Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Great Plains Quarterly WINTER 1988. Copyright 1988 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska—Lincoln.


As Gelfand states in his foreword, the purpose of the four papers in this book is to examine the farm problems in the Midwest from the late nineteenth century through the present, comparing reasons for agricultural distress and responses to the problems. Part of that objective is achieved. The first two papers present reasonable overviews of farm problems through the 1930s, with some insights from recent research. The book's plan falters in description of events after 1940 and lacks almost entirely comparisons between past and present.