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The Last of the Husbandmen: A Novel of Farming Life Hardcover – March 4, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Ohio University Press; 1 edition (March 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0821417851
  • ISBN-13: 978-0821417850
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,536,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Logsdon writes about contemporary farming issues with quaint elegance, good humor and rich detail in this novel set in the rustic village of Gowler, Ohio. Ben Bump grows up poor and of immigrant parents, while his boyhood friend Emmett Gowler is from the village founder's affluent family. Logsdon explores different agricultural methods and philosophies that highlight the benefits of Ben's frugal organic approach over Emmett's greedy agribusiness. A few lively subplots—Ben's sister's sparring with Emmett, the defrocking of the local KKK—offset the preachy overtones and the welter of arguments advocating the family farm. Full-bodied characters and the fecund Midwest setting also help to propel Logsdon's narrative about a disappearing way of life. (Mar.)
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Review

“In The Last of the Husbandmen—as in everything Gene Logsdon writes — wit is the nurse crop to wisdom. With a conclusion as comical as it is hopeful, this latest book is equal parts entertainment and enlightenment—just what we’ve come to expect from Mr. Logsdon.”
— Michael Perry, author of Truck: A Love Story


“Gene Logsdon remains as true–to–form in his fiction as he does in his non–fiction.… this book was maybe as valuable a read as any of his books, not for the instruction, but for scope and perspective on a life lived ‘tied down’ to a place.”
The Englewood Review of Books


“One finds humor, hijinx aplenty, and even romance, but it would be a mistake to overlook the serious implications of The Last of the Husbandmen. Aptly subtitled A Novel of Farming Life, the novel at times reads like a narrative of American agriculture in the decades following World War II.”
— Rich Tomsu, Rich Gardens Organic Farm


The Last of the Husbandmen proves quite entertaining, especially for anyone who has ever spent much time on a farm.… (Logsdon) covers many of the issues so important to Ohio farmers during that period, including the consolidation of rural school districts, the competition for shrinking agricultural land, inheritance taxes, overproduction, and even organic agriculture, while never losing the human element in the story.”
Mansfield News Journal


“Logsdon writes about contemporary farming issues with quaint elegance, good humor and rich detail in this novel set in the rustic village of Gowler, Ohio.… A few lively subplots … help to propel Logsdon's narrative about a disappearing way of life.”
Publishers Weekly


The Last of the Husbandmen reads like a parable. Emmet is the grasshopper, fiddling with crazy schemes that lead to disaster. Ben is the ant, steady and industrious, storing away the fruit of his labors to keep him happy and warm all winter.… This uplifting book had a few surprises.… Logsdon pulls out all the stops for a drunken funeral that would do Lake Wobegon proud.”
Dayton Daily News


“The characters in Gene Logsdon’s The Last of the Husbandmen hear a song the modern ear cannot hear. Yes, this fascinating story suggests, you must listen closely, but maybe, just maybe, the music will play on.”
— Steve Zender, publisher, The Progressor Times

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jon Godfrey on August 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
The traditional family farmer has all but been driven out of business by factory farms. This is am exceptional tale of one's man's struggle to continue the family farm lifestyle in opposition to the philosophy of "get big or get out". An enjoyable and warm, family drama. (If you like Wendell Berry's fiction about rural America, you'll also like Gene Logsdon.)
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Format: Hardcover
Husbandry is the farming of animals and produce using resources wisely. This book explains how families have struggled to maintain animals and produce in the 20th century. It's a fast read about farming in Northern Ohio from the 1930s to 1970s. The book includes factual information about how families could earn a living from farming through the generations to when a family could no longer support itself farming.

You'll find the impact of supply and demand along with politics interesting. The farm machinery and growth methods using fertilizers that caused changes in farming from the family to corporations is a reminder of today's dilemma about farm produce. Today people are revisiting organic farming. Get a great overview of farm information in the USA today without a dictatorial presentation.
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By Tucker on January 24, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are a fan of Gene Logsdon or have an interest in back to basics agriculture this is the novel for you. Logsdon weaves a wonderful and ultimately uplifting tale of the life a small farmer. Throughout this tale are gems of farming knowledge that are quickly disappearing in today's Agribusiness monstrosity. Even if you have little or no interest in agriculture, Logsdon's writing skills are sufficient to keep a reader engaged.
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More About the Author

Gene Logsdon farms in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. He is one of the clearest and most original voices of rural America. He has published more that a dozen books; his Chelsea Green books include Living at Nature's Pace, The Contrary Farmer's Invitation to Gardening, Good Spirits, and The Contrary Farmer.

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The Last of the Husbandmen: A Novel of Farming Life
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