Weeds

Author: Evelyn I. Funda
Publisher: U of Nebraska Press
ISBN: 0803244967
Format: PDF
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In Thomas Jefferson’s day, 90 percent of the population worked on family farms. Today, in a world dominated by agribusiness, less than 1 percent of Americans claim farm-related occupations. What was lost along the way is something that Evelyn I. Funda experienced firsthand when, in 2001, her parents sold the last parcel of the farm they had worked since they married in 1957. Against that landscape of loss, Funda explores her family’s three-generation farming experience in southern Idaho, where her Czech immigrant family spent their lives turning a patch of sagebrush into crop land. The story of Funda’s family unfolds within the larger context of our country’s rich immigrant history, western culture, and farming as a science and an art. Situated at the crossroads of American farming, Weeds: A Farm Daughter’s Lament offers a clear view of the nature, the cost, and the transformation of the American West. Part cultural history, part memoir, and part elegy, the book reminds us that in losing our attachment to the land we also lose some of our humanity and something at the very heart of our identity as a nation.

The Pat Boone Fan Club

Author: Sue William Silverman
Publisher: U of Nebraska Press
ISBN: 0803264852
Format: PDF, ePub
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Memoir of Sue William Silverman, a self-described "white Anglo-Saxon Jew" who grew up going to a Christian school. Discusses how she grew up a fan of Pat Boone before Boone became a Tea Party member.

Island in the City

Author: Micah McCrary
Publisher: U of Nebraska Press
ISBN: 1496210689
Format: PDF, Docs
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What forges the unique human personality? In Island in the City Micah McCrary, taking his genetic inheritance as immutable, considers the role geography has played in shaping who he is. Place often leaves indelible marks: the badges of self-discovery; the scars from adversity and hardship; the gilded stamps from personal triumphs; the tattoos of memory; and the new appendages—friendships, experiences, and baggage—we carry with us. Each place, with its own personality, has the power to form or revise our personhood in surprising and fascinating ways. McCrary considers three places he has called home (Normal, Illinois; Chicago; and Prague) and reflects on how these surroundings have shaped him. His sharp-eyed, charming memoir-in-essays contemplates how aspects of his identity, such as being black, male, middle-class, queer, and American, have developed and been influenced by where he hangs his hat.

The Dirty Life

Author: Kristin Kimball
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1416551611
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Documents the first year spent by the Harvard-graduate author with her new husband on their sustainable farm in the Adirondacks, describing how she withdrew from big-city life to be married in their barn loft, the difficult obstacles they faced attempting to provide a whole diet for one hundred locals, and the rewards of a physical-labor lifestyle.

Methland

Author: Nick Reding
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 1608192075
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Traces the efforts of a small Iowa community to counter the pervasiveness of crystal methamphetamine, in an account that offers insight into the drug's appeal while chronicling the author's numerous visits with the town's doctor, the local prosecutor and a long-time addict. Reprint. A best-selling book.

The Gerbil Farmer s Daughter

Author: Holly Robinson
Publisher: Broadway Books
ISBN: 0307459829
Format: PDF
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“What kind of Navy officer sits on his ship in the middle of the Mediterranean dreaming of gerbils?” That’s the question that Holly Robinson sets out to answer in this warm and rollicking memoir of life with her father, the world’s most famous gerbil czar. Starting with a few pairs of gerbils housed for curiosity’s sake in the family’s garage, Donald Robinson’s obsession with the “pocket kangaroo” developed into a lifelong passion and second career. Soon the Annapolis-trained Navy commander was breeding gerbils and writing about them for publications ranging from the ever-bouncy Highlights for Children to the erudite Science News. To support his burgeoning business, the family eventually settled on a remote hundred-acre farm with horses, sheep, pygmy goats, peacocks–and nearly nine thousand gerbils. From part-time model for her father’s bestselling pet book, How to Raise and Train Pet Gerbils, to full-time employee in the gerbil empire’s complex of prefab Sears buildings, Holly was an enthusiastic if often exasperated companion on her father’s quest to breed the perfect gerbil. Told with heart, humor, and affection, The Gerbil Farmer’s Daughter is Holly’s ode to a weird and wonderful upbringing and her truly one-of-a-kind father. From the Hardcover edition.

In Pursuit of Alaska

Author: Jean Morgan Meaux
Publisher: University of Washington Press
ISBN: 0295804726
Format: PDF
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This collection of Alaskan adventures begins with a newspaper article written by John Muir during his first visit to Alaska in 1879, when the sole U.S. government representative in all the territory's 586,412 square miles was a lone customs official in Sitka. It closes with accounts of the gold rush and the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in Seattle. Jean Meaux has gathered a superb collection of articles and stories that captivated American readers when they were first published and that will continue to entertain us today. The authors range from Charles Hallock (the founder of Forest and Stream, a precursor of Field and Stream) to New York society woman Mary Hitchcock, who traveled with china, silver, and a 2,800 square foot tent. After explorer Henry Allen wore out his boots, he marched barefoot as he continued mapping the Tanana River, and Episcopal Archdeacon Hudson Stuck mushed by dog sled in Arctic winters across a territory encompassing 250,000 miles of the northern interior. Although the United States acquired Alaska in 1867, it took more than a decade for American writers and explorers to focus attention on a territory so removed from their ordinary lives. These writers-adventurers, tourists, and gold seekers-would help define the nation's perception of Alaska and would contribute to an image of the state that persists today. This collection unearths early writings that offer a broad view of American encounters with Alaska accompanied by Meaux's lively and concise introductions. The present-day adventurer will find much to inspire exploration, while students of the American West can gain new access to this valuable trove of pre-Gold Rush Alaska archives. For more information go to: http://www.inpursuitofalaska.com