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Description - A Tale of New England by Hiram Harwood

The extraordinary diary of Vermont farmer Hiram Harwood--a fourteen-volume record of personal, family, and community events from 1808 to 1837--provides Robert E. Shalhope with the material for this rich microhistory. Harwood's struggle to reach full manhood and assume his position as head of the family, his misgivings about challenging--much less displacing--his father, the changes American life brought to this traditional rite of passage, Hiram's relationships with wife and children, seasonal events, and all the day-to-day experiences of this finally tragic figure make for a fascinating story and provide a highly unusual window into antebellum American life. Although he focuses mainly on the story of a single farmer, Shalhope also incorporates other stories from this wide-ranging chronicle. Readers glimpse the social, political, economic, and religious life of the entire New England region. Most of all, though, the story of Hiram Harwood reveals the personal price exacted of him by one family's unyielding belief in patriarchy. "With keen and often profound insight, Robert Shalhope recovers and narrates the often comic, but ultimately tragic, life of Hiram Harwood, a Vermont farmer struggling against the expectations of patriarchy. Shalhope explores an extraordinarily rich set of diaries to illuminate the interplay of family conflict, partisan politics, and culture wars--revealing the dark corners of rural life in the early American republic."--Alan Taylor, University of California, Davis "This fine book will fascinate American historians and general readers alike. Making wonderful use of an extraordinary document, Shalhope gives us a richly detailed account of life in rural Vermont, showing the familial, economic, political, and religious tensions occasioned by the transition from small-scale, diversified family farming to commercial agriculture in New England."--James T. Kloppenberg, Harvard University

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780801871276
ISBN-10: 0801871271
Format: Hardback
(229mm x 152mm x 28mm)
Pages: 336
Imprint: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publish Date: 14-May-2003
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Hiram Harwood

Robert E. Shalhope is George Lynn Cross Professor of History at the University of Oklahoma. He is the author of Sterling Price: Portrait of a Southerner, John Taylor of Caroline: Pastoral Republican, The Roots of Democracy: American Culture and Thought, 1760-1800, and Bennington and the Green Mountain Boys: The Emergency of Liberal Democracy in Vermont, 1760-1850, the last published by Johns Hopkins.