STRAIGHTFORWARD, dynamic, and thoroughly documented, RURAL ROADS TO SECURITY is a book of interest and value to all. Its message goes forth alike to city resident and county dweller. For both it would procure a truer liberty and greater independence through a more effective, personal, and widely distributed ownership. That is the implication contained in its secondary title: "America's Third Struggle for Freedom." In the first two struggles Washington and Lincoln stood out as the nation's leaders. But more difficult than these first contests, to make America the land of the free, is the third struggle, which must be fought without lethal weapons. It is the struggle most signally inaugurated, not for America alone but for all the world, by the Rerum Novarum of Leo XIII and no less gloriously reaffirmed in the Quadragesimo Anno of Pius XI. With these two names must now be associated that of Pope Pius XII, the champion of social justice and charity toward all no less than of a Christian Peace for all the world. We have long allowed ourselves to be fascinated by the glitter of industrialized power, forgetful of its inherent weaknesses. Too much urbanized, too much mechanized, men know little about the great productive power that lies hidden in the land and in its organisms; in the things that live and grow and reproduce their kind; in the seeds that sprout; in the fruits that ripen; in the flocks and herds that help to feed and clothe mankind. America's agriculture has become biologically unsound. As the authors of this book scientifically express themselves, "we are merely soil chemists, not soil biologists; soil miners, not real husbandmen." And great, we all know, is the cost that America's manhood and womanhood are paying as the price of this neglect. What consequently we must rediscover and dramatize for men anew is the romance of an, at least partially, independent life on one's own land, the romance of life as it can be lived at the fountain source of organic power, life on the soil. But closely linked with that ideal is the dream of the city dweller, the dream of the disinherited, that some time they too may achieve a greater liberation from an industrialism that has given us anew the Proletarian. "The immense number of propertyless wage earners on the one hand, and the superabundant riches of the fortunate few on the other, is an unanswerable argument that the earthly goods, so abundantly produced in this our age, which is termed 'the age of industrialism,' are far from rightly distributed and equitably shared among the various classes of men" (Quadragesimo Anno). Naturally, what most of all inspired the authors of this book was the purpose to arouse an intelligent interest in the land on the part of all classes, rural and urban. People actually living on the farm must still be taught to understand more perfectly the economic benefit of home productivity as contrasted with the destructive policy of purely commercialized farming. People in the mines and factories must be shown the possibilities of parttime farming where circumstances render that feasible. Homesteaders must be encouraged and aided in their laudable undertakings. And not least of all must city dwellers be given the vision of that far-reaching organic good which comes to every nation through rural culture, cooperation in rural communities, intelligent land programs, home production, home arts and crafts. It is the home, both urban and rural, which is at stake, and which the writers of this book would above all else seek to restore to the sublime ideal given it by Christianity.
Rev Luigi L Ligutti LLD, Rev John C Rawe SJ, Brother Hermenegild TOSF, Paperback, ISBN 10: 151531183X, ISBN 13: 9781515311836