Erik Lorenzsonn

By Contributor on July 19, 2013

The winds that sweep through central Iowa's corn and soybean fields are a powerful force -- as I almost found out the hard way.

"You might want to hold on to that door," cautioned Bill Sutton, a laconic middle-aged farmer dressed in jeans and a plaid button-down, speaking to me from the driver's seat of his pickup truck. I was blithely opening the passenger door to get out after we had parked on a dirt service road in the middle of a cornfield. Next to us loomed our destination: a 400-foot-tall steel wind turbine.

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By Contributor on June 22, 2013

On January 26, 1992, fans of the Washington Redskins descended upon Minneapolis to watch their team play in Super Bowl XXVI. But before blithely filing into the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome to watch the game, they had to brush past a crowd of 2,000 activists with the American Indian Movement, protesting the institutional racism of using "redskin" as a football team mascot.

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By Contributor on March 09, 2013

It's official: "Seneca Falls, Selma, and Stonewall," is now available for purchase!

This title kicks off our Hidden History series of e-books, which highlights buried treasures from the magazine's archives. In this entry, we bring you some memorable writing from the suffragist, Civil Rights, and LGBTQ equality movements,

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A plea to United States citizens to work for peace

An Indian journalist globally renowned as an advocate for the poor, Palagummi Sainath detailed the detrimental...

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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