The literature on rural America, to the extent that it exists, has largely been written by urban-based scholars perpetuating out-of-date notions and stereotypes or by those who see little difference between rural and agricultural concerns. As a result, the real rural America remains much misunderstood, neglected, or ignored by scholars and policymakers alike. In response, Emery Castle offers The Changing American Countryside, a volume that will forever change how we look at this important subject. Castle brings together the writings of eminent scholars from several disciplines and varying backgrounds to take a fresh and comprehensive look at the "forgotten hinterlands." These authors examine the role of non-metropolitan people and places in the economic life of our nation and cover such diverse issues as poverty, industry, the environment, education, family, social problems, ethnicity, race, religion, gender, government, public policy, and regional diversity
The authors are especially effective in demonstrating why rural America is so much more than just agriculture. It is in fact highly diverse, complex, and interdependent with urban America and the international market place. Most major rural problems, they contend, simply cannot be effectively addressed in isolation from their urban and international connections. To do so is misguided and even hazardous, when one-fourth of our population and ninety-seven per cent of our land area is rural.
Together these writings not only provide a new and more realistic view of rural life and public policy, but also suggest how the field of rural studies can greatly enrich our understanding of national life.