Back to the Land: The Enduring Dream of Self-Sufficiency in by Dona Brown

By Dona Brown

For many, “going again to the land” brings to brain the Nineteen Sixties and 1970s—hippie communes and the summer season of affection, the total Earth Catalog and mom Earth information. extra lately, the stream has reemerged in a brand new enthusiasm for in the community produced foodstuff and extra sustainable power paths. yet those most modern back-to-the-landers are a part of a far higher tale. americans were dreaming of returning to the land ever when you consider that they began to go away it. In Back to the Land, Dona Brown explores the background of this routine impulse.            ?           

            Back-to-the-landers have usually been seen as nostalgic escapists or romantic nature-lovers. yet their very own phrases show a extra advanced tale. In such tasks as Gustav Stickley’s Craftsman Farms, Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Broadacre City,” and Helen and Scott Nearing’s quest for “the stable life,” Brown reveals that the go back to the farm has intended much less a going-backwards than a going-forwards, the way to meet the demanding situations of the fashionable period. revolutionary reformers driven for homesteading to aid impoverished staff get out of dangerous city slums. Depression-era back-to-the-landers, cautious of the centralizing strength of the recent Deal, embraced a brand new “third approach” politics of decentralism and regionalism. Later nonetheless, the flow merged with environmentalism. to appreciate american citizens’ reaction to those back-to-the-land rules, Brown turns to the fan letters of normal readers—retired lecturers and overworked clerks, contemporary immigrants and unmarried girls. In looking their rural roots, Brown argues, american citizens have striven mainly for the independence and self-sufficiency they go along with the agrarian ideal.



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