By Evan P. Bennett
“Bennett makes a provocative argument concerning the significance of relatives hard work at the tobacco farm, the empowerment of ladies and kids, and the improvement of a group culture.”—Jeannie Whayne, writer of Delta Empire: Lee Wilson and the Transformation of Agriculture within the New South
“When Tobacco was once King
reconstructs the lives of farm households within the Tobacco South, in addition to their paintings and their political struggles, in bright, nuanced element. This terrific account joins a brief checklist of essential histories facing shiny leaf tobacco.”—Adrienne Monteith Petty, writer of Standing Their flooring: Small Farmers in North Carolina because the Civil War
Tobacco has left an indelible mark at the American South, shaping the land and tradition in the course of the 20th century. within the previous couple of a long time, advances in expertise and shifts in hard work and farming coverage have altered the lifestyle for tobacco farmers: relatives farms have mostly been changed by way of large-scale operations depending on employed exertions, a lot of it from different beaches. in spite of the fact that, the mechanical harvester and the H-2A guestworker didn't positioned an finish to tobacco tradition yet quite despatched it in new instructions and speeded up the switch that has regularly been a part of the farmer’s life.
In When Tobacco Was King, Evan Bennett examines the agriculture of the South’s unique staple crop within the outdated vibrant Belt—a different quarter named after the original shiny, or flue-cured, tobacco type it spawned. He strains the region’s background from Emancipation to the abandonment of federal crop controls in 2004 and highlights the modifications persisted by way of blacks and whites, landowners and tenants, to teach how tobacco farmers endured to discover which means and neighborhood of their paintings regardless of those drastic changes.