Sowing Modernity: America's First Agricultural Revolution by Peter D. McClellandSowing Modernity: America's First Agricultural Revolution by Peter D. McClelland

Sowing Modernity: America's First Agricultural Revolution

byPeter D. McClelland

Hardcover | October 2, 1997

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Contrary to those who regard the economic transformation of the West as a gradual process spanning centuries, Peter D. McClelland claims the initial transformation of American agriculture was an unmistakable revolution. He asks when a single crucial question was first directed persistently, pervasively, and systematically to farming practices: Is there a better way? McClelland surveys practices from crop rotation to livestock breeding, with a particular focus on the change in implements used to produce small grains. With wit and verve and an abundance of detail, he demonstrates that the first great surge in inventive activity in agronomy in the United States took place following the War of 1812, much of it in a fifteen-year period ending in 1830. Once questioning the status quo became the norm for producers on and off the farm, according to McClelland, the march to modernization was virtually assured. With the aid of more than 270 illustrations, many of them taken from contemporary sources, McClelland describes this stunning transformation in a manner rarely found in the agricultural literature. How primitive farming implements worked, what their defects were, and how they were initially redesigned are explained in a manner intelligible to the novice and yet offering analysis and information of special interest to the expert.
Title:Sowing Modernity: America's First Agricultural RevolutionFormat:HardcoverDimensions:384 pages, 10 × 7 × 0.39 inPublished:October 2, 1997Publisher:Cornell University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801433266

ISBN - 13:9780801433269

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From Our Editors

'This book is both interesting and learned, drawing upon an unusual range of sources. It marshals copious evidence with verve and wit to support a wholly persuasive argument. Few books on the subject have shown such breadth and depth of research, such a wealth of illustrations, or such analytical skill. Sowing Modernity promises to become a classic in the literature of the economic and technological history of American farming.'--Morton Rothstein, University of California, Davis

Editorial Reviews

"Balanced, comprehensive, and fair describe Peter McClelland's in-depth look at the application of ideas leading to America's first agricultural revolution. His thesis challenges long-held notions of when and how American farmers took their first giant step toward technological dominance. But McClelland's thorough research and careful analysis of mechanics in addition to motivations do more, by filling a gap in the literature concerning early American agricultural tools and equipment. His comprehensive treatment of changes in the practical 'nuts and bolts' of agriculture is a welcomed perspective to serious students and those seeking a fascinating read."—Wayne Randolph, Agriculture Specialist, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation