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High Cotton: Four Seasons in the Mississippi Delta

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  70 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Gerard Helferich traces the life of a modern cotton farmer, exploring the traditions of growing cotton that have endured since ancient times, and the current forces that threaten to drive small farmers from the land.
Hardcover, 328 pages
Published June 5th 2007 by Counterpoint
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Mark
Feb 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: big-muddy
Briskly paced, clearly organized and compulsively readable, which is saying a lot considering how much technical information the book contains, High Cotton starts with the ancient, rich soil of the Mississippi River plain and travels through three centuries of colonial and American history till Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the Delta in 2005. It tells the story of cotton farming and how it shaped the culture and economy of the United States by focusing on a single year on a single farm in nort ...more
Elisabeth
Mar 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2008
I bought this because it's very rare for me to see books about the Mississippi Delta in bookstores here in Florida, and I felt that anyone who was going to write about the subject should be encouraged. But frankly I thought that it might turn out to be a little boring, so I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this wasn't the case.

Mr. Helferich has a fluid and engaging writing style. He supplied background on both the Delta's history and the modern methods of growing cotton - quite helpful
...more
Chris Meads
Apr 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
This book was interesting. It followed Zack Killebrew for a year as he grows cotton, corn and siybeans. Not only do you learn what cotton farming is all about but the history behind the cotton, before and after the Civil War, and the plight of the Negroes, from slaves to sharecroppers to free men.

You learned the biology of the cotton plant, and the pests that lived off the plants such as the boll weevil and the boll worm.

The third factor was economics--how did the farmers such as Zack survive w
...more
J.P.
Nov 27, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in the south,American history, industrial history
Wasn't sure whether I would find this book engaging--I'm not from the South and don't know anything about cotton other than that I like wearin' it--but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The author does a great job of bringing all the drama and risk inherent in the cotton farming lifestyle to the page, and does so with the help of a very sympathetic character in Zack Killebrew. Not just a true portrait of one man's annual tangle with the elements, with his machinery, with his not-always-reliable help and ...more
Jennie
Mar 25, 2009 rated it liked it
Interesting book about cotton farming, race, and the Mississippi Delta. Author follows a farmer through one growing season, which happens to coincide with hurricanes Katrina and Rita. A little too much detail on the many, many machines involved in growing, harvesting, and ginning cotton.
Ann
Jul 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
I live in a cotton growing region of Texas and bought this book to understand the technology, seasons, problems etc. It fit the bill. It was fun also to follow the author around on GoogleEarth.
Steve Comstock
May 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: farming
Like any book that hones in on one item, this one tends to take its subject to be the be-all-end-all for all of Mississippi Delta history. It's interesting, but a little too narrow minded.
Renea Winchester
Dec 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Excellent, well written. Kudos to Helferich.
Ben
Aug 25, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great book on cotton - growing, society, economics.
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