A Golden Weed: Tobacco And Environment In The Piedmont South

Hardcover | August 12, 2014

byDrew A. Swanson

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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.

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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 per...

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

other books by Drew A. Swanson

Leisure, Plantations, and the Making of a New South: The Sporting Plantations of the South Carolina…
Leisure, Plantations, and the Making of a New South: Th...

Kobo ebook|Oct 1 2015

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Format: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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“Swanson excels in delivering what his title promised: a rigorous exploration of why generations of farmer’s sacrificed the integrity of the landscape they loved to grow soil-depleting tobacco. His persuasive arguments about this key issue now make it essential for future historians of southern agriculture”—Adrienne Monteith Petty, American Historical Review