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"Claudia L. Bushman tells Walker's life story with verve and sympathy, tempered by evident distaste for the arbitrary power of the patriarch-slaveholder. Perhaps the author's most impressive accomplishment is reducing the journal entries of over forty years to a balanced and lucid account of Walker's life."

"This very readable book will surely become a 'must read' in agricultural history surveys both for the information it conveys and the questions it raises."

"In Old Virginia is microhistory at its best—illuminating, relevant, and highly readable. Bushman paints a vivid portrait of agrarian life in the Old South... [Her] monograph deserves a wide and attentive audience."

"Bushman skillfully mines this rich vein of material to uncover a vivid portrait of antebellum farm life."

"A valuable edition on agricultural practices; at the same time, it explores aspects of rural culture that have not been the subject of sufficient study... Claudia Bushman meticulously teases out a great deal about the roles of slaves and women, ideas about health, agricultural innovation, and community structure."

"Readers will appreciate and enjoy Bushman's ingenuity and skill in crafting her study of antebellum Virginia. By comparing Walker's life and circumstances with those of his family, neighbors, and others, the author reveals important and ever-evolving social changes in southern society."

"Bushman's detailed summaries of Walker's journal are filled with revealing details of day-to-day life in this small corner of rural Virginia."

"A close and careful analysis... Walker's diary is an invaluable source for understanding the culture of antebellum Virginia and how one of the region's large grain growers adjusted to rising and falling crop prices, personal and family crises, and the Civil War... A uniquely lay-centered interpretation of the [Methodist] movement."

"Gives us a sense of both an earnest, if only moderately successful, small planter in antebellum Virginia and a region in the midst of relative decline."

"A compelling story."

"I found this book full of fascinating family and community history... Her research seemed quite thorough."

"Drawing on the extraordinary collection of Walker's manuscript farm journals, this book imparts a strong sense of what life was like for this farmer and his family. Topics include husbandry, weather, local politics, work, domestic economy, religion and community, relations with neighbors and slaves, health and medical practices, and the property and land-use history of individual farms. Bushman's scholarship is sound and her writing is clear. Rich in charming detail, In Old Virginia will be a valuable resource for social historians of slavery and rural society."

In Old Virginia
Slavery, Farming, and Society in the Journal of John Walker
Publication Date: 13 Dec 2001
Status: Available
Usually ships 2-3 business days after receipt of order.
Trim Size: 6" x 9"
Page Count: 336 pages
Illustrations: 4 halftones, 7 line drawings
ISBN: 9780801867255