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Born in the Country: A History of Rural America (Revisiting Rural America) Hardcover – June 1, 1995


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is a balanced economic, social, political, and technological history of rural America... A splendid book, rich with detail and complex in argument..A superb introduction to American history." -- Agricultural History Review



"David Danbom's fourth book is a delightful story tracing the social history of U.S. farmers. The book details the attitudes and social life of farm people -- how they looked at themselves and how the rest of society saw them." -- Forum

About the Author

David B. Danbom is professor of history at North Dakota State University, Fargo. His books include The Resisted Revolution: Urban America and the Industrialization of Agriculture, 1900-1930.

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Product Details

  • Series: Revisiting Rural America
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press (June 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801850398
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801850394
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,237,552 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By florey@ibm.net on February 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
Few books exist on the social history of rural america. Danbom's work is by far the best on the subject that I have seen, and should be read by anyone interested in close relationship between agriculture and rural society throughout much of our nation's history. Danbom covers the colonial period through the latest farm crisis of the '80s with consistent skill and erudition. He concentrates on the way economics, government, and social movements affected the people who were actually working the land. In this area his work offers a unique perspective in contrast to other agricultural histories that focus exclusively on economics and politics.
My main criticism is that Danbom is somewhat niggardly in his documentation. A work of this complexity needs footnotes, and there are only sparse notes at the end of the book and a brief bibliography. Much of Danbom's interesting evidence is not cited, which is a great nuisance if one is using the book for research purposes.
A general reader will not find this failing to be a problem, however; and it does not challenge this book's standing as the best introduction to the history of rural America.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on March 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
The second updated edition of BORN IN THE COUNTRY: A HISTORY OF RURAL AMERICA remains the only general history of rural America in print, covering changes from pre-Columbian to modern times and blending both agricultural, technological and economic themes with ethnic, cultural and social analysis. This second edition expands the coverage on the late 20th and early 21st centuries and traces changes in country living: any college-level holding strong in American or rural history must have this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alicia Crumpton on October 19, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm reviewing the 1st edition (can't wait to read the 2nd edition!). This is an indispensable volume for those interested in rural history within the US, the intersection of policy and culture, the social and cultural milieu of rural areas, and how industrialization and ideals for America in terms of progress, urbanity, modernity, consumerism, etc. influenced rural life, community, and development. My particular interests are around gender, role negotiation, community, and daily life - while these were not the sole focus of this book, these topics were discussed and/or inferred by virtue of the historical implications.

A must read!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A good but traditional history, with many events left out (so as to avoid displeasing the "Establishment"?). Insufficient discussion of the pro-urban-consumer (keep food cheap to buy votes) events surrounding the rejection of the McNary-Haugen proposal of the early 20's, where farmers would fund a program for commodity export sufficient to keep farmgate prices level; no mention of the remarkably successful NYC milkshed dairy-producer strikes of the 30's; no mention of the political shenanigans whereby both political parties abandoned "fixed parity" for "floating parity" in the early 50's; no mention of the successful campaign of the National Farmers' Organization to raise farmgate prices by moving raw milk among possible markets, one which met with huge retribution from the Federal government, in the early 70's; and insufficient mention of the min-farm/farmers-market/organic movement, where growers of independent means can afford to devote their (less-than-profitable) worktime to the growth and marketing (at higher than commercial prices) green beans by selling them to a cohort of buyers for whom food prices don't matter as much as "local" or "organic". Even so, a good read.
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