Lone Tree

Bruce Brown, Author Crown Publishers $17.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-517-56987-0
In 1985 in Lone Tree, Iowa, well-to-do farmer Dale Burr killed his wife, his banker and a neighbor, then committed suicide. He had feared that he would lose his farm and hence the work of his family for three generations, although that may not have been the case. Using this tragedy as a springboard, Brown ( Mountain in the Clouds ), a third-generation farmer himself, discusses the history of farming in England from the time of Henry VIII to the repeal of the Corn Laws, and in America from colonial days to the present. We learn that in this country, since independence, farmers were subject to cyclical crises until the New Deal and its program of subsidies; in more recent times this program has been almost eliminated and the result has been the increasing failure of family farms. As a true crime tale the book is pedestrian, but as a sermon on the possible grim fate of the American farmer, it is powerful. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1989
Release date: 08/01/1989
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