A Revolution Down on the Farm: The Transformation of American Agriculture Since 1929

Peter A Kindle


Born in 1929 and raised on a small farm in eastern Tennessee, Paul Conkin, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History at Vanderbilt University, provides an accessible work on the development of agriculture in the United States over the last 80 years. Conkin is neither an apologist for American agriculture nor a critic. Perhaps he might best be described as an interested bystander who has observed that “agriculture has been the most successful sector in the recent economic history of the United States” (p. x). Since 1950, the productivity of American farms has increased at least tenfold, an advance which never fails to astound Conkin. This balanced and partially biographical work is a good place to begin to understand how farming and rural life has changed in the latter half of the 20th century.

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