cover image Another Turn of the Crank

Another Turn of the Crank

Wendell Berry. Counterpoint LLC, $18 (128pp) ISBN 978-1-887178-03-7

Berry, a novelist, poet and essayist (What Are People For?), focuses here on the importance of small communities in this latest collection of thought-provoking pieces. The decline of agriculture, according to Berry, was brought about by corporations that induced farmers to rely on technology and artificial fertilizers, which destroyed topsoil and produced tainted crops. Berry believes small farmers should grow food primarily for the local population, without using fossil fuels or chemicals. In another article, he argues against abortion and for a sexuality related to fertility rather than to individual gratification. His closing essay, on modern health care, deals with the tendency of the medical establishment to view a patient as a machine that can be cured by technology rather than as a human being who must be healed by love as well as medical treatment. (Nov.)