Wendell Berry is the Sargeant York charging unnatural odds across our no-man's-land of ecology. Conveying the same limber innocence of young Gary Cooper, Wendell advances on the current crop of Krauts armed with naught but his pen and his mythic ridge runner righteousness. One after the other he picks them off, from the flying bridges of their pleasure boats as they roar through his native Kentucky rivers, from beneath the hard hats in the Hazard County strip mines, from the swivel chairs in the Pentagon where they weigh the various ways to wage war on all forms of enemy life beyond the end of their own friendly chin. He's a crackshot essayist and, for those given to capture, a genial and captivating poet. He boasts a formidable arsenal of novels, speeches, articles, stories, and poems from his outpost in one of the world's most ravaged battlefields where he writes the good fight and tends his family and his honeybees. Consider him an ally. Here are some samples from The Long-Legged House:
". . . as a nation we no longer have a future that we can imagine and desire. . . . We have become the worshipers and evangelists of a technology and wealth and which surpass the comprehension of most of us, and for which the wisest of us have failed to conceive an aim. And we have become, as a consequence, more dangerous to ourselves and to the world than we are vet able to know."
"For do not all our rights have as their ultimate expression and meaning the right of a man to he secure in his own home? When this right is no longer defended by a power greater than himself, his days begin to come to him by accident, in default of whatever caprice of power may next require his life."
"Man cannot be independent of nature. In one way or another he must live in relation to it, and there are only two alternatives: the way of the frontiersman, whose response to nature was to dominate it, to assert his presence in it by destroying it; or the way of Thoreau, who went to the natural places to become quiet in them, to learn from them, to be restored by them.""Until we end our violence against the earth - a matter ignored by most pacifists, as the issue of military violence is ignored by most conservationists - how can we hope to end the violence against each other? The earth, which we all have in common, is our deepest bond, and our behavior toward it cannot help but be an earnest of our consideration for each other and for our descendants."