Below are the unsorted titles that people sent me.
At the end are other good sources of agricultural books.
Thanks again for your help.
Louis Bromfield's books
Wes Jackson, "Altars of Unhewn Stone"
Bill Duesing, edited by Suzanne Duesing, "Living on the Earth"
"Plowman's Folly," and "A Second Look," both by Edward H. Faulkner
"Shattering" by Cary Fowler and Pat Mooney, 1990
An excellent, readable, and comprehensive exploration of the
issues surrounding the loss of genetic diversity.
"Ishmael" by Daniel Quinn 1992
"An Acres U.S.A. Primer" Charles Walters, Jr. and C.J. Fenzau
Jane Gussow, "Chicken Little, Tomato Sauce & Agriculture."
"So Shall You Reap: Farming and Crops in Human Affairs"
by Otto T. and Dorothy Solbrig
1994 Shearwater Books / Island Press
Presents a general account on the co-evolution of agriculture,
agricultural crops and human societies. A nice mix of general
historical overview, vignettes, and information about crop plants.
I used it in an undergraduate course and the students loved it.
"Science in Agriculture," Arden Anderson
Brady,N.C. and R. R. Weil. 1996. THE NATURE AND PROPERTIES OF SOILS, 11TH
ED. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, N.J. 740p.
This is an ecologically-oriented revision of the book that has the
standard treatise on soils since the 1920s. The most authoritative book on
all aspects of sustainable soil management. With lots of illustrations,
references and diagrams, the book is still very readable for the average
person with a good high school education in basic science. Includes
extensive information on soil organic matter managment, soil life and ecology,
organic and inorganic fertilizer materials, compsting, soil quality, soil
profiles, soil conservation, water management, tilth, and the like.
Magdoff, Fred. 1992. BUILDING BETTER SOILS FOR BETTER CROPS. University of
Nebraska Press. 176 p
This is a small, but practical book that explains the basics of managing
soil organic matter to improve soil quality. This very readable book focuses
on soil management as particularily relevant for grain and livestock farmers.
David B. Danbom. Born in the Country: A History of Rural America.
Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995.
A general history of agriculture and rural life in the United States
from Colonial times through the present. By necessity, there's not a
lot of detail, but it covers a lot of ground. Would make a decent basic
text for a course in U.S. ag history.
Willard W. Cochrane. The Development of American Agriculture: A
Historical Analysis. Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1993.
A classic. Primarily an economic orientation, but plenty of coverage of
social concerns, too. Lots of detail, particularly on role of
technology in ag development.
James R. Shortridge. The Middle West: Its Meaning in American Culture.
Univ. Press of Kansas, 1989.
A nice little book, especially for Midwesterners. Basic premise is that
the Middle West is what and where you think it is, and that what we
think it is is complicated by its being both breadbasket and industrial
William Cronon. Nature's Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West.
A social/economic history of the development of Chicago. Main premise:
the city depended on its hinterland as much as the other way around.
John Fraser Hart. The Land That Feeds Us: The Story of American
Definitely not academic. Accounts of farming from regions around the
country. Highlights cultural and practical differences. Some
interesting history, too.
National Research Council. Alternative Agriculture. National Academy
Analysis of alternatives to conventional ag production in the 1990s.
Not basic, but not that hard to read, either.
Gary Comstock (ed.). Is There a Moral Obligation to Save the
Family Farm? Iowa State University Press, 1987.
A series of essays on the title topic by economists, sociologists,
philosophers, farmers, and others. Lists of suggested readings, too. A
must for those interested in the "family farm" question.
Marty Strange. Family Farming: A New Economic Vision. Univ of Nebraska
Read this one along with the previous two.