face. The book does not endorse any particular account of what we are, but argues that the matter turns on more general issues in the ontology of material things. If composition is universal--if any material things whatever make up something bigger--then we are temporal parts of organisms. If things never compose anything bigger, so that there are only mereological simples, then we too are simples--perhaps the immaterial substances of Descartes--or else we do not exist at all (a view Olson takes very seriously). The intermediate view that some things compose bigger things and others do not leads almost inevitably to the conclusion that we are organisms. So we can discover what we are by working out when composition occurs.