THE AMERICAN OASIS by Edward Higbee

THE AMERICAN OASIS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A very literate definition of our American agriculture stems from a knowledge that is both wide and deep and makes its appeal to all intelligent readers whose interest in farming and the farm problem has been aroused. Speaking of the overall view, preliminary chapters form a historical portrait of farming from the methods the Indians used and the heritage they left us to the present day configurations of our land, the pattern of our climate and the limitations these things place on agricultural systems. Moving into typical and distinct modern problems and techniques, Mr. Higbee covers the country section by section. Often he will talk about a specific family and its history as a farming group, or of a special project related to desert irrigation or contour plowing in Georgia and in these direct references the text becomes a colorful and moving narrative. There seems to be no problem or factor left untouched. New trends in machinery and plant science are discussed in terms of their effect on a future when the U.S., if she keeps farming only at the present rate, will not have enough to feed the 300,000,000 mouths anticipated by the year 2000. Government farm price support becomes understandable and logical when the disastrous consequences of under production are made a possibility. To the future Mr. Higbee casts a wary glance that contains the hope that research and rearrangement will provide new food sources, but for the present his watchful survey is enlivened by a humane sense of interaction with the land and what it means for man.

Publisher: Knopf