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Country Views

Zachary Michael Jack | $22.95 | Paper, 206p | Isbn 9781948509169 | Available

The Essential Agrarian Commentaries of Zachary Michael Jack. Fresh and far-ranging, these timely commentaries illuminate an important paradox: how, as the population living on the land plummets, the popularity of agrarianism rises anew. From buying organic to shopping local; from homesteading to homeschooling to homegrowing and slow-fooding; from DIYing to grassroots social justice to sustainable living and populist resistance, we resurrect and reenact timeless rural values. Featuring more than forty plainspoken pieces, Country Views champions the grounded perspective at a time ripe for resowing our democracy, reminding that no matter where we hang our hats, when we cultivate conscience and community we are all agrarians engaged in yeoman’s work.

Words of praise for Country Views:

“Zachary Michael Jack’s writings illustrate that those whose roots are close to the soil, where plants and animals live or die, carry through life an uncommon
sensitivity.”—Dr. Duane C. Acker, former president of Kansas State University, former assistant secretary of the United States Department

“Reading Country Views is like sitting down to a plate heaping with delicious home-cooked servings from the best annual country church potluck you ever attended. The book’s short, easy reading commentaries are as diverse and inviting as the covered dishes, salad bowls and dessert platters spread on a 30-ft. potluck table. Whether you grew up agrarian or are tasting agrarianism for the first time, you are not only in for a treat but also may be surprised by what you learn that will influence how you think about rural America.“—Loren Kruse, retired editor-in-chief, Successful Farming magazine

“Zachary Michael Jack has given us more of his witty, insightful commentaries in his newest book. Jack offers a unique perspective on the lighter side of complex agrarian issues, addressing everything from ‘barnyard English’ to ‘rural ghouls.’ I highly recommend Country Views.”—Dana Hoag, Professor of Agricultural Economics, Colorado State University

“Country Views is at once a fine collection of essays and a significant contribution to the ongoing debate about the place of agrarianism in the 21st century. Like Art Cullen or Sarah Smarsh, Jack can be angry, funny, nostalgic and hopeful by turns, with a sharp eye for detail and lean, economical prose. Not content to merely idealize rural America, he cherishes it, asking hard questions about how it has changed, what it still has to offer, and what it demands of those who live here—and of those who do not.”—Laura Sayre, editor of Fields of Learning: The Student Farm Movement in North America

“After reading Country Views, I felt like ‘someone had remembered me.’ The commentaries are a delightful mix of sentimental journeys, statistical analysis, and rural policy issues relevant for any legislator to ponder.”—Dr. Jeff Kaufmann, Former Speaker Pro Tem, Iowa House of Representatives, Professor of History, Muscatine Community College

Zachary Michael Jack is the author of many books on the environment, non-metro living, and the restorative power of place. A faculty member in the Leadership, Ethics, and Values program at North Central College, Jack serves on the board of directors of the Midwestern History Association.