A Major History of Early Americans' Ideas about Conservation
Fifty years after the Revolution, American farmers faced a crisis: the failing soils of the Atlantic states threatened the agricultural prosperity upon which the republic was founded. Larding the Lean Earth explores the tempestuous debates that erupted between "improvers," intent on sustaining the soil of existing farms, and "emigrants," who thought it wiser and more "American" to move westward as the soil gave out. Larding the Lean Earth is a signal work of environmental history and an original contribution to the study of antebellum America.
Lukas Prize Project - Finalist
Larding the Lean Earth
Let us boldly face the fact. Our country is nearly ruined.
--John Taylor (1819)
The times are changed; the face of the country is changed; the quality of the soil has changed; and...
Praise for Larding the Lean Earth
“[An] eye-opening and rousing chronicle of American agriculture and its industrialization.” —Booklist
“An engaging examination of the early proponents of restorative husbandry.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Evocative and provocative, written with verve and passion and with new insights on every page, this is a book that every nineteenth-century historian will want to read.” —Daniel Feller, University of New Mexico
“[A] valuable act of reclamation.” —Bill Kauffman, The Wall Street Journal-