The Encyclopedia of Rural America


History, sociology, anthropology and public policy combine to deliver the encyclopedia that has become the standard reference work in American rural studies. From irrigation and marriage to games and mental health, this encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource exploring the history of rural America, its current issues and perspectives, and visions for its future.

The collection of material is divided into three sets of visions, or beliefs, of way to best care for the land and people of rural America: 1) high-tech, Industrialized economy; 2) a Sustainable social order, economy, and environment; and 3) Alternative, new paradigms for rural America.

  • Over 300 entries document and explain the major themes, concepts, industries, concerns and everyday life of the people and land who make up rural America, ranging from the industrial sector and government policy to arts, humanities and social and family concerns 
  • Completely updated and a full 30% larger than the first edition, with over 300 articles prepared by leading experts from across the nation 
  • Over 70 new essays, focusing on major, recent concerns including emergency management; disaster preparedness; management of natural resources; alternative energy, social movements, rural development, and sustainability 
  • A full range of Illustrations and Photos provide more context 
  • An Historical Timeline details important firsts in areas vital to rural America, such as accomplishments of various social movements, significant legislation, and technological advances 
  • A new Primary Documents section includes articles and excerpts that outline visions for rural America 
  • An annotated Bibliography rounds out the rich resources available in these two volumes 
  • Available in print and ebook formats

Most articles begin with a concise definition of the term, that is followed with an article abstract or overview. Some articles have extensive citations referring to data, research findings, and quotations; other have fewer citations, but may include data from the public domain. All articles end with a list of references that were cited in the narrative as well as "must read" items. The reference sections serve as a guide, and place to start. A general index is provided to cross-reference terms or topics. Several articles include graphs, tables, and photographs for illustrations.

The Encyclopedia of Rural America, with its broad scope of coverage, will appeal to high school and college students as well as graduate students, faculty, scholars, and people whose work pertains to rural areas.


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Pub. Date: July 2008
Softcover: 1375 pages
ISBN: 978-1-59237-115-0
Price: $255
e-ISBN: 978-1-59237-228-7
eBook User Price: $319