WHP Logo

The White Horse Press

Environmental Values

Contents of Volume 20

Other volumes of EV

Environmental Values

Edward Hyams: Ecology and Politics 'Under the Vine'

Mick Smith

Environmental Values 20 (2011): 95-119. doi: 10.3197/096327111X12922350166111


This paper offers an assessment of the agricultural eco-politics of Edward Hyams (1910-75), novelist, gardener, historian, broadcaster and anarchist. It focuses in particular on his collaboration with the conservative writer on rural England, and founding member of the Soil Association, H.J. Massingham which resulted in a book, Prophecy of Famine (1953) - a fundamental critique of the effects of industrial capitalism on farming and a call for agricultural self-sufficiency and soil conservation. This collaboration between two writers with very different political views raises important questions about the nature of eco-politics and whether its critique of the dominant ideology of 'progress' (at least in its historicist forms) can still constitute a radical 'progressive' politics. Hyams' writings, and his differences from Massingham, particularly over the issue of private ownership of land, are illustrative of this apparent tension.


Edward Hyams, ecological politics, progress, historicism, organic agriculture

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Editorial: Environment Inc. and Panda Logos. Mark Whitehead

Download full text (PDF format) from IngentaConnect. Access is free if your institution subscribes to Environmental Values.

Subscriptions and back numbers of Environmental Values.

Other papers in this volume

The Old Vicarage, Winwick
Cambridgeshire, PE28 5PN, UK
Tel: +44 1832 293222