I spent a beautiful Sunday afternoon in December talking with Wendell Berry at the kitchen table of his Henry County farmhouse. He told me he was hard at work on an essay. "I'm in need of a lecture," he said.
America was in need of a lecture, too. Last Monday, Berry gave it.
The National Endowment for the Humanities chose the Kentucky farmer, poet, essayist, novelist, activist and philosopher to give the 2012 Jefferson Lecture at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. It is the federal government's highest honor for scholarly contributions to the humanities.