Despite beautiful landscapes and bountiful harvests, farming is hard work and always has been. The Great Depression in rural America, which began in the 1920s and lasted until World War II, made it still harder. At a time when tractors were replacing horses and the family farm was giving way to the large, single-crop enterprise, the struggle to survive and modernize in a period of economic scarcity was especially sharp. In A Good Day's Work, Dwight Hoover, who grew up on an Iowa farm in this era, recalls the events of day-to-day life on a single farm, offering detailed descriptions of daily work in each of the year's four seasons. A Good Day's Work is a fascinating if grim reminder of what it was like to be a child with adult responsibilities. Mr. Hoover's unusual memoir recalls the rough edges as well as the happy moments of rural life. It is an honest re-creation of a world that was vanishing.
Dwight Hoover is emeritus professor of history and emeritus director of the Center for Middletown Studies at Ball State University, in Muncie, Indiana. He lives with his wife in Sarasota, Florida.
Absorbing picture of the skills and privation that went into the making of both a person and a way of life. -- Gilbert Cranberg, former editor of the Des Moines Register The most detailed and artful telling of family farming that I have read... A valuable contribution to agricultural history. -- Richard Quinney, author of Of Time and Place and Tales from the Middle Border A delightful read... A poignant record of an agricultural age that will never return. -- R. Douglas Hurt, author of Problems of Plenty and American Farm Hoover does an exemplary job of recreating a vanished world... A high quality book... A 'must read to enjoy' book. Manhattan Mercury Will captivate anyone interested in agricultural history or in the way their grandparents lived. -- Darrell Smith Farmjournal Richly detailed accounting of the ways of another time. A fine memoir. Indiana Magazine Of History One of the best accidental economists I have ever encountered. -- Adam Erwin Dtn Online Poignant, personal and riveting in its warts-and-all recollections of chores, school and the everyday infrastructure of rural life, A Good Day's Work will take you back to a time and place that fade a little more into America's forgotten past with each passing generation. American Profile A lucid and highly effective history of farm life that will be of immense value both to lay readers and to professional historians. -- Peter Fearon The Historian
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