cover image Sex, Ecnomy, Commnty, & Fredm: Eight Essays

Sex, Ecnomy, Commnty, & Fredm: Eight Essays

Wendell Berry. Pantheon Books, $20 (177pp) ISBN 978-0-679-42394-2

In eight visionary or polemical essays, Berry ( Fidelity ) sounds the themes of decentralization, renewal of community and ecological awareness that inform his previous books. Assailing the U.S. government's role in the Persian Gulf War, the Kentucky poet/farmer/conservationist calls for the creation of a peace academy and urges Americans to ``waste less, spend less, use less, want less, need less.'' He condemns the Reagan and Bush administrations' international trade policies that, in Berry's view, bring many nations' health and safety standards under the influence of agribusiness. Although he is critical of smoking, his strained defense of U.S. governmental assistance to tobacco growers who agree to limit production may gladden cigarette smokers and anger their opponents. In the title essay, Berry interprets the charges made by Anita Hill at Clarence Thomas's confirmation hearing as a symptom of community disintegration, then goes on to consider sexual candor and community limits on free speech. (Sept.)