Nick Offerman writes about his own self & Wendell Berry
06 March 2023
I recently recorded the audiobook edition of The Need to Be Whole: Patriotism and the History of Prejudice, the latest work of nonfiction by Wendell Berry, the 88-year-old farmer from Henry County, Kentucky, and acclaimed essayist, poet, and novelist. If you don’t know Berry, some of the central themes in his decades of writing—he has published fifty-odd books—are an awareness of the sanctity of manual labor, and a reverence for the land and the small farmers who are its best stewards. Reading him has long offered me a therapeutic shortcut past a lot of wasteful, distracting consumerism, and to the wisdom of agrarianism, as well as the importance of fidelity to one’s household and community.
Then came The Need to Be Whole, which, in purely technical terms, rocked my fucking socks off. Berry examines our nation’s foundational race problem, which led Americans to increasingly view farming as beneath them—the labor of enslaved people. That persistent ethos, that we should strive to avoid the “dirty” work, has destroyed rural culture, fueled industrial farms, and divided the country.
Read all of "What Wendell Berry Taught Me" by Nick Offerman at Outside.
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