A Golden Weed: Tobacco And Environment In The Piedmont South by Drew A. Swanson

A Golden Weed: Tobacco And Environment In The Piedmont South

byDrew A. Swanson

Hardcover | August 12, 2014

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An exploration of the rise of the crop strain that came to dominate the American tobacco industry and its toll on the Southern landscape that produced it

Drew A. Swanson has written an “environmental” history about a crop of great historical and economic significance: American tobacco.  A preferred agricultural product for much of the South, the tobacco plant would ultimately degrade the land that nurtured it, but as the author provocatively argues, the choice of crop initially made perfect agrarian as well as financial sense for southern planters.
Swanson, who brings to his narrative the experience of having grown up on a working Virginia tobacco farm, explores how one attempt at agricultural permanence went seriously awry. He weaves together social, agricultural, and cultural history of the Piedmont region and illustrates how ideas about race and landscape management became entangled under slavery and afterward. Challenging long-held perceptions, this innovative study examines not only the material relationships that connected crop, land, and people but also the justifications that encouraged tobacco farming in the region.

About The Author

Drew A. Swanson is assistant professor of history at Wright State University in Fairborn, Ohio, where he teaches environmental history.
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Details & Specs

Title:A Golden Weed: Tobacco And Environment In The Piedmont SouthFormat:HardcoverDimensions:360 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 1 inPublished:August 12, 2014Publisher:Yale University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0300191162

ISBN - 13:9780300191165

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Selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2015, in the botany category.