Ante-bellum Alabama: Town and Country was originally published in 1957 to give the reader insight into important facets of Alabama's antebellum history. Presented in the form of case studies from the pre-Civil War period, the book deals with a city, a town, a planter's family, rural social life, attitudes concerning race, and Alabama's early agricultural and industrial development. Antebellum Alabama's primary interest was agriculture; the chief crop was King Cotton; and most of her people were agriculturists. Her towns and cities came into existence for the express purpose of supplying the agricultural needs of the state and helping to process and distribute farm commodities. Similarly, Alabama's industrial development began with the manufacture of implements for farm use in response to the state's agricultural needs. Rural-agricultural influences dominated the American scene; and in this respect Alabama was typical of both her region and most of the United States. An urbanized-industrial America was for the most part still in the future, though not the too-far-distant-future.