Cover for SUMMERHILL: Harvest of Dissent: Agrarianism in Nineteenth-Century New York. Click for larger image

Harvest of Dissent

Agrarianism in Nineteenth-Century New York

A deep account of the long transition towards capitalism and modernity in the rural United States

With an elegant blend of political, social, and economic history, Thomas Summerhill's Harvest of Dissent investigates the character of agrarian movements in nineteenth-century New York. By reexamining the nature of Northern farmers' embrace of, or resistance to, the emergence of capitalist market agriculture, Summerhill convincingly demonstrates the protracted process of drawing farmers into capitalist markets, and the ways farmers selectively and creatively resisted it. Harvest of Dissent brings together the events of nearly a century of agrarian radicalism in central New York--including the Anti-Rent movement and the Grange movement--to mark political, economic, and social transformations in the emergence of modern America.

"Those familiar with older studies of 19th-century New York politics will need to lay aside their assumptions to confront anew Summerhill's Jeffersonians, Jacksonian Democrats, Whigs, and Republicans of varied local stripes populating the farms and villages of central New York. The author brings their struggles to life, including the repeated use of violence throughout the century. Informed by an impressive famliarity with the literature and founded upon an apparently complete reading of all relevant archival source, this will become an important work. Highly recommended."--Choice

"This book is a rich history that elucidates the role farmers played in an ongoing discourse over the nature of democracy and capitalism in the American republic. Summerhill has made an important contribution to the scholarship in his balanced and well-researched articulation of the nineteeth-century political economy."--American Historical Review

"Summerhill demonstrates that rural New Yorkers--like Americans as a whole--had a legacy of democratic activism that was at times disrupted or transformed, but never ruptured. I can think of few finer analyses of local politics--a masterful book."--Robert D. Johnston, co-editor of The Countryside in the Age of the Modern State: Political Histories of Rural America

Thomas Summerhill is an assistant professor of history at Michigan State University. He coedited Transatlantic Rebels: Agrarian Radicalism in Comparative Context.

To order online:

To order by phone:
(800) 621-2736 (USA/Canada)
(773) 702-7000 (International)

Related Titles

previous book next book
Hamlin Garland, Prairie Radical - Cover
Hamlin Garland, Prairie Radical

Writings from the 1890s

Hamlin Garland

Fostering on the Farm - Cover
Fostering on the Farm

Child Placement in the Rural Midwest

Megan Birk

Good, Reliable, White Men - Cover
Good, Reliable, White Men

Railroad Brotherhoods, 1877-1917

Paul Michel Taillon

Hull-House Maps and Papers - Cover
Hull-House Maps and Papers

A Presentation of Nationalities and Wages in a Congested District of Chicago, Together with Comments and Essays on Problems Growing Out of the Social Conditions

By Residents of Hull-House

The Great Strikes of 1877 - Cover
The Great Strikes of 1877

Edited by David O. Stowell

Labor, Free and Slave - Cover
Labor, Free and Slave

Workingmen and the Anti-Slavery Movement in the United States

Bernard Mandel

Beer and Revolution - Cover
Beer and Revolution

The German Anarchist Movement in New York City, 1880-1914

Tom Goyens

Eugene V. Debs - Cover
Eugene V. Debs

Citizen and Socialist

Nick Salvatore

Breadwinners - Cover

Working Women and Economic Independence, 1865-1920

Lara Vapnek