Throughout most of its history, America has been a rural nation, largely made up of farmers. David B. Danbom's Born in the Country was the first-and still is the only-general history of rural America. Ranging from pre-Columbian times to the enormous changes of the twentieth century, the book masterfully integrates agricultural, technological, and economic themes with new questions about the American experience.
Danbom employs the stories of particular farm families to illustrate the experiences of rural people. This substantially revised and updated third edition
* expands and deepens its coverage of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries* focuses on the changes in agriculture and rural life in the progressive and New Deal eras as well as the massive shifts that have taken place since 1945* adds new information about African American and Native American agricultural experiences* discusses the decline of agriculture as a productive enterprise and its impact on farm families and communities* explores rural culture, gender issues, agriculture, and the environment* traces the relationship among farmers, agribusiness, and consumers
In a new and provocative concluding chapter, Danbom reflects on increasing consumer disenchantment with and resistance to modern agriculture as well as the transformation of rural America into a place where farmers are a shrinking minority. Ultimately, he asks whether a distinctive style of rural life exists any longer.
David B. Danbom is professor emeritus of history at North Dakota State University. He is the author of Sod Busting: How Families Made Farms on the Nineteenth-Century Plains and the editor of Bridging the Distance: Common Issues of the Rural West.
Preface to the Third EditionPreface to the Second EditionPreface to the First Edition1. Rural Europe and Pre-Columbian America2. The Rural Development of English North America3. Maturity and Its Discontents4. Agriculture and Economic Growth in the Young Republic5. Rural Life in the Young Nation6. The Unmaking and Remaking of the Rural South7. Rural America in the Age of Industrialization8. Prosperity and Its Discontents9. From the Best of Times to the Worst10. The New Deal and Rural America11. The Production Revolution and the New Agriculture12. Agriculture and Rural Life in the Twenty-First CenturyNotesSuggestions for Further ReadingIndex