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The Killing Of The Countryside Paperback – 5 Mar 1998

4.4 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (5 Mar. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099736616
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099736615
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.6 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 575,940 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"A brave, much-needed book" (Guardian)

"I fully support this book's profound and Blake-like charge, which is laid not just against the mere farmers and the agricultural community, but against our whole society" (John Fowles The Sunday Times)

"A scathing attack... He explodes the myth of cheap food with a few simple statistics that even the dimmest politician should be able to grasp, and shows rural Britain devastated by the politics of unthinking subsidy" (New Statesman)

"A modern Grapes of Wrath... I have seldom read a more meticulous and devastating case for the prosecution" (The Times)

"Absolute dynamite... It's so invigorating to hear the case for truly sustainable, countryside-friendly agriculture mappd out so passionately" (BBC Wildlife)

Book Description

'A foreceful, informed and authoritative account of farming and the countryside' - Spectator

Winner of the BP Natural World Book Award

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Just finished reading The Killing of the Countryside by Harvey. Indictment of production subsidy system in the UK and effects on rural environment and life - lent to me by a farmer! Interesting and educative but didn't need 200 pages to make his few valid points. Unfortunately, whilst his case for removing production subsidies is compelling, he fails to suggest politically realistic policies which would achieve his objectives.
70% of UK consumed organic produce is currently imported. The subsidy for organic conversion is about 1/4 of the production subsidy for intensive farming. This years Uk Government Organic Conversion Fund ran out of money after 6 months. They apparently received a very large number of conversion applications - good news I think.
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Format: Paperback
Graham Harvey has produced a very readable book that focuses on the problems facing the British Countryside since the Second World War. The countryside has been largely destroyed by the continued application of pesticides and intensive farming methods. Although the point has been made that it has been difficult for farmers to refuse payments when the subsidies have been so great.
A well written and apparently well researched book that puts the point across, although perhaps a little repetitive in places. Well worth a read for an ecologist or land manager or for anyone interested in the plight of todays countryside.
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Format: Paperback
Before I bought this book I wondered whether I should. After all, The Killing Of The Countryside is dated (published in 1998), it's by an author I'm unfamiliar with, the reviews to date seem to mixed, and to cap it all, there was no way of really assessing the book content because of the limited amount shown by the Amazon `look inside' feature. In the end I took the plunge, mainly because I wanted to learn more about the evident damage that modern agricultural methods is inflicting on the U.K countryside and there didn't appear to be any books covering this available, and secondly, because John Humphrey's, author of The Great Food Gamble (an excellent book by the way) spoke highly of this book in his book and on the front cover of this one. The fact that this book had also received the 1997 BP Natural World Book Award clearly also suggested that the content of the book was worth reading (and wasn't throwing any mud in the direction of the big oil companies!). So I took the plunge and bought the book.

I'm glad I did. I learnt an awful lot, a surprising amount in fact, much of which I was largely ignorant of. Graham Harvey makes extremely clear in this book the unbelievable damage the flawed use of farm subsidies has done to our land, farming communities and food chain. In this book Graham Harvey looks at the changes in our countryside and farming practices pre and post the WWII watershed. It shines the spotlight on the period of greatest change (post 1945 onwards) in how we farm and tend the land, so although the book ends in 1997, the end point is irrelevant.
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Format: Paperback
This was a real eye opener. What can I say. It pinpoints all the mistakes made in the last century and how they could so easily have been avoided. Here is your answer to why we have salmonella, B.S.E, foot & mouth, you name it. Why won't people listen?
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Didn't want to put this book down. Gives a clear, rational explaination of the effects of over production of the land. Lots of things to think about. Will be looking to get another book by same author.
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Format: Paperback
Ever wondered why it is so hard to find wild flowers, birds and mammals on a walk through our 'green and pleasant land'? This book has the answers. It's one of most depressing, but also one of the most important books I've ever read. It's a call for us all to shake off our apathy and get angry about what has been done in our name and with our money.
Before the war we had half a million small mixed farms, supporting a million workers and abundant wildlife. But in 1947 the Agriculture Act introduced a subsidy system that rigged the food market and started the relentless industrialisation of agriculture. By paying farmers solely for the amount of food they produce and the number of animals they can fit into a field, we have created a monstrous intensive system of food factories.
As a result we have lost almost all our natural habitats, replacing them with a sterile monoculture soaked with chemicals and hostile to all forms of life. We are still losing 10,000 miles of hedgerow each year. Most farmers have been driven out of business, and now only a handful of farm workers are employed. The only winners in the whole sorry mess have been the small number of large farmers who remain, and the chemical companies who supply them. They are understandably resistant to any change in the status quo.
To add insult to injury, each of us pays several hundred pounds a year in taxes to support this crazy system, and that's ignoring hidden costs like that of cleaning up our water supply to get rid of nitrates from chemical fertilisers. We are paying to destroy our countryside.
OK, the book makes some points more than once, and could do with being restructured and shortened. But so what? This is so important to anyone who cares about our countryside. Buy it and just read the first chapter if you want to.
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