Great Plains Book of the Month
Each month the Center for Great Plains Studies features one book as its "Great Plains Book of the Month." We carefully choose books that are accessible and on topics of interest and importance for our region. They may be on any subject, of any genre, published within the last couple of years; occasionally we may feature a book published by or written at the Center. Mainly we want to bring attention to what we consider exceptional works both to learn from and enjoy.
June Book of the Month
Chemical Lands: Pesticides, Aerial Spraying, and Health in North America's Grasslands Since 1945
By David Vail
Details: Agriculture, Pollution, Environmentalism
Publisher: University of Alabama Press, 2018
David D. Vail provides a distinctly regional view of agricultural health with his insightful analysis of the deployment of insecticides and herbicides on the North American grasslands. He argues that practitioners designed local scientific experiments, engineered more precise aircraft sprayers, tried to develop narrowly specific chemicals, and planted targeted test crops in their efforts to link the science of toxicology with environmental health.
"In Chemical Lands, David Vail incisively documents the complex relationship between sprayers, pesticides, herbicides, and grassland landscapes in America and Canada. For the first time, we can appreciate what was happening on the ground and in the sky through this thoughtful analysis of the sprayer’s perspective on the toxic chemicals that became intrinsic to American agriculture”
-- Frederick Rowe Davis, author of Banned: A History of Pesticides and the Science of Toxicology
Readers may also be interested - Vail, D. D. (2018). Farming by Rail: Demonstration Trains and the Rise of Mobile Agricultural Science in the Great Plains. Great Plains Quarterly, 38(2), 151-174.