"A comprehensive and thoughtful compilation of [Ruffin's] agricultural and environmental writing . . . Kirby's collection shows Ruffin to have been a challenging, sophisticated thinker on matters pertaining to land health."
—Georgia Historical Quarterly
"A valuable contribution to the history of Ruffin, the American landscape, and the environment."
"Kirby's literate introduction provides insights into how Ruffin's experiences and wide reading affected his ideas, and provides a critical overview of published writings by and about Ruffin. . . . [Ruffin] showed keen powers of observation and scientific curiosity. . . . Kirby, a specialist in southern rural society, provides helpful notes."
Known as the "father of soil science" in the United States, Edmund Ruffin discovered and solved the problem of soil acidity while still in his twenties and published several papers on the subject. As the publication of his writing increased, Ruffin left his own farming business to pursue his studies. This volume contains a collection of Ruffin's essays on a variety of interrelated subjects. From the promotion of fencing and methods of malaria prevention to advocacy of a public works program and the recycling of waste, Ruffin's ideas paved the way for the early conservation movement associated with Theodore Roosevelt, Gifford Pinchot, and others. Nature's Management presents Ruffin's activism and innovative genius at its best, replacing the image of a southern firebrand with that of an outspoken reformer deserving of recognition.
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