The Deliberate Agrarian

Herrick Kimball posted a thoughtful review of Organic Wesley a few days ago on his excellent blog The Deliberate Agrarian, which I’m sure many of you regularly read. The review is HERE.

Here’s a bit of it:

After presenting his evidence for a Wesleyan food ethic, based on Christian ethics and promoted by John Wesley over 200 years ago, Guerrant relights the torch. The last chapter of the book, Living The Ethic, is an encouraging call to action.

Though I am not a Methodist, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is a well written thesis that brings together history, theology, and agriculture in a compelling way. It speaks to critically important issues of our day. It offers valid personal responses and solutions to the serious harm being inflicted  on individuals and families by the industrial food juggernaut.

Also, from my perspective as a Christian-agrarian, I interpret Organic Wesley as a contra-mundum book that should be in the library of every Christian-agrarian believer.

I encourage you to go read the whole thing. It’s quite a good engagement with the book I think.

For any who have read and enjoyed the book, please consider posting a review on Amazon (HERE). I’m told reviews help folks find books when using search engines, or something like that. If anyone understands why Amazon reviews matter (something that seems to be universally acknowledged) I’m curious, so please share why.


16 comments on “The Deliberate Agrarian

  1. valbjerke says:

    My friend is an author – she mentioned the Amazon review thing to me a few years ago – but I’ve now forgotten what the deal was. I will ask and let you know. I do know that I promptly set about writing a review of her latest book – but wasn’t allowed to post it as one also needs to have purchased something from Amazon within the last (?) period of time. I don’t generally shop online 😊


    • Bill says:

      Interesting. I did not know that. I guess it makes sense that you can’t post a review unless you have an account. I’ve heard and read repeatedly that it helps to have Amazon reviews, but I’ve never heard why. So maybe the whole idea that Amazon reviews are important was created by Amazon itself, to get more potential customers on board.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The more amazon reviews, the better the posting you get on Amazon is how I understand it Bill.


      • valbjerke says:

        I see others have explained it quite well – but I’ll add what my author friend said verbatim. ‘Reviews are HUGE for authors, the more reviews the higher the ranking when searching for a particular type of book – and the more reviews – your book becomes suggested with other titles’.
        Hope you sell a million 🙂


  2. nebraskadave says:

    Bill, wow, you have some really good reviews for your book on amazon. I hope that mine will help with the process of selling your book there. I have to say that after reading your book, I still have thoughts about what I’m eating and where did it come from. No drastic changes in eating yet but the book is seriously changing the way I look at food and has affected some of the choices that I’m making. Thank you for taking the extra time and effort to turn a thesis into a study book.

    Have a great book review day.


    • Bill says:

      Thanks Dave. Much appreciated.

      While I have no objection to selling lots of books, I certainly don’t expect this book to change my tax bracket. Honestly my main motivation is that I sincerely believe the book might be helpful to some people and I’d be very pleased if it made its way into the hands of people who would benefit from it.

      I expect most of the folks who regularly read this blog already know and understand the ethic I’m promoting. It’s encouraging to know that even someone like you, who already “gets it” found some new and challenging things in it.


  3. avwalters says:

    Ah, despite the agrarian roots, you are mystified by Amazon’s reviews. Think sheep. People want to read what other people like. Every review (even the bad ones) serve as little ads.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      That’s as good an explanation as any, but what I’ve heard and read is that Amazon reviews help people find the item. But even as I type this I’m realizing that I’ve probably mashed up Amazon and iTunes. It seems that nearly every podcast I listen too includes a request to go review it on iTunes and the claim that doing so will help people find the podcast. Maybe that’s where I heard that. But I’m pretty sure I’ve heard that Amazon reviews are important too. In any event, I don’t think I’ll spend any more time worrying about Amazon. Over the last year or so I’ve taken up the practice of doing an Amazon review when I read a book, but that’s because I enjoy doing it. That reason should be sufficient I think.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Seeking Joyful Simplicity says:

        It’s true that reviews help Amazon promote the book. Amazon links your book to similar titles to encourage people interested to see your book. Works like a charm, since I have a long list of books “suggested”/to me by Amazon.

        I prefer to think of marketing in a positive way Bill, you have created something that has the potential to deeply affect someone’s perspective and life choices. Marketing is how you get it to the people who need it. Although I do not view my life through a Christian lens, I can see the positive implications for your book, and introducing more people to Wesleyan perspectives, which are much needed in our current culture.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you for the share Bill.. And wishing you huge success with your book.


    • Bill says:

      Thanks Sue. I’m not expecting an invitation from Oprah or anything (barring some unlikely sudden surge in interest about John Wesley and the food movement) but I would like to see the book make its way to the people who might benefit from it. So far so good I think. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Seeking Joyful Simplicity says:

    Hi Bill, I am enjoying Organic Wesley very much, and plan to write a review once I finish. It is my understanding that reviews offer “social proof” and help people in their decision to buy. However, having only a small number of only 5 star reviews can actually be detrimental (according to research), and I am inclined to believe this to be true. I often think “family and friends” when I see a new book with all 5 stars.
    Your book has made an impression on me and I find myself with new thoughts regarding the morality and implications of our lifestyle choices. Thank you for that.


    • Bill says:

      Thanks Michelle. I don’t expect the book will resonate with everyone, but I’m pleased when I hear from people who appreciated it.

      You make a good point about the reviews. But in my case I have 3 reviews so far–all 5 star. One is from Nebraska Dave, so I suppose it’s true that I solicited that one (on this blog). The other two are from strangers however and I think they’re reviews are sincere. They’re certainly not friends and family. But I agree that you have to take Amazon reviews with a grain of salt, as there’s no way to be sure they aren’t just friends and family. When I see a book with lots of 5 stars and a only a few negative reviews, I usually read the negative reviews. 🙂


      • Seeking Joyful Simplicity says:

        I always read the negative reviews, and sometimes use amazon reviews even when I don’t purchase from amazon ; 0

        Anyway, I wasn’t referring specifically to your reviews, I recently was reading about marketing, amazon reviews, and people’s perceptions, and how some negative reviews can actually be helpful (strange as that sounds).

        I’ll be sure to leave a review, once I finish. I do think your book is important, and offers us all a chance to evaluate our choices on a moral level, and not just the typical reasons we are informed with (social, environmental, economic, animal-welfare…).
        I have enjoyed my introduction to John Wesley and his methods!

        Liked by 1 person

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