R. Douglas Hurt's brief history of American agriculture, from the prehistoric period through the twentieth century, is written for anyone coming to this subject for the first time. It also provides a ready reference to the economic, social, political, scientific, and technological changes that have most affected farming in America. American Agriculture is a story of considerable achievement and success, but it is also a story of greed, racism, and violence. Hurt offers a provocative look at a history that has been shaped by the best and worst of human nature. Here is the background essential for understanding the complexity of American agricultural history, from the transition to commercial agriculture during the colonial period to the failure of government policy following World War II. Hurt includes the contributions of African Americans, Native Americans, and women. This revised edition closes with an examination of the troubled landscape at the turn of the twenty-first century. This survey will serve as a text for courses in the history of American agriculture and rural studies as well as a supplementary text for economic history and rural sociology courses. It is illustrated with maps, drawings, and over seventy splendid photographs.
R. Douglas Hurt