The Last Farmer: An American Memoir

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9780060972530: The Last Farmer: An American Memoir

Howard Kohn’s The Last Farmer is a memoir of his father’s last seasons working the Michigan farm where they both were raised. It is a place that Kohn, a former editor at Rolling Stone, has left many times but keeps coming back to.

Fredrick Kohn farmed the family homestead in the Saginaw Valley since his return from World War II. After forty years, with advancing age, failing health, bad weather, falling prices, pesky oil drillers, creeping suburban sprawl, and the exodus of his children, he starts to wonder if maybe the time has come to stop. The habits of a lifetime of hard work and economy are not easy to give up. Nor are the independence, the small gratifications, and the countless responsibilities that are the traditional farmer’s lot.

The Last Farmer is a rare story of a father’s determination and adaptation, a son’s realizations about his father, and a family’s love for the land that leads to understanding rather than tragedy.

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From the Inside Flap:

"A stunning portrait. . . . Kohn went looking for one story—his father’s—only to find his own."—Chicago Tribune. "What makes this book soar . . . is its scrupulous specificity, details so gritty one can feel the soil between one’s toes, and the deeply felt story of a prodigal son’s evolving relationship with his father."—Washington Post Book World. "Full of achingly intense insights. And it’s beautifully written."—Chicago Sun Times. "The Last Farmer is objective, compassionate, and true."—Los Angeles Times.

Howard Kohn’s The Last Farmer is a memoir of his father’s last seasons working the Michigan farm where they were both raised. It is a place that Kohn, a former editor at Rolling Stone, has left many times but he keeps coming back.

Fredrick Kohn had farmed the family homestead in the Saginaw Valley since his return from World War II. After forty years, with advancing age, failing health, bad weather, falling prices, pesky oil drillers, creeping suburban sprawl, and the exodus of his children, he starts to wonder if maybe the time has come to stop. The habits of a lifetime of hard work and economy are not easy to give up. Nor are the independence, the small gratifications, and the countless responsibilities that are the traditional farmer’s lot.

The Last Farmer is a rare story of a father’s determination and adaptation, a son’s realizations about his father, and a family’s love for the land that leads to understanding, rather than tragedy.

Howard Kohn is a former senior editor of Rolling Stone and the author of Who Killed Karen Silkwood?

About the Author:

Howard Kohn is a former senior editor of Rolling Stone and the author of Who Killed Karen Silkwood?

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