Purebred and Homegrown: America?s County Fairs by Drake HokansonPurebred and Homegrown: America?s County Fairs by Drake Hokanson

Purebred and Homegrown: America?s County Fairs

byDrake Hokanson, Carol Kratz

Paperback | September 22, 2008

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Visit America’s county fairs as they are vividly evoked through the images, stories, and voices of the people who make them happen—4-H kids, fair managers, pie judges, farmers and ranchers, rodeo queens, entertainers, food vendors, midway pitchmen, and assorted local characters. Illustrated throughout with stunning color photographs, Purebred and Homegrown is an affectionate and thoughtful look at the history of county fairs, and their tradition and persistence today, despite the diminished number of Americans who earn their living from agriculture.
            Author-photographers Drake Hokanson and Carol Kratz traveled 40,000 miles across America from Maine to Alaska, from Georgia to California, visiting ninety county fairs in thirty-five states. By day they interviewed, observed, and photographed; at night they camped among the carnies and the teens showing sheep, under the rollercoaster, and next to the chicken barn. The story they tell goes beyond the stereotype of fairs as quaint anachronisms obsessed with giant pumpkins and instead reveals the county fair as an important institution that helped define us as a nation of free-thinking, self-reliant, community-focused people. They present the nearly 200-year-old county fair as a fountainhead of American ideals and rural life, as a place of reunion, and as perhaps the most traditional of all American celebrations.
Best Books for Special Interests, selected by the American Association of School Librarians, and Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the Public Library Association
Drake Hokanson is the author of the popular book Lincoln Highway: Main Street across America. He is the director of the Center for Mississippi River Studies at Winona State University in Winona, Minnesota. Carol Kratz is a physician assistant at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. They are co-editors of America f...
Title:Purebred and Homegrown: America?s County FairsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:200 pages, 10 × 9 × 0.5 inPublished:September 22, 2008Publisher:University Of Wisconsin PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:029922824X

ISBN - 13:9780299228248

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Read from the Book

“It’s dark now, but the glare of the fair blots out any stars. Bare yellow bulbs sway in the night breeze; judges bend, intent on contestants’ breads, embroidered aprons, cucumbers, country crafts, blurry snapshots of the barn cat. All across the grounds are sad tattoos and hopeful faces, chance reunions; a 4-H chicken dinner in your stomach, cow pie on your shoe, the taste of dust, the squall of animals, farm kids and town kids, summer night air with a breath of endless possibility, of endless summer; everywhere rich icons of old rural ways, of country life; a sense of pride for the neglected agricultural center of things, a firm hold on tradition, a sense of what’s best about us all, and a sense of coming change: the county fair.”—excerpt from Purebred and Homegrown

Table of Contents

1. Fair Time                             
2. Fair Mindedness                              
3. Some Tincture of Envy at the Farmers' Holiday                                
4. Rural Felicity                                   
5. From Rick-Rack to Rockets                        
6. Symbols of Increase                        
7. Fair Stories                          
8. Fair Fare                             
9. Born at the Fair                               
10. Bossing the Fair                             
11. The Show                          
12. Pride and Progress                        
13. Heritage                            

Editorial Reviews

“Just like a great county fair, this book is vast and overpowering. . . . To read Purebred and Homegrown: America's County Fairs is to smell hot corn dogs and barbecue and to hear the happy screams of kids on roller coasters and the moo of fat oxen in harness.”—Jane Stern and Michael Stern, authors of Two for the Road: Our Love Affair with American Food