A year ago, when my wife and I were waiting for a flight out of Logan Airport, a roughhewn man of about 60 was sitting a few seats away from us reading a book I would have been surprised to see in the Deep South, much less in Boston: I’ll Take My Stand, the famous manifesto of the Twelve Southerners. He was a farmer from outside Albany, New York, on his way to a meeting of the North American Devon Association. I had recently edited The Southern Critics, an anthology of writings by the Fugitive Agrarians and their disciples, and I asked him what he thought of “The Hind Tit,” Andrew Lytle’s contribution to I’ll Take My Stand. He said he must have read it 30 times.
In the next few minutes, he talked enthusiastically about writers from the 1930s I’d never heard of, such Louis Bromfield and Parmalee Prentice. He mentioned the names of contemporaries, including Wes Jackson, who had helped give a theoretical framework to the farming life that he’d been leading, minimally dependent on petroleum or farm machinery, for the past several decades, and he especially wanted to know if I knew Wendell Berry, whose name he spoke with an affection and respect bordering on reverence. Read more at The Imaginative Conservative.