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Comments for Linoleum, Better Babies, and the Modern Farm Woman, 1890-1930

Linoleum, Better Babies, and the Modern Farm Woman, 1890-1930: 03/06/14

cover art

Little Blog on the Prairie by Cathleen Davitt Bell raised some questions about life in rural America at the turn of the 20th century. My online research lead to a couple interesting preview quotes via Google Books. I decided Linoleum, Better Babies and the Modern Farm Woman, 1890-1930 by Marilyn Irvin Holt was worth reading.

Holt's book starts with the year that the frontier is closed. That, as you'll recall, is also the year the camp in Little Blog on the Prairie is trying to recreate. Thus, for fact checking against the novel, it's a rather limited resource. That said, it is still a fascinating look at the role women played in rural communities.

The fundamental takeaway from Linoleum... is that communities were built on cooperation and on the education of women in methods of home and farm management. These two bits of history are completely opposite of the conceit of the camp (competition and the women expected to know how to run a farm before arriving at camp). Holt further outlines how government programs as well as rural colleges catered especially to the needs of these growing regional communities.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in life in rural America at the turn of the 20th century.

Four stars

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