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Time's Shadow: Remembering a Family Farm in Kansas Hardcover – May 24, 2012

27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Bauer’s story is told clearly and convincingly and at times reaches a level of touching eloquence. . . . Will be a contribution to the understanding of the changes in rural life and family farms on the Great Plains from the 1910s to 1960s and appeal to anyone interested in Kansas history. --Rex Buchanan, author of Roadside Kansas: A Traveler’s Guide to Its Geology and Landmarks

Bauer’s work is very reminiscent of the classic Sod and Stubble. Descriptive and reflective, it leaves us with the powerful sense that something significant happened. I like it a lot. --Thomas D. Isern, author of Dakota Circle: Excursions on the True Plains

About the Author

Arnold J. Bauer went from his family farm to study in Mexico and Berkeley and to teach Latin American Studies at the University of California at Davis. In 2005 he received the “Order of Merit Gabriela Mistral,” the highest recognition the Chilean government awards for contributions to education and culture. He lives in Davis.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas (May 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0700618430
  • ISBN-13: 978-0700618439
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #308,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Thorold Roberts on October 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Bauer's book captures well my own experience of living, albeit briefly, on a family farm in Kansas in the 1950's. His observations of town vs. country ways, the demanding daily work needed to keep the farm going, and the taciturn manner of his own family and that of his relatives and neighbors could be slightly edited to fit the memoirs of thousands who experienced such a life in that time and place. The dominant theme for farm life as he remembers it is the economic self-sufficiency of the farm itself, but along with that went sometimes a sense of loneliness and isolation, especially for young people coming of age in that environment. Despite his background as an academic historian, Bauer writes in a simple, uncluttered, and honest style that conveys feeling without fake emotion or contrivance. He leaves the boring scholarly facts for others to report. I have recommended the book to many friends and relatives, even those whose Kansas memories may be much less rewarding than mine and Bauer's.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Galen P. Cawley Jr. on June 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It seems note-perfect to me, as if the author was describing family stories that I've heard my from my own Kansas-born father, aunts, and uncles. Mr. Bauer has held up a mirror to us all in describing the lives of farmers rooted so profoundly in one time and place. Beautifully written, unsentimental, and yet moving.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By William mcgreevey on January 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Arnold J. Bauer, born in 1931 in northeast rural Kansas, looks back on his childhood more than half a century ago. "Time's Shadow" was picked as one of the year's five best books by the reviewer for "The Atlantic" magazine. And with good reason. Bauer, now emeritus professor of history at University of California Davis, balances the intimacy of a personal story with a broader and well-informed view of a changing rural American landscape now gone forever.

He tells us of nightly trap-setting for muskrats, cold weather or no, and sales of their skins generating his first pre-teen income. He describes his father's work on a 160 acre farm and gradual shift to become the mechanic and engineer benefiting school, church, and neighbors almost without limit. He tells of his older sisters' early escape from farm life, one of whom found a career in the American Foreign Service.

The arrival of rural electric service when Bauer was about age ten brought fundamental change. Near the book's end he tells a bit about a cousin who managed to assemble many small farms into thousands of acres cultivated with modern machinery needing far fewer workers and far fewer farmhouses. A century-long experiment led by German immigrants in the nineteenth century is over.

Arnie Bauer was a student in the first class I taught in Latin American economic history at University of California, Berkeley, in the fall of 1965. We have been friends ever since as he devoted his professional life to understand Chilean rural society. He lives still on Rancho Dos Patos, a few miles west of Davis, California.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Laughlin on February 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A great book to curl up to in the winter months & to realize how hard, but rewarding, our ancestors lives were. I recommend this book to anyone with a heritage of farming & homesteading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Donald J. Richardson on February 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover
As a former Kansan myself (La Crosse), ten years younger than Bauer, I felt a deep resonance as I read this book. As I, too, lived and worked on a rural farm (1956-57) and later worked at a Farmer's Co-op, I saw the changes come, including the increasing size of the farms,the desertion of the homesteads, the closing of the rural schools (one of which--Brown School--I attended that year). The book touched me deeply; so many of Bauer's memories are mine also that it's impossible to list them all. The sense of alienation from town and town teenagers, not knowing how to dance, seeing the devaluing of a way of life that was distressing: all of these I lived and remember. It isn't only nostalgia that brings the tears to my eyes; I weep for a lost, valuable way of life which I fear we can never re-visit except in our memories or in a book such as this. Pax vobiscum, Bauer. You've written your own epitaph. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mercyreview on July 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Arnie brings forth and fill out those memories most of us of A certain age seem to have of a time growing up, visiting Grand Parents on the family farm in the mid west. How about the chigger bites and the fire flies. The hard work was almost unbereable it it also provided the foundation of our nation that carried us threw those hard times. Keep you head down and keep working and things will work out. And they did. Worthwhile read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amy Holsapple on June 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I so enjoyed reading Mr. Bauer's Time's Shadow. It brought back many pleasant memories about my childhood on a farm in south eastern Nebraska. Many of the events and stories were so similar to mine even though I am quite a few years younger. Other incidents are reminiscent of stories told by my parents. I have shared this book with others and also requested Amazon put in into Kindle form.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Marcelyn Bergsten on April 16, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a great book. I expected to enjoy the topic matter but was pleasantly surprised to find out how well written it was. The author was so engaging that I ended up looking him up on line to discover what happened after the story in the book ended. I ordered more copies for friends and family. All around great book. Highly recommended.
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