Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Robert Wuthnow

Robert Wuthnow's latest book is In the Blood: Understanding America's Farm Families.

From his Q & A at the Princeton University Press website:

Why do you think people who don’t know much about farming might find this book interesting?

Everybody – whether we live in a city, suburb, or small town – depends on farms for the food we eat. We know about problems with fast food, slaughterhouses, pollution, and the like. We also hear discussions every few years about farm policies. But for the most part, farming is out of sight and out of mind. In part, I wanted to give farmers a voice. I wanted people who know very little about farming to at least have something to read if they did happen to be interested.

Apart from questions about food and farm policies, the reason to be interested in farmers is that our nation’s culture is still the product of our agrarian past. Correctly or incorrectly, we imagine that today’s farmers represent that heritage. In one view, they represent conservative family traditions, hard work, living simply, and preserving the land. In that view, it is easy to romanticize farming. A different view holds that farmers are country bumpkins who couldn’t do anything better than continue to farm. In both these views, farmers are actually serving as a mirror for us. I wanted to hold that mirror up to see what it showed – about the rest of us as much as about farmers.

You say farmers think the public doesn’t understand them. What misperceptions need to be corrected?

One of the most serious misperceptions is....[read on]
Read more about In the Blood at the Princeton University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Red State Religion.

The Page 99 Test: Small-Town America.

--Marshal Zeringue