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An Annotated Bibliography of Readings
In the Intellectual History of Radical Agriculture
* Titles we would like very much to add to our library.
Albrecht,William A. The Albrecht Papers. Edited by Charles Walters, Jr. 3 volumes.Kansas City: Acres U.S.A., vols 1 and 2,1975. To get an Acres, U.S.A. book catalogand a free-sample of their journal, contactthe publisher.
Perhaps no single individual did more to combine the rigorsand legitimacy of academic science with the outlook of the agricultural radical.Albrecht's animal/soil health studies brought him into alignment with Price and Pottenger;his tireless promotion of better farming gave his work significant impact from the'40's through the 60's. Unfortunately, Albrecht's willingness to consider nutrientsas nutrients without making moral distinctions regarding "organic" vs chemicalput him relatively out of favor with J.I. Rodale, and thus placed Albrecht somewhatbeyond the ken of contemporary organic gardeners and homesteaders. The AlbrechtPapers are a collection of articles and lectures appearing in forums rangingfrom academic journals to dental conventions to health magazines.
* Balfour, Lady Eve. B. The LivingSoil. London: Faber and Faber, 1943.
Associated with the Howardian radicals of her time, Balfoursets out to muster all available and scientifically reputable evidence, sufficientto convince both the technically educated and the simpler sorts that organicallyraised food is better in every respect, especially health promoting. Perhaps thebest book of its class of its period. Balfour also outlines the beginnings of anexperimental farm run on completely acceptable scientific standards to absolutelyprove her contentions. Donald Hopkin's book points out many flaws in Balfour's experiments.
Bennett, Hugh H. Soil Erosion: A National Menace. USDA Circular No. 33. Washington,D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1928.
The clarion call for a massive effort to handle the problemof soil erosion before the agricultural base of American civilization was lost forever.Clear, concise and damn good writing. Bennett's efforts led to the crusade that foundedthe Soil and Conservation Service. Its funding was cinched when, during the congressionalhearings deciding the fate of a new, pending SCS, the dust clouds from the Midwestrolled into Washington, DC.
* Brink, Wellington. Big Hugh, theFather of Soil Conservation. New York: Macmillan Company, 1951.
Brink worked for Hugh Bennett's SCS and wrote this briefpicture of one of history's greats near the end of Bennett's career. Stresses notonly the magnitude of the SCS's accomplishments, but especially Bennett's democraticvision of voluntary farmer co-operation inspired and led by the SCS.
Bovill, E. W. English Country Life 1780-1830. London: Oxford University Press,1962.
Social history at its most readable. The enclosures in ruralEngland happened during the period this book addresses; they set the stage for themodernization of English Agriculture. Bovill's book helps the reader appreciate thebackground against which those notable improvers of agriculture were operating. Coversthe social and cultural conditions of the small holders, the cottagers and the squires,their economic and technical milieu.
Bromfield, Louis. MalibarFarm. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1947.
Bromfield, a popular American author of fiction, indulgedhis deep interest in agriculture and alternative lifestyles by developing a cooperativefarm on several hundred worn-out Ohio acres. There, he worked out improved farmingsystems, a "New American Farming" that included the thoughts of Howard,Bennett, Albrecht and Leibig. He felt comfortable with chemical fertilizers,crop rotations, lime, organic pesticides whenever possible and building organic matter.His writing is passionate and intelligent and his book makes a most understandablecase for the New Farming. His farm was a Mecca for the agriculturally aware; hisacquaintances included the major figures of radical and more standard agriculture.See also, PleasantValley, Out of the Earth, and From My Experience. A sensitively-madeanthology culled from these titles by Charles Little, with the assistance of WendellBerry and Bromfield's publisher is in print, and titled LouisBromfield at Malibar, Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1988.
Carman, Harry J. Jesse Buel, Agricultural Reformer. New York: Columbia UniversityPress, 1947.
Buel farmed intelligently near Albany, NY during the early19th century, worked ceaselessly to introduce the new and revolutionary British "highfarming" to America and was a prime mover behind a farm periodical,The Cultivator.Carman's book contains miscellaneous speeches and articles from The Cultivator;the main interest is a complete reproduction of Buel's The Farmer's Companion;or Essays on the Principles and Practice of American Husbandry etc. Boston: 1839.This was Buel's main effort to introduce the modern scientific husbandry then beingdeveloped in England. Its explanation of this technology, including complex rotations,liming, manuring and building soil fertility through natural processes is among thebest and most understandable I've encountered.
Carson, Rachel. Silent Spring. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1962.
At the time of its publication, concerns about concentrationof pesticide residues through the food chain, developed resistances to insecticidesand the serious health hazards from pesticide use were novel and frightening ideas.This is the book that first made the American public aware of these dangers.
* Carter, Vernon Gill and Dale, Tom. Topsoiland Civilization. Norman, University of Oklahoma Press, 1974. (first ed., 1954).
A historical review of civilization, patiently showing regionby region and civilization by civilization the repeated pattern of erosion and resultingecological degradation leading to the loss of productive capacity and inevitabledecline. No civilization has lasted more than 1,500 or so years except Egypt. Egyptpersists because Egypt's ecology is remarkably resistant to destruction--though theAswan high dam seems to have finally broken that ecology down as well. Europe's soilsare more resistant to destruction than the lands of earlier civilizations but Europemay be approaching the "saturation point" in terms of population and landuse intensity where decisions have to be implemented to save its productive base.The question is: will it decide intelligently or go the way of other earlier systems.And the United States is losing its soil faster than any civilization in history.
LordErnle (Prothero). English Farming Past and Present, 6th edition. Chicago:Quadrangle Books, 1962. First published London: Longmans, Green & Co., Ltd, 1912,and many subsequent editions.
The Quadrangle reprint contains significant bibliographicprefaces by G.E. Fussell and O.R. McGregor that bring Ernle's work up to date bytaking account of modern scholarship. A perennial classic in any edition the readercan find, this is history at its most readable, and though dated and perhaps incorrectin a few respects, the work lives on because of the quality of its narrative. Thoughmerely of agriculture, it rests on a philosophical understanding of life the equalof Gibbon, Beard, Parkman and Braudel. Ernle, a farmer himself, understands the significancesof technological innovation and the interactions between the cultivator, weatherand soil. He brings English agricultural experience and the individuals that shapedit to life. Worth reading by anyone interested in better farming.
Hamaker,John. D. The Survival of Civilization. Annotated by Donald A. Weaver.Michigan/California: Hamaker-Weaver Publishers, 1982.
A broad-ranging and imaginative doom-thesis involving soildemineralization, human health, the rise and fall of planetary civilization, glaciations,and etc., containing a remarkable bibliography overlaping much contained in thisannotated list. Though the conclusions are overly emotional, the evidence overlyanecdotal, the impassioned book gives valid grounds for serious consideration.
* Hopkins, Cyril G. Bread From Stones.Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station, Circular#168, 1913.
Hopkins was a crusader for the use of unaltered, naturalrock flour fertilizers. Rock phosphate was widely considered useless unless treatedto make it soluble; Hopkins dove into the controversy with many pamphlets, speechesand etc.
-------------. Soil Fertility and Permanent Agriculture. Boston: Ginn andCompany, 1910.
Hopkins magnum opus points out that chemically treated nutrientsubstances cost more than the actual cash benefit they produce, while having dubiouseffects on long term yield; manure, phosphate rock, lime, occasionally potassiumsupplements and careful recycling of organic wastes result in a stable lasting systemof high yields and health. It is also a complete manual of soil and plant scienceas of its date of publication; later compendiums by others may benefit from moredata but evidence far less wisdom.
Howard, Sir Albert. An Agricultural Testament. London & New York: OxfordUniversity Press, 1943.
A profound synthesis of a brilliant life's work, Howard explainshow the failure to protect soil's health leads to a certain decline in crop healthand vigor, to disease and predation, and to the same for those who consume the producegrown on sick soil--and perhaps worse, to the perhaps irreversible decline of thecivilization itself. Filled with examples of how restoration of soil organic matterrestores plantations, crops and districts to health; covers the manufacture of "manure"through composting. Also contains a scathing criticism of our agricultural researchsystem with its fragmentation and various disciplines; a smart, educated farmer workingon a problem on the land itself is more likely to work out sustainable systems. Seealso: The Soil and Health.
* Howard, Louise E. The Earth's GreenCarpet. Emmaus, P.A.: Rodale Press, 1947.
Albert Howard was devastated by the death of his first wife,Gabrielle, but a man so vital eventually remarried. His second partner, Louise (Gabrielle'syounger sister) herein beautifully summarizes Howard's lifework and the movementhe founded in simple language for the non-specialist. Her very well-written bookwill be particularly valuable to those who need an introduction to the entire realmof organic gardening and farming, as she covers all the basics quite thoroughly.See also: * Sir Albert Howard in India,Rodale, 1954, for a thorough biography of Howard's research career and developmentof his unique and holistic understanding.
Jackson,Wes. New Roots for Agriculture. San Francisco: Friends of the Earth, 1980.
Currently in print. Following the footsteps of J. RussellSmith, Jackson draws a most interesting distinction between trying to solve the problemsin agriculture, which is what most radical agriculturalists do, and solving the problemof agriculture, which is what this book addresses. The problem of agriculture isthat the plow on most soils causes more erosion than natural soil replacement, resultingin temporary loci of civilization. And the earth has run out of undegraded placesto start new civilizations. Jackson's focus is on his native eroded Kansas, wheresod was destroyed to grow wheat; his solution, developing perennial grains. The bookcontains a most thorough and readable brief review of American radical agriculturalhistory.
Jenny,Hans. Factors of Soil Formation: a System of Quantatative Pedology. NewYork: McGraw Hill, 1941. A Dover Press paperback reprint is available and affordable.Thanks, Dover!.
One of the basic texts any thoroughly educated grower willwant to become familiar with. Jenny was the first to fully develop an integratedsystem aligning all the factors that go into forming soil from parent material. Whatmakes this book so valuable is the opportunity it gives the reader to comprehendJenny's method of thinking, his style of analysis. The book is completelyreadable and understandable to the layman who has already comprehended a basic soilstext and isn't intimiated by a seeing bit of algebra. See also: The Soil Resource,Origin and Behavior. New York: Springer Verlag, 1980, for a broadened treatmentof his earlier work including the rest of Jenny's research career.
King, F.H. Farmers of Forty Centuries or Permanent Agriculture in China, Koreaand Japan. Emmaus: Rodale Press, original copyright 1911.
An interesting survey of various permanent organic agriculturalsystems as well of a fascinating description of a far and strange place at a timelong ago. King, a sharp agricultural observer, traveled through the orient and photographedand reported on his travels. A classic, and constantly referred to by Howard in hisearlier works as an inspiration.
Koepf,H.H., B. D. Petterson and W. Shaumann. Bio-Dynamic Agriculture: An Introduction.Spring Valley, NY: Anthroposophic Press, 1976.
A technical and scientific exposition of the school's ideasas they relate to mixed farming, showing how BD techniques increase organic matterand make for a healthy farm. Stresses the closed system idealized in BD agriculture.Perhaps the best I've read about BD, but still does not viba-rate right with me.I really see nothing original in the system but for certain mystical sprays and such.
Krasilnikov, N.A. Soil Microorganisms and Higher Plants. Translated by Y.A.Halperin. Jerusalem: Israel Program for Scientific Translations, 1961.
The key unresolved issue and unproven assertion of the organicmindset is that food raised on humus/compost is more nutritious and health-providingthan chemically raised stuff. Here, in the magnum opus of a world-class Russian soilmicrobiologist, is assembled all data as of 1958, when the book was published bythe Academy of Sciences of the USSR, correlating humus, microlife fertility and foodquality. Krasilnikov pointedly asserts and demonstrates that soil fertility is themicrobe and that plants require the "phytamins" produced by microbes tomake the vitamins they and we need. Anyone that wants to be able to cogently arguethe truth of the organic viewpoint has first to become fully acquainted with thisbook.
Lord, Russell and Kate. Forever the Land. New York: Harper & Brothers,1950.
The Lords became deeply involved with the Friends of theLand movement and its magazine/journal, The Land. This book introduces the milieuand the persona of the 1940's--a most energetic and hopeful time in America, whenit seemed that our farm problems could be solved by the efforts of right-thinkingintelligent men and women. Here one meets Hugh Bennett, Louis Bromfield, E. RussellSmith, Aldo Leopold, Sears, even Dos Pasos, etc.
Lord, Russell. To Hold This Soil. Miscellaneous Publication No. 321, UnitedStates Department of Agriculture, 1938.
A beautifully made, designed and illustrated book by andfor the Soil Conservation Service. Lord passionately and poetically outlines Americanagricultural destructiveness, and the cures being instituted by the SCS. It seemssurprising in light of the current nature of our recent national administrationsthat a government publication would evidence such fine and humane writing or thatany government bureau could attract people of such quality as Russell Lord.
Loudermilk, Walter C. Palestine, Land of Promise. New York, Harper & Bros.,1944.
Loudermilk, a prime mover in the SCS, toured Palestine justprior to WWII. He was most impressed with the creative force of Jewish settlementand documented the state of the country, both in socioeconomic and agricultural/ecologicalareas. The book also tells the sad story of the destruction of an ecosystem througherosion and the hopeful story of Palestine's rehabilitation by its returning Jewishsettlers.
* The Work of Sir Robert McCarrison.Edited by H. M. Sinclair. London: Faber and Faber, 1953.
The foundation of the organic farming movement rested onthe work of two men, Albert Howard and Robert McCarrison. While Howard's thoughtsattained the permanency of books and consequently are still widely available today,McCarrison's writings vanished into the dusty back shelves of old journal holdings.This book resurrects McCarrison's papers of the 1920's, provides a complete McCarrisonbibliography and introduces the reader to an unadulterated telling of his experimentsat Coonoor where he created extraordinary health and miserable illness in rat populationsby feeding them the national diets of various Indian and European races. This bookwill also be of great interest to anyone concerned with natural health. See Also:McCarrison, Robert. Nutrition and Health. London: Faber & Faber, 1936.Hard to find.
* Orr, Sir John B. Minerals in Pastures& their Relation to Animal Nutrition. London: H. K. Lewis & Co. Ltd.,1929.
It is clear that Albrecht derived much of his informationand interest concerning animal health and soil fertility from Orr's works. This slimand very readable book is a complete review of all data (as of 1929) linking soilfertility with grass/pasture mineralization with animal health. Here is incontrovertibleproof that fertility equals health, at least for cows.
Parnes, Robert. FertileSoil: A Grower's Guide To Organic and Inorganic Fertilizers. Davis:AgAccess, 1990.
A practical book, one intermediate in complexity betweena garden book and an University-level ag-school text on soil. Parnes asks the rightquestions. He is neither "organic" nor is he "chemical" but transcendsthis conflict and arrives at some pretty universal understandings.
Pfeiffer, E.E. The Earth's Face and Human Destiny. London: Faber & Faber,1947; and Emmaus: Rodale, 1947.
A survey of proper land use and man's proper attitude tothe land, complete with photos and poetic imagery. This small work is Pfeiffer'sleast "biodynamic" and perhaps most acceptable to the general reader.
Pfeiffer, E.E. Biodynamic Farming and Gardening. New York: AnthroposophicPress, 1938.
Without a doubt, his best work. Avoids Steinerfications andpresents a basic organic message, covering a complete method for farm and garden.
* Picton, Dr. Lionel James. Nutritionand the Soil: Thoughts on Feeding. New York: Devin-Adair,1949.
Why is whole wheat bread the staff of life when supplementedwith dairy, fruits and vegetables produced on healthy soil? Dr. Picton, through hisown patient histories and by summarizing the animal studies of other researchers,explains how the body needs what is in the germ and bran to properly use the rest.Thought Picton, in alignment with his friend and much admired associate Albert Howardalso asserts that chemically fertilized food is not health-producing, this vitalportion of the book is weakly documented. Contains the "Medical Testament"as a single chapter, a much referred to document critical of the state of Englishpublic health that shook up Britain after the War.
Pottenger, FrancisM. Jr., M.D. Pottenger's Cats. Edited by Elaine Pottenger with RobertT. Pottenger Jr., M.D. La Mesa, California: Price-Pottenger Nutritional Foundation,1983.
Currently in print. Done over 50 years ago, these simplestudies in cat nutrition and its health consequences have profound implications onhuman nutrition and health that modern medical science has done an excellent jobof totally ignoring. Cats, naturally consumers of raw mice, other small mammals andbirds, insects and etc, are genetically unable to properly digest cooked foods. Bya simple alteration from raw to cooked foods, Pottenger caused cats to grossly degenerateover several generations until they could no longer breed. The forms of degenerationincluded anti-social behavior, emotional unbalance, immune system deterioration,poor dental development and alterations in facial appearance due to improper skeletalformation, very similar to the gross problems affecting Americans today. If the degenerationwas turned around with proper diet before total infertility ocurred, the populationcould begin to recover and after a sufficient number of generations with correctdiet, the cats reasumed healthy form and vigor.
Price, WestonA. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. La Mesa, California: Price-PottengerNutrition Foundation, 1970 edition.
Currently in print. Price was a dentist in the twenties interestedin prevention. He determined that the reason none of his studies were conclusivewas that no control group of healthy humans was available. Price set out to discoverif there remained on Earth any groups of people with excellent teeth--and he foundthem of every race and continent. In every case, they were so isolated that therewas no store, and no "civilized" food. Additionally, these people livedeither by the sea and made a significant portion of their diet seafoods, or wereagriculturalists on highly mineralized soil bodies. In both cases, their food supplywas maximally nutritious. The book is full of photos showing good vs poor dental/facialdevelopment.
Rodale, J.I. Pay Dirt. Emmaus: Rodale Press, 1945.
Albert Howard commented in his introduction to this bookthat Rodale was an audacious man to plunge so enthuaistically into a new field andeducate himself. Rodale was more than audacious, his desire to oversimplify has shapedthe prejudices of "organic" gardeners ever since. This book is a good reviewof all Rodale's ideas and the sources that shaped his conceptions. It is clear uponreading it that his affinities were more with Howard than Albrecht; that he had acompulsive dislike for chemical fertilizers and would overly condemn them on shallowgrounds as well as solid ones; that he had little sense of agricultural macro-economics.Well worth reading for those who are unfamiliar with the old Organic Gardeningand Farming magazine. See also * TheHealthy Hunzas. Emmaus: Rodale, 1948.
Russell, Sir E. John. Soil Conditions and Plant Growth. New York: Longmans,Green & Co., Eighth Edition, 1950.
THE soil's manual in England since 1913, taken through numerousrevisions until 1943 by Sir E. John (for many years director of Rothamstead) andthen carried on by his son. This later edition of the book is most readable and generallyunderstandable without advanced background in science, focusing on the relationsbetween soil conditions and the responses of plants to them. Especially good is thefirst chapter, a review of the history and development of agricultural chemistry.Should be carefully studied by anyone that really wants to intelligently relate totheir plants. The very disappointing eleventh edition has been recently rewrittenby a committee of experts and has consequently lost most of the elegant simplicityand beauty of earlier efforts.
Shaler, Nathaniel Southgate. Man and the Earth. New York: Fox, Duffield &Co., 1905. avail. in modern reprint, N.Y.: Johnson Reprint Corp., 1971.
The first overall consideration of man as a part of earth'secology and our effect on our ecosystem and resource base, with an emphasis on soilerosion that well anticipated the work of the SCS. Also good, readable writing.
* Schuphan, Werner. Nutritional Valuesin Crops and Plants. London: Faber and Faber, 1965.
Every radical agriculturalist knows that organicallyraised food is more nutritious. Schuphan most wisely probes this belief and aftermuch experimentation proves that there are differences in food quality. Unfortunatelyfor the organic faithful, he contests that food raised with manure/compost and thenadditional chemical fertilizers is the best of all. Schupan also carefully definesthe parameters of "quality" and considers other aspects of growing, harvestingand preserving quality. A most useful book.
Smith,J. Russell. Tree Crops: a Permanent Agriculture. New York: Harcourt, Braceand Company, 1929. A Devin-Adair reprint is available.
Currently in print. Anticipating the dustbowls and urgentmovement toward soil conservation that engaged the attentions of agriculturalistsin the coming decade, anticipating Topsoil and Civilization by two decades, anticipatingWes Jackson's grassland permaculture thrust by five decades, Smith's plea was thatthe only responsible system to use on uplands is a system of permaculture food crops,using trees and pasture, depending on the chestnut, oak, filbert, various tropicallegumes and etc. The book suggests that: tree forage crops yield as much meat/acreas good grass pastures at similar levels of fertility; tree farming is much lesswork; and gently asserts that certain nuts might be better human food than meat,others like chestnuts as good as the best cereals. Though energy usage and the costin energy per calorie produced was not one of Smith's concerns, certainly tree cropsrequire virtually no machinery and little or no use of oil or other chemicals. Readersinterested in the development of Smith's unique vision might see also his: TheWorld's Food Resources. New York: Henry Holt, 1919.
Soils & Men: Yearbook of Agriculture, 1938. Washington, D.C.: Govt. PrintingOffice, USDA, 1938.
From the viewpoint of the natural farmer/gardener, this particularyearbook represents the USDA's best. It came out when Washington was concerned withdevastating soil erosion and declines in agricultural productivity and prosperity,and the "new agriculture" promoted by the Friends of the Land was enthuaisticallygoing forward. In the volume are articles by Albrecht on organic matter and conservationand a definitive survey of soil erosion by Hugh Bennett and Loudermilk, as well asgeneral reviews of most aspects of soil science. It also contains a very completebibliography.
* Sykes, Friend. Humus and the Farmer.Emmaus, Pa: Rodale Press, 1949.
A collection of essays, magazine pieces and various ramblings,some very readable, some pretty stuffy, that have inspired many. Sykes, was an activeBritish lecturer and writer of farmer's magazine pieces. Sykes was first and foremosta famous farmer, noted for his prizewinning livestock, race horses and work as abreeder. An acquaintance had purchased a worn out though potentially rich farm atopa limestone-derived soil body and through natural methods, without fertilizer, recessitatedit. Sykes was so impressed, that he sold his rich farm and purchased 750 worn-outacres atop a chalk bed, and proceeded to restore the place through subsoiling, deeprooted leys and composting. Sykes was closely involved with other ideologues: AlbertHoward, Eve Balfour and etc. Interestingly, though he took care when setting outto establish a natural farm to buy atop a highly mineralized limestone subsoil, hethen relentlessly asserted that subsoiling universally brought high fertility; nosoil body needed more than to have its subsoil mineral reserves made accessible.He did once grudgingly admit that fertilizer might be used to first start the processof biological increase, or where soil was shallow and without subsoil but that ley,once started, would develop without further help of only the production of the leyfor the first year or two were returned to build the organic matter level again.See also: Food, Farming and the Future, Rodale, 1951.
Turner, Frank Newman. Fertility, Pastures andCover Crops Based on Nature's Own Balanced Organic Pasture Feeds. San Diego:Rateaver, 1975, reprinted from: Faber and Faber, 1955. Order direct from B. Rateaver,who publishes a paperback reprint in the USA.
Turner was associated with Albert Howard and others of theEnglish natural farming movement of the 40's and 50's. The book demonstrates howa smart farmer can figure out natural systems that work. His main thesis is thatconventional dairying operations, depending on purchased food concentrates, fertilizerand medicines is much less profitable than low input systems where soil fertilitybuilds itself and the health of the animals as well, while the farmer does a minimumof work. Some interesting features of his work include a definition of fertilitybased not on bulk yield, but on bioassay of the animals living from the land itself,especially in terms of health and ability to breed; the use of deeply rooting herbal/grasspasture mixes including numerous species that access nutrients below the topsoil;long rotations with many years in ley, all parts of the rotation but the hay grazedin place; a simple in-field silage production and feeding system that greatly improvesfeed value compared to hay made too late. See also: *Fertility Farming.
Voisin, André. Soil, Grass and Cancer. New York: Philos. Library, 1959.
The key unanswered questions of radical agriculture are provingthat better soil makes better food and thus healthier people. Though flawed and onlypartial, here is that proof, primarily through relating variations in soil fertilitywith the laboratory and biological assays of food quality. A wide ranging, open-mindedbook. Voisin is better known for his works on pasture management but this effortis probably his most significant. See also: Grass Productivity and GrassTetany.
Waksman, Selman A. Humus: Origin, Chemical Composition and Importance in Nature.Baltimore: The Williams & Wilkins Company, 1938.
THE comprehensive text on the subject by the master of researchin the area. Waksman's work forms the basis of all scientific facts regarding humus.Helpful reading for anyone with a fair grounding in science who really wants to understandsoil processes. See also, his: Soil Microbiology for a slightly less advancedyet thorough and readily readable text on the living soil process, including compostingand humus formation.
Williams, Roger J. Nutrition Against Disease. New York: Pitmann, 1971,
A thorough and very readable introduction for the readerwho feels uncertain about the connections between health and nutrition. Williamswas a university medical researcher more interested in the cellular-level nutritionalcauses of disease than in inventing drugs to "cure" diseases.
* Whorton,James. Before Silent Spring: Pesticides and Public Health in Pre-DDT America.Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1974.
DDT was by no means the beginning of the poisoning of America;Arsenic/ lead insecticides were far more dangerous than organophosphates and wereused nearly as widely as DDT later came to be depended on. Whorton shows the developmentof pesticide use and the early attempts to limit their damage. This book really stickswith the reader.
* Wrench, G. T., M.D. The Restorationof the Peasantries, with especial reference to that of India. London: C. W. DanielCo., Ltd., 1939.
Through a review of history and world conditions, includingunique looks at Rome, China, Japan, India and Java, Wrench persuasively makes thecase that capitalistic farming leads only to destruction of the soil, loss of healthand degradation of humans, while peasant farming systems are perpetual and health-producing.Wrench has a genius and fresh outlook that has unfortunately, not remained of contemporaryinterest. See also: The Wheel of Health, 1945, which inquires into the highstate of Hunza health, especially interesting in that it comes from a medical doctorconcerned about preventative medicine and the establishment of health. See also:* Reconstruction By Way Of the Soil.London: Faber & Faber, 1946.
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