Farming is essential to the American economy and our daily lives, yet few of us have much contact with farmers except through the food we eat. Who are America's farmers? Why is farming important to them? How are they coping with dramatic changes to their way of life? In the Blood paints a vivid and moving portrait of America’s farm families, shedding new light on their beliefs, values, and complicated relationship with the land.
Drawing on more than two hundred in-depth interviews, Robert Wuthnow presents farmers in their own voices as they speak candidly about their family traditions, aspirations for their children, business arrangements, and conflicts with family members. They describe their changing relationships with neighbors, their shifting views about religion, and the subtle ways they defend their personal independence. Wuthnow shares the stories of farmers who operate dairies, raise livestock, and grow our fruit and vegetables. We hear from corn and soybean farmers, wheat-belt farmers, and cotton growers. We gain new insights into how farmers assign meaning to the land, and how they grapple with the increasingly difficult challenges of biotechnology and global markets.
In the Blood reveals how, despite profound changes in modern agriculture, farming remains an enduring commitment that runs deeply in the veins of today’s farm families.
Robert Wuthnow is the Gerhard R. Andlinger '52 Professor of Social Sciences and director of the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton University. He is the author of many books, including Rough Country, Small-Town America, Red State Religion, and Remaking the Heartland (all Princeton).
"A vivid and moving portrait of America's farm families."--Bookseller Buyer's Guide
"An important book for rural sociologists."--Choice
"Wuthnow presents a lively portrait of the complexities and concerns of American agriculture, helping us better understand those who grow our food. In the Blood is an extremely ambitious book and a very good read. There is nothing else like it. No one else has so thoroughly presented farmers in their own words."--Pamela Riney-Kehrberg, author of Always Plenty to Do: Growing Up on a Farm in the Long Ago
"In the Blood is a thorough and compelling look at farm life in America by the nation's top sociologist of culture. Wuthnow offers new conceptions of a crucial yet neglected institution."--Elaine Howard Ecklund, Rice University
Table of Contents:
1 Families 12
2 Neighbors 46
3 Faith 72
4 Independence 95
5 The Land 119
6 Technology 140
7 Markets 163
Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by Robert Wuthnow: