Email this review


It is quite a ride from Mary Elizabeth Lease, the Kansas Populist who advised farmers to ""raise less corn and more hell"", to the multi-million dollar Billie Sol Estes scandal, but the road is straight and downhill all the way. In this guided tour of the ""labyrinth"" that is our national agricultural policy, Mr. Duscha has worked as hard and as successfully as a Hercules to explain this ""hideously complex"" subject in simple, unequivocal language. Using Estes as his unifying and all-too instructive example, he covers the development of our present practices with effective wit, and then suggests a four-point program of his own. There are and always have been two surpluses at the bottom of the U.S. farm problem: too much production and too many farmers. The Government, says this author, should permanently retire land and men from all production, pay remaining farmers directly to support their income, and retrain ex-farmers for industry which would either be brought to them, or them to it. What sort of industry this might be, now that all workers are faced with eventual technological displacement, he does not tell us--unless he means tourism, and that seems a pitiful pea to pitch in this lion's mouth. But ""there is no cure-all for the farm problem,"" he confesses, and he is right. What is essential, and possible, is to begin somewhere by facing up to the unpleasant facts. And here Mr. Duscha has helped, notably.

Publisher: ittle, Brown