“For 50 years, the ‘go to’ monograph for an overview of agriculture during the U.S. Civil War has been Agriculture and the Civil War, by Paul W. Gates. That distinction passes now to this book by Hurt, which incorporates recent scholarship, primary source research, and extensive use of contemporary publications that targeted agrarian readers. While the primary arrangement of Gates’s work is geographic, Hurt approaches the topic chronologically. His 10 chapters address from Union, Confederate, and border state perspectives, the war’s impact on agriculture, and how the ability to produce, process, and transport food, fiber, and livestock affected the conduct and outcome of the war. . . . Essential. All levels/libraries.”
"In Food and Agriculture during the Civil War, R. Douglas Hurt offers a compelling portrait of the Civil War from the perspective of Northern farmers and Southern planters. Using contemporary agricultural publications and regional and national price data, Hurt explains the divergent paths of agriculture in the two sections. While the war brought technological change, the Department of Agriculture, and homesteading to Northern agriculturalists, it brought only economic chaos to Southern planters, even as it released four million African American Southerners from slavery."
"It has been fifty years since the publication of Paul W. Gates’s classic, Agriculture and the Civil War. Now, R. Douglas Hurt has produced a successor that is destined to become a classic in its own right and essential reading on the war for years to come. In Food and Agriculture during the Civil War, Hurt provides an exhaustive examination of the production of food—and everything associated with it—in both Northern and Southern societies during the American Civil War, showing how the war shaped agricultural practices, beliefs, and policies, and how, in turn, agriculture helped to determine the outcome of the war. Deeply researched in a wealth of primary-source materials, incorporating the vast scholarly literature of recent decades, and written in refreshingly clear, accessible prose, this important volume will be of interest to specialists and general readers alike."