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Born in the Country

'Born in the Country' cover image

Born in the Country

A History of Rural America
third edition

The definitive history of life in rural America.

Throughout most of its history, America has been a rural nation, largely made up of farmers. David B. Danbom's Born in the Country was the first—and still is the only—general history of rural America. Ranging from pre-Columbian times to the enormous changes of the twentieth century, the book masterfully integrates agricultural, technological, and economic themes with new questions about the American experience.

Danbom employs the stories of particular farm families to illustrate the experiences of rural people. This substantially revised and updated third edition

• expands and deepens its coverage of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries
• focuses on the changes in agriculture and rural life in the progressive and New Deal eras as well as the massive shifts that have taken place since 1945
• adds new information about African American and Native American agricultural experiences
• discusses the decline of agriculture as a productive enterprise and its impact on farm families and communities
• explores rural culture, gender issues, agriculture, and the environment
• traces the relationship among farmers, agribusiness, and consumers

In a new and provocative concluding chapter, Danbom reflects on increasing consumer disenchantment with and resistance to modern agriculture as well as the transformation of rural America into a place where farmers are a shrinking minority. Ultimately, he asks whether a distinctive style of rural life exists any longer.