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From Missouri: An American Farmer Looks Back…

From Missouri: An American Farmer Looks Back (edition 2012)

by Thad Snow, Bonnie Stepenoff (Editor)

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Title:From Missouri: An American Farmer Looks Back
Authors:Thad Snow
Other authors:Bonnie Stepenoff (Editor)
Info:University of Missouri (2012), Edition: Second Edition, Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Your library

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From Missouri: An American Farmer Looks Back by Thad Snow

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This is a new edition of a book originally published in 1954. It is both highly entertaining and highly informative of the history and culture of the southeast Missouri delta in the first half of the twentieth century. Thad Snow bought a thousand acres of newly drained swampland in 1910. After clearing the timber, he grew corn and wheat. In the mid-1920s, he and his neighbors switched to cotton, which necessitated bringing in share-croppers, most of whom were black. Snow supported the great southeast Missouri roadside sharecropper demonstration of 1939. Not only was he a liberal on racial issues, but he was a religious skeptic and a pacifist--an admirer of Gandhi in India. His memoirs are well-written, highly intelligent, and fearless. He had great rapport with animals, especially dogs and mules. And his satirical, tongue-in-cheek explanation of how he masterminded the 1939 sharecroppers' demonstration is worthy of Mark Twain. ( )
  Illiniguy71 | Jan 28, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 082621990X, Paperback)

After years of subjecting the editors of St. Louis newspapers to eloquent letters on subjects as diverse as floods, tariffs, and mules, Thad Snow published his memoir From Missouri in his mid-seventies in 1954. He was barely retired from farming for more than half a century, mostly in the Missouri Bootheel, or “Swampeast Missouri,” as he called it. Now back in print with a new introduction by historian Bonnie Stepenoff, these sketches of a life, a region, and an era will delight readers new to this distinctive American voice as well as readers already familiar with this masterpiece of the American Midwest.

            Snow purchased a thousand acres of southeast Missouri swampland in 1910, cleared it, drained it, and eventually planted it in cotton. Although he employed sharecroppers, he grew to become a bitter critic of the labor system after a massive flood and the Great Depression worsened conditions for these already-burdened workers. Shocking his fellow landowners, Snow invited the Southern Tenant Farmers Union to organize the workers on his land. He was even once accused of fomenting a strike and publicly threatened with horsewhipping.
            Snow’s admiration for Owen Whitfield, the African American leader of the Sharecroppers’ Roadside Demonstration, convinced him that nonviolent resistance could defeat injustice. Snow embraced pacifism wholeheartedly and denounced all war as evil even as America mobilized for World War II after the attack on Pearl Harbor. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, he became involved with creating Missouri’s conservation movement. Near the end of his life, he found a retreat in the Missouri Ozarks, where he wrote this recollection of his life.
            This unique and honest series of personal essays expresses the thoughts of a farmer, a hunter, a husband, a father and grandfather, a man with a soft spot for mules and dogs and all kinds of people. Snow’s prose reveals much about a way of life in the region during the first half of the twentieth century, as well as the social and political events that affected the entire nation. Whether arguing that a good stock dog should be left alone to do its work, explaining the process of making swampland suitable for agriculture, or putting forth his case for world peace, Snow’s ideas have a special authenticity because they did not come from an ivory tower or a think tank—they came From Missouri.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:26 -0400)

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