Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Farm Town

Editor: Grant Heilman

First line: On the farm, spring's a time of coming alive.

Why you should read this book: Comprising dozens of black and white photographs shot by J. W. McManigal in the small town of Horton, Kansas in the late 30s, along with commentary from locals who recalled those images forty years later, this book provides a window onto a vanishing world: one in which everyone knows everyone, and crops and livestock are central to ones day-to-day existence. As the family farm vanishes across America, pictures like these remind us of the days of simpler machines and hard work, of family and friends who gather face to face across kitchen tables or at county fairs, and of the innovations that slowly changed our reality. Nostalgic but saccharine, this book reminds us of both the rewards and the sacrifices our nation has left behind in its quest for modern efficiency.

Why you shouldn't read this book: When it comes to technology, you're only interested in the future. When it comes to land, you're only interested in development. When it comes to family and friends, you prefer email.

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