Notes from the Ground: Science, Soil, & Society in the American Countryside

Paperback
Notes from the Ground examines the cultural conditions that brought agriculture and science together in nineteenth-century America. Integrating the history of science, environmental history, and science studies, the book shows how and why agrarian Americans-yeoman farmers, gentleman planters, politicians, and policy makers alike-accepted, resisted, and shaped scientific ways of knowing the land. By detailing the changing perceptions of soil treatment, Benjamin Cohen shows that the credibility of new soil practices grew not from the arrival of professional chemists, but out of an existing ideology of work, knowledge, and citizenship.