×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Time's Shadow: Remembering a Family Farm in Kansas
     

Time's Shadow: Remembering a Family Farm in Kansas

by Arnold J. Bauer
 

See All Formats & Editions


Arnold Bauer grew up on his family's 160-acre farm in Goshen Township in Clay County, Kansas, amidst a land of prairie grass and rich creek-bottom soil. His meditative and moving account of those years depicts a century-long narrative of struggle, survival, and demise. A coming-of-age memoir set in the 1930s to 50s, it blends local history with personal reflection

Overview


Arnold Bauer grew up on his family's 160-acre farm in Goshen Township in Clay County, Kansas, amidst a land of prairie grass and rich creek-bottom soil. His meditative and moving account of those years depicts a century-long narrative of struggle, survival, and demise. A coming-of-age memoir set in the 1930s to 50s, it blends local history with personal reflection to paint a realistic picture of farm life and families from a now-lost world.

Bauer's was typical of true family farms, where wives supplemented family income by selling butter and eggs and children provided unpaid labor. These hardworking farmers were not particularly heroic or virtuous. They had their debts and doubts; but at the same time their struggles for a kind of moral economy offer valuable lessons that merit our attention today.

Among Bauer's vivid recollections: driving a team of huge, clomping work horses; his father's daybreak call to long days in the field at age 12; and surviving eight years of education in a one-room schoolhouse (with one teacher determined to have all her students learn the harmonica). He shares the trials of Depression and drought, experiences the coming of electricity-which prompted his father to take on a sideline as an electrician-and reveals the vital importance of the local blacksmith. Throughout the book, he finds wonder in the commonplace, like going to town on a Saturday night for a black walnut ice cream cone.

Here is a childhood that few in the United States will ever know. More than that, it is a key to understanding the tragedy that befell the smaller family farms on the Great Plains as sweeping changes after the mid-1950s—falling grain and livestock prices, adverse terms of trade for agricultural products—turned out to be more devastating than tornados or dust storms.

Gracefully written with a keen eye for the telling detail, Time's Shadow eloquently captures the events of an era and the meaning it held for one boy and those around him. It is a refreshingly unsentimental "Little House on the Prairie" that will resonate not only with older compatriots but with anyone whose curiosity leads them to wonder about a world we have lost.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“A thoughtful first-person account of growing up in rural Kansas not so long ago, in the 1940s and 1950s, in a time and place on the verge of unimaginable change. Childhoods like Bauer’s are increasingly rare. That’s why an honest account of that world, not one seen through the sepia-tinted glasses of nostalgia, is so important. Bauer cares enough about a long-ago time and place to get the story right.”—Rex Buchanan, Kansas NPR “Bauer’s work is very reminiscent of the classic Sod and Stubble. Descriptive and reflective, it leaves us with the powerful sense that something significant happened. I like it a lot.”—Thomas D. Isern, author of Dakota Circle: Excursions on the True Plains

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780700618439
Publisher:
University Press of Kansas
Publication date:
05/17/2012
Pages:
176
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Arnold J. Bauer went from his family farm to study in Mexico and Berkeley and to teach Latin American Studies at the University of California at Davis. In 2005 he received the "Order of Merit Gabriela Mistral," the highest recognition the Chilean government awards for contributions to education and culture. He lives in Davis.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews