BOOKS: The book that shook

BOOKS: The book that shook - 'As somebody who had an idyllic childhood growing up on a typical mixed farm, I found Oliver Rackham's The History of the English Countryside fascinating and disturbing when it was first published in the '80s.

by WILLIAM KENDALL, CEO of Green & Black's

'As somebody who had an idyllic childhood growing up on a typical mixed farm, I found Oliver Rackham's The History of the English Countryside fascinating and disturbing when it was first published in the '80s.

Professor Rackham was a senior member of my college at Cambridge but I met him only briefly at our degree ceremony. When I read his book a few years later, I kicked myself that I had wasted an opportunity to listen to the great man.

The book describes how the countryside has been shaped by man over the centuries, a change achieved sympathetically by people conscious that they and their successors would continue to live in and off the land.

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