American History

From yesterday’s gingham girls to today’s Farmer Janes, The Midwest Farmer’s Daughter unearths the untold history and renewed cultural currency of an American icon at a time when fully 30 percent of new farms in the US are woman-owned. From farm women bloggers, to “back-to-the-land” homesteaders and seed-savers, to rural graphic novelists and, ultimately, to the seven generations of farm daughters who have animated his own family since before the Civil War, the author travels across the region to shine new documentary light on this seedbed for American virtue, energy, and ingenuity.   Packed with many memorable interviews, print artifacts, and historic images, this groundbreaking documentary history describes the centuries-long reiteration and reinterpretation of agrarian daughters in the field, over the airwaves, on the printed page, and in the court of public opinion. Offering a sweeping cultural and social history, it ranges widely and well from Jane Smiley’s Pulitzer Prize-winning A Thousand Acres to Laura Ingalls Wilder’s proto-feminist commentaries for the Missouri Ruralist; from the critical importance of rural girls and young women to time-honored organizations such as the Farm Bureau, 4-H, and FFA to the entrepreneurial role today’s female agriculturalists and sustainable farm advocates play in farmers’ markets, urban farms, and community-supported agriculture. For all those whose lives have been graced by the enduring strength of this regional and national touchstone, The Midwest Farmer’s Daughter offers a one-of-a-kind scholarly examination and contemporary appreciation.   Listen to an interview with the author by clicking here. The interview with WBAA, Indiana's oldest operating radio station and an NPR affiliate, was first broadcast on August 23, 2012.  
Examines the economic development of the United States from colonial times through the mid-Twentieth Century and uses elementary economic analysis as a tool for illuminating historical events and their economic origins and consequences. It will consider how the economy has grown over time as well as how and why the structure of the American economy has changed over time. Throughout American economic history various public and private policies have at times been successful and at other times failed. Accordingly the prevailing theme of economic history can be expressed as the idea that any particular policy is not destined to succeed or fail but rather that there are always viable choices. Indeed, economic history is a record of those choices and their effects. The aim of this course is not to provide you with conventional and one-dimensional interpretations but rather to offer you alternative economic views of historical events. Ideally this course will help you understand and apply economic analysis to historical events as well as to ascertain probable implications for current and future policies.
Back in print for the first time in over a century, the real heart and soul of the eldest Henry Wallace is revealed in his open letters to America's farm families. These homespun, secular epistles show that Wallace never lost sight of his roots even as he hobnobbed with U.S. Presidents from Teddy Roosevelt to Woodrow Wilson, anchored the prestigious Country Life Commission, and edited the most famous agricultural magazine of its day, Wallaces' Farmer. Who better to yoke the sacred, agrarian arts of stewardship, husbandry, and parenting than writer-philosopher-farmer-conservationist-minister-educator-public benefactor extraordinaire Uncle Henry Wallace, the man who planted the seeds of honorable public service in his own world-famous son and grandson, Secretary of Agriculture Henry C. Wallace and Vice President and Presidential candidate Henry A. Wallace, respectively.