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1. Growth of the Soil
2. Teaming with Microbes: The Organic
3. Secrets of the Soil : New Solutions
4. Life in the Soil: A Guide for
5. Soil Science Simplified
6. Dirt: The Scoop on Soil (Amazing
7. Secrets to Great Soil (Storey's
8. Improving Your Soil: Storey's
9. Nature and Properties of Soils,
10. Soil Not Oil: Environmental Justice
11. Life in a Bucket of Soil
12. Blood and Soil: A World History
13. Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men:
14. On American Soil: How Justice
15. Soil Science and Management
16. Soil Physics with HYDRUS: Modeling
17. The Soul of Soil: A Soil-Building
18. Soil (True Books: Natural Resources)
19. Soils and Foundations (7th Edition)
20. Soil Behaviour and Critical State

1. Growth of the Soil
by Knut Hamsun
Paperback: 368 Pages (2010-11-18)
list price: US$10.95 -- used & new: US$8.76
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0486476006
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

A grand, sweeping saga of sacrifice and struggle, this epic tale recaptures the world of Norwegian homesteaders at the turn of the 20th century. It created an international sensation upon publication and led to the author's 1920 Nobel Prize in Literature. Rich in symbolism, it continues to resonate with modern readers. 
... Read more

Customer Reviews (51)

4-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful novel, limited ideology...
Growth of the Soil is a book about Norwegian peasant life. The main story revolves around a character named Isak who sets off into the forests of Norway in search of a suitable site to build a farm. We follow Isak through the various seasons of his life as his original turf hut becomes a real house, he gets married, raises a family, and slowly but surely a small community begins to grow up around him.

The story is told in simple, but beautiful, prose, and though the characters are simple in many ways they are deeply human. Knut Hamsun is excellent in describing the small vanities that assail people, even `simple' country folk. Each character in the novel has their own peculiar source of vanity whether it is Inger's ring, Eleseus's walking stick, or Isak's ability to do a seemingly endless amount of work. But there is no fire and brimstone in Hamsun's descriptions of human vanity, only understanding, and humanity, and humor.

Even Inger's propensity to fall in love with just about every worker who comes to stay on the farm is not portrayed as some monstrous character flaw, but as an understandable human foible with its own season and its own resolution. An ordinary novel might have turned Inger's acts of infidelity into a central plot element, or a central complication around which the entire story would revolve, and finally come to some dramatic (and perhaps tragic) conclusion. But that is not how Hamsun's novel is structured. Hamsun's novel is structured like the seasons themselves, each event comes in its own time, dominates the story for awhile, and then goes in its own time without the necessity for any great human action, or dramatic resolution.

There is also a certain mystical aura which pervades the whole novel. Life in the wilds is not entirely dominated by the will to survive, "life there is not all earthly toil and worldliness; there is piety and the fear of death and rich superstition" (pg. 180). For, as Hamsun writes, "In the wilds, each season has its wonders, but always, unchangingly, there is that immense heavy sound of heaven and earth, the sense of being surrounded on all sides, the darkness of the forest, the kindliness of the trees" (pg. 178).

There are a few episodes in which this mystical sense, which remains as a background through most of the story, becomes explicit and takes center stage. One evening while Inger is standing outside listening for the cowbells she hears some tiny baby fish, who spend their entire life in a small tarn and are of no use to anybody, singing softly, "It was the tiny fishes song" (pg. 179). Another evening Isak is out gathering lumber and he sits down to rest for a moment, all is quiet around him, when he sees a pair of eyes which he believes to be the "Evil One".

Another incident involves Isak's son Sivert, and I think I better let Hamsun describe it in his own words, "Sivert, walking one evening by the river, stops on a sudden; there on the water are a pair of ducks, male and female...Sivert stands looking at the birds, looking past them, far into a dream. A sound had floated through him, a sweetness, and left him standing there with a delicate, thin recollection of something wild and splendid, something he had known before, and forgotten again...twas' not for worldly speech. And it was Sivert from Sellanraa, went out one evening, young and ordinary as he was, and met with this" (pg. 376-377).

Though these episodes never become the central focus of the story they create a kind of mystical atmosphere that pervades the whole novel. Hamsun's world is saturated with spiritual values.

A final word needs to be said about Hamsun's support of the Nazis. It is certainly true that a reader coming to this novel for the first time, who knew nothing of Hamsun or his regrettable political allegiances, would never guess that they were reading the work of a Nazi sympathizer. There is nothing overtly racist in the book or overtly political. So one should not let Hamsun's personal life effect one's enjoyment of this book.

But I am afraid that I cannot completely go along with those reviewers who see absolutely no connection between Hamsun's work and his Nazi sympathies. A major theme of this book is the contrast Hamsun creates between the "materialistic" values of the city, and the more "spiritual" values of the country. Hamsun is not simply describing what it was like to be a farmer at a certain place and at a certain time. There is also a certain sense of nostalgia for a way of life that seems to be being destroyed by unbridled materialism, by money, and by rationalism.

While I have some sympathy with Hamsun's concerns about the problems raised by a life more and more dominated by materialistic and rationalistic values, his proposed solution (at least as presented in this book) seems reactionary and counter-progressive to me. The celebration of peasant life, and peasant values, led many people to support the Nazis (who celebrated similar values) who should have known better (I am thinking of Heidegger). That is why I give the book four stars instead of five.

As a novel Hamsun's book is beautiful and well worth reading. But as ideology, or as a solution to the problems facing modern society, I think it is sorely lacking...


5-0 out of 5 stars Simple yet frustratingly beautiful.
When your are living your life you don't get surprised about every moment; for instance when birds are chirping together at the end of a day or some old lady talking about a husband died a week ago. We don't care these small everday details because this is life bare. But if someone writes a book about simple life of simple people and manages to succeed you may say that is god's work. Hamsun is no god of course and i doubt he believes in it but i must admit that there much more difficulty in picturing the original country people than intellectual, intriguing, complicated fictional characters of modern novel that are cought up in unbelievably odd situations. What makes this book a masterpiece is that you suddenly believe in whole of it. This is the story of small farmer making himself an honest,hard working big landowner from virtually nothing. There are no tricks of deadly landowning ambitions, bloody boundary conflicts, so called sexual awakenings of isolated teens or the dramas of hired hands and that kind of artificial excitements which are in service of most rural novels to compensate lack of writing skills. No, far from it just simple folk living in the face of the soil like the other countless ones lived from the beginning of time. Their names are Isak and Inger but could have been something else for example Ali and Fatma or Bamidele and Ramla, and not a single sentence would change. This in my opinion is a bold attemp to give a description of what it means to feel a single transcendent moment in which we feel in whole with the world; the first time we understand the meaning of the chirping birds in front f our window. A must read for all ages.

5-0 out of 5 stars Get Your Hands Dirty!
Growth of the Soil won Knut Hamsun the Nobel Prize for literature for good reason. This epic of the Norwegian wilds tells the story of the simple yet hardworking and practical Isak and his family as they build their farm and their lives with their hands, evoking "the elemental bond between humans and the land."

The story arc of Growth of the Soil is completely different from what most modern readers are used to. In most modern novels the author sets up situations and knocks them down like houses of cards, watching the characters deal with the resulting tragedies. When Hamsun sets us up with what would almost certainly go by way of formula in a modern day novel, he turns and goes in unexpected directions again and again. (*SPOILER ALERT*) When it is discovered that Isak does not have full title to his land we are ready for him to lose it, but he doesn't. When copper is discovered in Isak's mountains, we are ready for Isak to get cheated out of fair payment, but he isn't. When Inger goes to prison she could return a broken woman, but instead utilizes the opportunity to better herself.(*END SPOILER ALERT*)

The characters in Growth of the Soil are deceptively simple people who persevere. When faced with challenges they trust each other and work through them, continually building a better and stronger society as a result. The characters have certain faults, but those faults don't necessarily make them bad people - just people, like you and me. When shocking things do happen, we are completely blindsided by them.

Written in 1917 with amazing foresight, Growth of the Soil also addresses many issues in the forefront today, such as women's rights, incarceration and rehabilitation, abortion, and environmentalism, among others. This is a book that will stay with you and make you think long after you have turned the last page. It is very refreshing to read this amazing work by a master novelist with the subtly deft skill to surprise us again and again.

5-0 out of 5 stars I am in love with this book and no other.
I read.I read all the time, and I almost only read classics, books written by Nobel Prize winners; to me that prize says something that no other says.This book:It is so deep.How does one explain that?It's deep, but it's simple, tauntingly, hauntingly simple; one has to read it all at once, and it's a long book, but it's like falling in love.I know.This is pure.This is a pure and honest and deep book about being human.One feels enriched, full, deeper, while and after reading it.One learns as one can't in any other way, I know of, that human life, no matter whose, no matter the conditions, is ineffably and profoundly important, beautiful, moving, meaningful, and one has read it in the words of one of the greatest writers who ever lived, and those words are pure poetry in their astounding way of saying so much in so few.Give it time.Let it "grow" on you. Live it; be inside it.Love this book.It is its own reward for being.

5-0 out of 5 stars Feather Trail Press edition terrible
I have just purchased the Feather Trail Press edition of this fantastic novel, but am disgusted with the quality of the layout. The second line of the cumbersome, wordy description on the back has noticeable typos, followed by several more as it goes on. It almost seems like a non English speaker composed the back description, swapping words, changing sentence structure and unaware of run-on's.

The actual layout in the book is unsightly. Slim margins, courier style font make it un-enjoyable and resembling a dry, dreary term paper rather than a soft, humanistic masterpiece.

Googling Feather Trail Press has offered no results, there is no contact information inside the book, no website, address, etc.

Although I have not inspected it, I would recommend the Penguin classic edition based on past experience. ... Read more

2. Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener's Guide to the Soil Food Web, Revised Edition
by Jeff Lowenfels, Wayne Lewis
Hardcover: 220 Pages (2010-02-24)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$13.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1604691131
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Smart gardeners know that soil is anything but an inert substance. Healthy soil is teeming with life — not just earthworms and insects, but a staggering multitude of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms. When we use chemical fertilizers, we injure the microbial life that sustains healthy plants, and thus become increasingly dependent on an arsenal of artificial substances, many of them toxic to humans as well as other forms of life. But there is an alternative to this vicious circle: to garden in a way that strengthens, rather than destroys, the soil food web — the complex world of soil-dwelling organisms whose interactions create a nurturing environment for plants. By eschewing jargon and overly technical language, the authors make the benefits of cultivating the soil food web available to a wide audience, from devotees of organic gardening techniques to weekend gardeners who simply want to grow healthy, vigorous plants without resorting to chemicals.
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Customer Reviews (71)

5-0 out of 5 stars No one ever fertilized an old growth forest.Here's why!
This books hits the right tone with providing some very beneficial scientific explanation in a readable manner.

My personal list of recommended improvements:
It can get a tad repititive.
I would personally have appreciated more information on insects and critters in compost and how that relates to the composition of the compost.
I think the no-till argument is revolutionary to some and the book might benefit from a deeper discussion of how it is seemingly effective, but actually destructive.
Provide a visceral example of highly worked and fertilized soil that is very destroyed.

5-0 out of 5 stars new perspective on dirt
Teaming with Microbes is exceptionally well organized and detailed, yet clear enough for novice gardeners to learn what they need to know to start an organic garden. The writing style is relaxed and engaging.

The first half of the book describes the chemistry and biology of soil--especially highlighting mutually beneficial relationships among plant roots, bacteria, fungi, subterranean insects, and worms. The second half of the book addresses practical matters for gardeners and includes several organic ways to enrich soil.

I found the book particularly enlightening in its contrast between bacteria-dominated and fungi-dominated soils (and the kinds of plants to grow in each) and in its description of the damaging impact on soil ecology of chemical fertilizers, chemical pesticides, and rototilling. If nothing else, the book will deepen a reader's respect for the potential and complexity of life in what we often disparage as "dirt."

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is a milestone
This book is a milestone that every horticulturist should have in their library. I do not give all 5 stars easily. The author has tackled a tedious subject and made it interesting. His writing style is superb, clear, to the point, and he has a very elegant way of simplifying complex ideas.
Bravo Jeff!Compost Tea Making: For Organic Healthier Vegetables, Flowers, Orchards, Vineyards, Lawns (Volume 1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Teaming with Information!
I have been doing what I thought was organic gardening for years but this book has opened my eyes to many new things. Their simple explanations about the life cycle of different organisms helped me form a whole new approach to gardening. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to do REAL organic gardening.

5-0 out of 5 stars gardening at its best
very informative.Couldn't do without it.I find gardening much more meaningful now.It gives gardening a whole ,new meaning. ... Read more

3. Secrets of the Soil : New Solutions for Restoring Our Planet
by Peter Tompkins, Christopher Bird
 Paperback: 422 Pages (1998-10)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$12.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1890693243
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (22)

5-0 out of 5 stars Extremely Informative
For anyone interested in organic gardening and putting life back into your dead soil, this book is fabulous.(It explains how we are killing our soil)
So full of information that even the most advanced gardener will learn something new.
It's an all around wonderful book as it teaches how to mend the soil to the condition that soil was intended to be, to grow healthy crops full of nutrients the way they were intended to be in order to feed the human body and supply all the vitamins and minerals needed to maintain good health.
This book is a must have.
Hats off to the authors for all the research and wisdom that went into this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars read this and change your worldview for the better of all
This is an absolutely fantastic book on some of the more practical yet fully esoteric agricultural practices and is highly recomended for anyone who wants to deepen their connection to the earth and its spirits and especially to anyone who has there hands in the dirt.

5-0 out of 5 stars Packed full of information
I have read several books on Biodynamic farming and have found this book to be very helpful and to the point.It reminds me of text book one would be required to read if they were taking a class on BD farming.The topics are clearly written and communicated to the reader.In addition if you are interested in BD farming you should also purchase "The Biodynamic Sowing and Planting Clanadar" along with "The Biodynamic Year" both written by Maria Thun.There are contact numbers and names to people and organizations that can help you get started since this method of farming requires some uncustomary requirements.

5-0 out of 5 stars On my top 10 list...Science, gardenig, environment OH MY!
I can't say enough good things about this book.It introduced me to biodynamics and a new way to view nature.I fell in love with the ever curious scientist and hated the fertilizer companies with him.

As well as being very detailed and educational, the book tells it's story in an almost fairy tale manner as the stories and ideas grow further and further away from conventional ideas of what is possible.I read it with a childlike fervor :)

5-0 out of 5 stars MORE THEN I EXPECTED

4. Life in the Soil: A Guide for Naturalists and Gardeners
by James B. Nardi
Paperback: 336 Pages (2007-10-15)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$15.51
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0226568520
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

Leonardo da Vinci once mused that “we know more about the movement of celestial bodies than about the soil underfoot,” an observation that is as apt today as it was five hundred years ago. The biological world under our toes is often unexplored and unappreciated, yet it teems with life. In one square meter of earth, there lives trillions of bacteria, millions of nematodes, hundreds of thousands of mites, thousands of insects and worms, and hundreds of snails and slugs. But because of their location and size, many of these creatures are as unfamiliar and bizarre to us as anything found at the bottom of the ocean.

Lavishly illustrated with nearly three hundred color illustrations and masterfully-rendered black and white drawings throughout, Life in the Soil invites naturalists and gardeners alike to dig in and discover the diverse community of creatures living in the dirt below us.  Biologist and acclaimed natural history artist James B. Nardi begins with an introduction to soil ecosystems, revealing the unseen labors of underground organisms maintaining the rich fertility of the earth as they recycle nutrients between the living and mineral worlds. He then introduces readers to a dazzling array of creatures: wolf spiders with glowing red eyes, snails with 120 rows of teeth, and 10,000-year-old fungi, among others. Organized by taxon, Life in the Soil covers everything from slime molds and roundworms to woodlice and dung beetles, as well as vertebrates from salamanders to shrews. The book ultimately explores the crucial role of soil ecosystems in conserving the worlds above and below ground.

A unique and illustrative introduction to the many unheralded creatures that inhabit our soils and shape our environment aboveground, Life in the Soil will inform and enrich the naturalist in all of us.

(20070818) ... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars A must read for any horticulturest
By all appearances this book is hard core soil biology, but somehow the author has made it so simple and interesting that I did not want to put it down. I also really liked the almost retro-style hand illustrations, a bit reminiscent of Audubon's drawings. Compost Tea Making: For Organic Healthier Vegetables, Flowers, Orchards, Vineyards, Lawns (Volume 1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Everything you always wanted to know about dirt but were afraid to ask
An excellent well written introduction to the amazingly complex world of soil biology.Clear, understandable language and a logical presentation makes the subject matter completely accessible.I did, however, start to fade out during the second half of the book that concerns itself with specific organisms.Essential reading for gardeners, farmers, horticulture enthusiasts, landscape architects and anyone else who might appreciate the complexity of life on the plant and wish to have a better, more nuanced understanding of it.Buy it.Read it.Grow.

5-0 out of 5 stars Better than `Teaming with Microbes'
I was completely surprised at how interesting I found this book.After all, it's a book about soil science and its subsequent food chain - from microbes to vertebrates. Through reading 'Life in the Soil' I gained a respect and appreciation for what I previously only thought of as annoying bugs and creepy crawlies. The authors writing style makes absorbing the technical information easy and enjoyable, and the illustrations and photos are outstanding.I liked this book far better than `Teaming with Microbes'.

4-0 out of 5 stars Life in the Soil
This is an excellent, well illustrated, introduction to the animals in soil. It is not such a good introduction to microorganisms in soils. It does have a good discussion of the roles of plant roots and mycorrhizae in the acquisition of plant nutrients from soils.

4-0 out of 5 stars glaring omission
One glaring omission in this book is that it does not mention yellow-jacket wasp nests. Since these wasps can be very dangerous, I think that it would have been very
usefulto make readers aware of their underground nests and the danger they pose. ... Read more

5. Soil Science Simplified
by Helmut Kohnke, D. P. Franzmeier
 Paperback: 162 Pages (1994-12)
list price: US$13.50 -- used & new: US$8.51
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0881338133
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
This useful handbook was written for those who want to become acquainted with the basic concepts and principles of soils but are not ready for an extensive study. Includes an assortment of helpful tables, maps and line drawings. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars no fluff - just the facts
This book was purchased for a quick technical understanding on soil science, which it did well - no fluff - just the facts ma'am.

5-0 out of 5 stars Simplified but not simplistic!
This is a great first book on this subject for people of all ages from junior high to retirees (me)!I was looking for a book that would help me understand soil surveys.Thi book was a perfect solution.

If you have ever tried to read a book on geology (the base of soil science) you may have been overwhelmed by the breadth of detail.Young people would be especially prone to this since they probably have not had chemistry or physics.This book will get you through most of this.Can't imagine how it could be improved.Just loaded with interesting material.Highly recommended.Ifinterested in soil and don't know a lot about it already - then get it.

3-0 out of 5 stars Soil Science Simplified
The book was for a soil science class I was taking. The text seems to be translated from another language, as the sentence structure is very difficult in many places. This is a "beginner's" text, and as such was useful.

5-0 out of 5 stars Read it twice
As they say, don't judge a book by its cover.At first glance, this paperback book appears to be a lightweight study guide.Upon reading it, however, you will find it to contain a mountain of technical information.Every page offers so many relevant details that you will need to read it twice, just to absorb them all.Fortunately, it is not written in a dry, jargonistic manner.As the title implies, the scientific principles involved are simplified for easier digestion and application.This makes the information all the more useful.And although it is not a full-fledged textbook, a prospective reader will still benefit from having a basic knowledge of chemistry before opening this book, because it is not a kids' book either.Take some notes as you read, and you will find it be a real learning experience.

4-0 out of 5 stars This book was very helpful
I really liked this book.I could look through it and find exactlly what I was looking for without having to even read what the chapter was.It was very useful because of my science projet.I had to do a research paper and it was very hard to find information that I could understand but this book was very clear. ... Read more

6. Dirt: The Scoop on Soil (Amazing Science)
by Rosinsky, Natalie M
Paperback: 24 Pages (2002-07)
list price: US$7.95 -- used & new: US$3.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1404803319
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Sand, silt, clay, and humus. Dig deep into this book about soil to discover the world beneath you feet. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great soil review
This is an excellent book for all elementary age students, it is attractive to the young reader

1-0 out of 5 stars Try another title
The approach of this book started out on the right track,by focusing on the parts of soil that can be observed after mixing it with water. But a major drawback of this title is that by oversimplifying, it perpetuates the misconception that plants eat soil, e.g. "Humus is rich with food that plants need to grow..."p.13 "As plants grow they use up the food in humus. Decomposers put more food back into the humus." p.15 "When plants use up the food in topsoil..."p.19 The inserted fun facts are distracting and/or of questionable worth.e.g."Fun fact: Dirt is so interesting that soil scientists study it everyday."I would recommend Dirt by Steve Tomecek in place of this title.It has similar content that connects to kid's experiences with soil and has a more accurate approach to the soil/plant connection. Raymond Bial's A Handful of Dirt is another good title on soil.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book!
My kids and niece love this book and I love the hands-on approach it uses.The book begins with a quick experiment that helps the kids visualize what the book will be talking about.It helps kids understand why dirt is so important and explains how bugs and worms help too.The illustrations are wonderful and that is what usually engages children from the get-go.The book would be great for classroom use as well and a good introduction to table of contents, glossary, and index. ... Read more

7. Secrets to Great Soil (Storey's Gardening Skills Illustrated)
by Elizabeth Stell
Paperback: 224 Pages (1998-01-02)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$11.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1580170080
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Create productive soil anywhere with step-by-step instructions for making compost and fertilizers. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best
This book is one of the most informative books anyone can buy if you are composting and vegetable gardening, the best of all the books I have ever read. This should be in every gardeners library.

5-0 out of 5 stars Secrets No Longer For Me
This is a book I wish I'd read twenty years ago, a difficult wish since the book hadn't been written yet in 1990. After purchasing a tumbling composter, I read this book and two others so I'd have some idea of what I was doing. Stell's book is rich in information about what should go into the compost pile as well as detailed explanations of various compost methods amplified with all thebenefits and negatives of each. As an added bonus is a fabulous chart of compost do's and don'ts, perfect for a sieve brained Potato Head like myself.

But this book is not just about composting; it's about soil evaluation, testing and diagnosing soil, and treating and amending it. Again all the chapters are accompanied by terrific charts and graphics for the individual amendments and diagnoses and the needs of specific flowers and vegetables. "Secrets to Great Soil" is such a fabulous book that after returning my borrowed copy to the library I plan on buying my own copy to make a permanent part of my gardening library. This book is that good. It's a fabulous garden of information for a gardening bumbler like myself as well as a handy reference book for gardeners of many skill levels.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellant Book
Very informative book for the outdoor gardner that is interested in his soil. We have great soil for our garden, but with this book we can take it to the next level. We are not expert gardners and this book is written in laymans language, so for us it is great. I don't know if a seasoned professional would like the book, but for the backyard hobbiest, worth the cost.

5-0 out of 5 stars Book Review
Wealth of information about my favorite topic of late -- soil. For a beginner, it provided some much needed information on tools, composting and managing diseases and nutrients in the soil. The added bonus for me was information on crop rotation and managing a calendar.

4-0 out of 5 stars Nice information, but nothing I didn't already have
I think this is a good book for beginning gardeners who are just starting to get a sense of what makes great soil.It covers the basics in a thorough, organized way.More experienced gardeners aren't going to find much new here, though having it all in one place is helpful.As the part-owner of a commercial organic farm, some information I was hoping for is just not here: how do you remedy soil structure problems on a large scale?How do you handle cover crops when a pitchfork isn't adequate?But for the backyard garden this book is perfectly adequate.Some standouts are the sections on managing soil diseases without chemicals and triple-bin composting.A good resource. ... Read more

8. Improving Your Soil: Storey's Country Wisdom Bulletin A-202 (Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin, a-202)
by Stu Campbell
Paperback: 32 Pages (1999-01-05)
list price: US$3.95 -- used & new: US$1.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1580172237
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Since 1973, Storey's Country Wisdom Bulletins have offered practical, hands-on instructions designed to help readers master dozens of country living skills quickly and easily. There are now more than 170 titles in this series, and their remarkable popularity reflects the common desire of country and city dwellers alike to cultivate personal independence in everyday life. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Soil Information
I use the Storey series to help customers in my landscape design business.They are a concise and an inexpensive way to support my customers with landscape maintenance questions. ... Read more

9. Nature and Properties of Soils, The (14th Edition)
by Nyle C. Brady, Ray R. Weil
Hardcover: 980 Pages (2007-09-16)
list price: US$134.60 -- used & new: US$100.67
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 013227938X
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Product Description
Featuring new photographs, diagrams, and special “boxes” , The Nature and Property of Soils is an engaging book for readers. It has an ecological approach that explains the fundamentals of soil science effectively. Chapter topics include Soil Erosion and Its Control, Soil Acidity, Soils and Chemical Pollution, and Organisms and the Ecology of the Soil. For individuals interested in soil and the environment. ... Read more

10. Soil Not Oil: Environmental Justice in an Age of Climate Crisis
by Vandana Shiva
Paperback: 200 Pages (2008-10-01)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$6.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0896087824
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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With Soil Not Oil, Vandana Shiva connects the dots between industrial agriculture and climate change. Shiva shows that a world beyond dependence on fossil fuels and globalization is both possible and necessary.

Condemning industrial agriculture as a recipe for ecological and economic disaster, Shiva’s champion is the small, independent farm: their greater productivity, their greater potential for social justice as they put more resources into the hands of the poor, and the biodiversity that is inherent to the traditional farming practiced in small-scale agriculture. What we need most in a time of changing climates and millions hungry, she argues, is sustainable, biologically diverse farms that are more resistant to disease, drought, and flood. In her trademark style, she draws solutions to our world’s most pressing problems on the head of a pin: “The solution to climate change,” she observes, “and the solution to poverty are the same.”

Using Shiva’s organization Navdanya—praised by Barbara Kingsolver as “a small, green Eden framed against the startling blue backdrop of the Himalayas”—as a model, Soil Not Oil lays out principles for feeding the planet that are socially just and environmentally sound. Shiva then expands her analysis to broader issues of globalization and climate change, arguing that a healthy environment and a just world go hand in hand. Unwavering and truly visionary, Soil Not Oil proposes a solution based on self-organization, sustainability, and community rather than corporate power and profits.

A world-renowned environmental leader and thinker, Vandana Shiva is the author of many books, including Earth Democracy, Water Wars, and Staying Alive. She is the editor of Manifestos on the Future of Food and Seed.

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Customer Reviews (9)

4-0 out of 5 stars consumernation
Great book, Vandana is a great researcher- although a little pushy in the beginning.By the end of the book she will have you informed and convinced.

5-0 out of 5 stars She Keeps Us In Groceries

Vandana has helped to prevent untold of disasters and is one of my primary inspirations for Great Women

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent environmental study
Very well written.Vandana Shiva is a knowledgable and well respected scientist.She makes a convincing case for the disadvantaged and displaced poor and indigenous people of the world.I agree with her that we need to restore ancient customs and methods of agriculture and rural villages if we want a healthy planet.

5-0 out of 5 stars Shiva - A World Treasure
Thank God for Vandana Shiva. In an insanely materialistic and rapacious world corrupted by corporate theft, her intelligence, depth and humanity are a breath of fresh air for decent people the world throughout. Read this book and others by someone who understands and articulates the consequences of a world where mindless corporate power is pillaging the globe in frightening Terminator II fashion.


5-0 out of 5 stars Extremely Insightful
This book is an amazing read. And presents the facts around the seemingly progressive environmental policies and protocols. Very important read! ... Read more

11. Life in a Bucket of Soil
by Alvin Silverstein, Virginia Silverstein
Paperback: 96 Pages (2000-08-02)
list price: US$5.95 -- used & new: US$3.04
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Asin: 0486410579
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Fascinating book introduces grade-school youngsters to industrious ants, tunnel-building earthworms, snails and slugs, beetles, and many other creatures inhabiting the world beneath our feet. Vivid descriptions of how they live, breed and interact; their methods of locomotion, feeding and defense; and the effect they have on the soil in which they live.
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Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book!
This is a really great little book to use to introduce 5th and 6th graders to the micro world which exists in the soil. This will inspire them to "dig' deeper, so to speak, in learning more about the environment beneath their feet.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dirt
Have you ever been interested in the sex life of worms? What about parasites and how they eat? This book has simple but informative drawings and somewhat easy text that go into just enough detail to keep you interested. It offers suggestions on how to do soil experiments and breaks the subject matter into 10 chapters, one for each group of critters. Very fascinating in a creepy, crawley way. ... Read more

12. Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur
by Ben Kiernan
Paperback: 768 Pages (2009-02-17)
list price: US$26.00 -- used & new: US$15.75
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Asin: 0300144253
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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For thirty years Ben Kiernan has been deeply involved in the study of genocide and crimes against humanity. He has played a key role in unearthing confidential documentation of the atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge. His writings have transformed our understanding not only of twentieth-century Cambodia but also of the historical phenomenon of genocide. This new book—the first global history of genocide and extermination from ancient times—is among his most important achievements.


Kiernan examines outbreaks of mass violence from the classical era to the present, focusing on worldwide colonial exterminations and twentieth-century case studies including the Armenian genocide, the Nazi Holocaust, Stalin’s mass murders, and the Cambodian and Rwandan genocides. He identifies connections, patterns, and features that in nearly every case gave early warning of the catastrophe to come: racism or religious prejudice, territorial expansionism, and cults of antiquity and agrarianism. The ideologies that have motivated perpetrators of mass killings in the past persist in our new century, says Kiernan. He urges that we heed the rich historical evidence with its telltale signs for predicting and preventing future genocides.

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Customer Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Insight
This book gives insight into a troubling recurring issue in the human journey. I would use the insights shared in this book to give context to other books on this issue.

5-0 out of 5 stars Truth, Informative, educational
The book is very long, very comprehensive. It's a book to study and to learn from. The author is beyond description in excellence and devotion to his work.

5-0 out of 5 stars An intricate but broad study of a universal subject.
I have sent this outstanding history to a college in Kenya. It should be disseminated widely as it is a unique and thorough analysis of a world-wide tragedy.

4-0 out of 5 stars Important But Uneven
Ben Kiernan is the leading authority on the Cambodian genocide.He compiled and analyzed a good deal of the primary source material related to the Cambodian genocide and his books are essential reading on that topic.This very ambitious book displays both Kiernan's strengths and weaknesses as a scholar and writer.

Like Kiernan's prior books, Blood and Soil is based on a great deal of careful scholarly work.In the case of Blood and Soil, this is mainly a careful reading of an enormous amount of secondary literature which he attempts to distill into an analysis of genocide.In this process, Kiernan attempts to provide a summary narrative of many of the most horrifying episodes in human history.This is the strength of the book.Many of these episodes, such as the conquest of what is now southern Vietnam, the horrors that accompanied the unification of Japan, German imperialism in Southwest Africa, or the genocidal activity of the Pakistani army in what is now Bangladesh, will be unknown to most readers. Several of his descriptions of better known events, such as colonial American genocidal activities against native Americans, the extermination of Tasmanian aborigines, the crimes of Mao's regime, Japanese imperialism in China, and the Armenian genocide, are concise and insightful.

This book also exhibits Kiernan's weaknesses.Kiernan is not as strong an analyst as he a compiler.Kiernan opens Blood and Soil with an analytical chapter which he uses to set the stage for the rest of the book.Kiernan uses the definitions of genocide established in recent international conventions to define his subject.This is reasonable as it provides a uniform standard to judge crimes across a broad swath of history.He admits, however, that these definitions don't fit some of the greatest crimes of the 20th century, notably the enormous murders of the Stalinist and Maoist states.Indeed, by these definitions, its been argued (by Pol Pot's biographer Philip Short) that the Cambodian genocide was not strictly speaking, a genocide. Kiernan, nonetheless, includes large chapters on the crimes of Stalin's Soviet Union and Mao's China. These chapters appropriate for a book on the great crimes of humanity but their inclusion call into question his interpretative framework.

Kiernan argues that genocides are associated with common ideological features - racism, a preoccupation with an idealized past, territorial expansionism, and preoccupation with agrarianism as a core social value.Much of Blood and Soil is an attempt to identify these themes across an considerable range of genocides in human history.Kiernan argues that these traits are in fact ancient and arise in variety of civilizations.Kiernan's argument seems to apply to many historical situations.It fits the Holocaust quite well, can be applied easily to European colonial expansions, and Kiernan has very interesting discussions of these themes in the Armenian genocide, Japanese imperialism in China, and the Khmer Rouge genocide.But, are they really universal.Kiernan himself points out that the ongoing Darfur genocide is being carried out by pastoralists against peasants, the reverse of his model.Kiernan's themes apply poorly to the crimes of the Leninist-Stalinist state and to Mao's China, a point which he concedes explictly.It appears that his analytic categories have limited range.

Kiernan never discusses the extent to which these ideological features are results of conquest and violence rather than causes.No one who has read about the Holocaust or the Cambodian genocide can deny the power of brutal ideology.But at least in the case of colonial expansions, these kinds of ideologies could be after the fact justifications.It is, as Tacitus wrote, "human nature to despise those you have injured."

Kiernan introduces his analysis in part because he is interested in identifying factors that might predict genocidal regimes.His examination of the history of Rwanda in the years leading up to the genocide would seem to bear him out. On the other hand, his proposed factors would have been useless in predicting the crimes of Lenin and Stalin.One doesn't need the themes described by Kiernan to predict that imperialist-colonial expansion will result in ethnic cleansing.The simple desire to occupy the lands of others is a more than sufficient explanation.

Finally, while this book is written better than his books on Cambodia, the quality of writing is far from outstanding.Kiernan's narrative sections are invariably clear but there are times when the simple narrative overpowers his attempts at presenting his analytic themes. A shorter book concentrating on the analysis with a shorter selection of genocides as examples of his themes would have been more readable and potentially more convincing.To be really successful, Kiernan would have to have presented some analysis in which he tabulated genocides and these assessed how many actually exhibited the themes he identifies.

Finally, I dislike the fact that there is no separate bibliography.Sources are described only in the Notes.A seperate reference list would have made this book easier to use as a reference volume.This is probably the publisher attempting to contain costs, which is regrettable.

4-0 out of 5 stars Genocidists, says Aussie historian, tell big fibs
This remarkable but harrowing encyclopedia of genocide could induce repetition strain, outraged denials, possibly even a sorrowful yearning to join a kinder species.

After Polish jurist Raphael Lemkin coined the term "genocide", postwar United Nations defined this as "acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, racial, ethnical, or religious group".Ben Kiernan, a Yale-based Australian historian, takes his main title from an ideological tract of 1930s Germany.The first two parts review "imperial and colonial" slaughters up to the early 20th century while the third considers a "multiplicity" of subsequent genocides.Kiernan's summation of the Third Reich restates his four perceived correlates of state-linked killing:"The Nazi killing machine" was "operated by interlocking ideological levers that celebrated race, territory, cultivation, and history".

To make his case, the author is forever splicing unexpected and illuminating primary-source threads that come from years of practice.I was comfortable with his limited material on the recent past and substantial reluctance to forecast the near future.Yet I kept thinking of the elephant (I mean, the anthropoid) in the room - our evolution and biology.

The durable pre-Christian state of Sparta is typecast as "secretive, militaristic, expansionist" and as a source of myth for the short-lived Reich.Another potent idea surfacing early is that, by accident or design, artists and intellectuals supply lethal ammunition for politicians and generals.So you read Cato the Censor's famous interdiction against Carthage, but also Hesiod's and Virgil's poetry of the plough.

Early Christian and Jewish writers, argues Kiernan, shunned racialist thinking, with the term "race" only becoming prominent in medieval times.In the first of his case studies, he finds the Spaniards plumbing "intellectual depths" for God's consent to the Central American conquest.But he also reveals the to-and-fro of contemporary debate.Various citations from the early 1500s regret the Mexican and Guatemalan bloodbaths.

"War" commingles with "genocide" in the East Asian examples.National role-reversals and repetitions become familiar.Under a metaphorical alliance of "writing and chariots", the Buddhist kingdom of Dai Viet crushes its formerly competitive rival Champa, only to pay a heavy price later.Inspired by "ancient precedents", Japan of the 1500s assaults Korea, but "genocide abroad" is a harbinger for "violent cultural suppression at home".Japan reappears in the context of its 20th century Chinese and Pacific incursions.

The chronicle of England's 16th-century Irish depredations resonates.A cabal of Elizabethan "neo-cons" appears to agitate, not only for rivers of tears in Ireland, but also for the later miseries of indigenous America and Australia.Although Elizabeth herself is "parsimonious" in support, there follow martial law and massacre.In the peculiar logic of extermination, the Irish locals don't quite cut it as proper yeomen, but kill one and you could go for the lot.

Blood and Soil implies an 80-90 per cent decline from all causes in the indigenous North American (Australian) population over 1492-1800 (1788-1901). It suited English settlers in eastern America to discount the agricultural Native American settlements they displaced. But the "genteel, controlled, expanding rural idyll" of early 1700s Virginia could "explode in genocidal rage".George Washington's late 1700s war secretary writes that colonial settlement has been "even more destructive to the Indian natives than the conduct of the conquerors of Mexico and Peru".The Jeffersonian democracy, in Kiernan's view, required Native Americans to yield up "their lifestyle, their lands, or their lives - without the vote."Once the Cherokee nation is erased, the California indigenes are trampled in the dashes for "scientific racism" and precious gold.

Next come the wars and woes of Australian settlement.Up to Federation, the author estimates that "multiple deliberate killings" by squatters, mounted police and others accounted for 20,000 Aborigines.He concedes that frontier interactions were diverse and some settlers abhorred the violence.But with racial "science" casting Aboriginals as inferior nomads, "classical pastoralism" and government directives could drive an ideological program to convert indigenous lands.

Denialism continues in Australia and elsewhere.This, I note, includes an animus towards "Genocide Studies" and the broad UN definition of genocide.Call it or count it as you will, the evidence repeated here is part of Australian history.It is that colonial agencies condoned or sometimes conducted the "dispersals", which were aired in their assemblies, investigations, reports and journals.

The cynical collateral damage of the American and Australian land-rushes is distinguishable from the following Armenian and Holocaust slaughters.Typically, Kiernan first explains lebensraum, a geographer's neologism to accompany Germany's South West African occupation around the turn of the 20th century.From there, he picks at the rancid racial fears and florid territorial fantasies of Hitler, Himmler and supporting theoreticians.

Sustained by myths of Sparta, Rome, and ancient Germany, Hitler could claim his ancestors were "all peasants" and impose a Germans-only Hereditary Farm Law.It is often remarked that citizens not psychopaths were the Nazi functionaries.Kiernan doesn't go there much, apart from his neat opening point that genocidal enterprises require both "apocalyptic vision and prudent compromise".What he does illustrate is the even bigger territorial-ethnic engineering scheme the Reich had waiting in the wings.

Soviet Russia is portrayed both as Nazi victim, and Stalinist perpetrator of its own monumental program against the kulaks and the elite.But China is said to have exacted a famine toll far in excess of Stalin's.I'll leave the experts to determine whether state famine equals genocide.

Blood and Soil concludes by touring the post-1950 killing fields of Cambodia, Rwanda, Indonesia, Pakistan (in Bangladesh), Guatemala (once again), Saddam's Iraq, Bosnia, and Sudan (Darfur).The Khmer Rouge rhetoric is compared and contrasted with that of Rwanda's Hutu Power.

At the outset, Kiernan guesses that the 21st century might be "bleak".He also nods to the surprising evidence that the genocide (or war or murder) toll is trending downwards relative to population.At the end, he remains convinced of his four great genocidal narratives.But surely his outstanding demonstration is that all through history the narrators of these themes are telling fibs.To what extent then are the themes correlates or causal factors in mass killing?

The book, as it happens, cites the biological metaphors of genocide rather than the underlying biology.I believe that more of an interweaving from evolution, culture and technology would sharpen the expositions emerging from genocide studies. The human lineage, after all, appears to have been evolving and deploying its uncommon adaptation of territorial inter-group violence since Paleolithic times.When Carthage finally fell in 146 BC, it was long after men in militias had first sacked settlements, but long before six billion humans had stormed the planet.

(Canberra Times, May 2008) ... Read more

13. Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: The Ideology of the Republican Party before the Civil War With a New Introductory Essay
by Eric Foner
Paperback: 400 Pages (1995-04-20)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$12.88
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Asin: 0195094972
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Since its publication twenty-five years ago, Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men has been recognized as a classic, an indispensable contribution to our understanding of the causes of the American Civil War.A key work in establishing political ideology as a major concern of modern American historians, it remains the only full-scale evaluation of the ideas of the early Republican party.Now with a new introduction, Eric Foner puts his argument into the context of contemporary scholarship, reassessing the concept of free labor in the light of the last twenty-five years of writing on such issues as work, gender, economic change, and political thought.

A significant reevaluation of the causes of the Civil War, Foner's study looks beyond the North's opposition to slavery and its emphasis upon preserving the Union to determine the broader grounds of its willingness to undertake a war against the South in 1861.Its search is for those social concepts the North accepted as vital to its way of life, finding these concepts most clearly expressed in the ideology of the growing Republican party in the decade before the war's start. Through a careful analysis of the attitudes of leading factions in the party's formation (northern Whigs, former Democrats, and political abolitionists) Foner is able to show what each contributed to Republican ideology.He also shows how northern ideas of human rights--in particular a man's right to work where and how he wanted, and to accumulate property in his own name--and the goals of American society were implicit in that ideology.This was the ideology that permeated the North in the period directly before the Civil War, led to the election of Abraham Lincoln, and led, almost immediately, to the Civil War itself. At the heart of the controversy over the extension of slavery, he argues, is the issue of whether the northern or southern form of society would take root in the West, whose development would determine determine the nation's destiny.

In his new introductory essay, Foner presents a greatly altered view of the subject.Only entrepreneurs and farmers were actually "free men" in the sense used in the ideology of the period.Actually, by the time the Civil War was initiated, half the workers in the North were wage-earners, not independent workers.And this did not account for women and blacks, who had little freedom in choosing what work they did.He goes onto show that even after the Civil War these guarantees for "free soil, free labor, free men" did not really apply for most Americans, and especially not for blacks.

Demonstrating the profoundly successful fusion of value and interest within Republican ideology prior to the Civil War, Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men remains a classic of modern American historical writing.Eloquent and influential, it shows how this ideology provided the moral consensus which allowed the North, for the first time in history, to mobilize an entire society in modern warfare. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars Was recieved
I recieved the book in a timely manner, it was in the condition that was stated by the seller.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece
This book, along with Foner's Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, provides extremely valuable insights into a crucial turning point in American history, which still resonates today. Both are masterpieces of synthesis and interpretation. Both are scholarly and detailed, yet convey a feeling of excitement at the events described. Both enable the reader to relive the tensions, aspirations, thoughts, and struggles of the times they describe. The 1995 reissue of Free Soil begins with an important essay by Foner, which he wrote for it.
Foner was a Marxist-Leninist when he wrote both books. But he never allowed his Marxism to vitiate his historical analysis. On the contrary, he constantly emphasized that the motives that propelled the participants were ideas and ideals, not economic interest or social class (e.g., pages 4-5, 104-5, 110, 113, 168-76, 183-4, 304)

4-0 out of 5 stars Graduate Student Review
The issues with slavery in America reached all the way back to the birth of the nation.The Founding Fathers agreed to a compromise on slavery when the Constitution was written.Basically nothing was done about the institution except to leave it to later generations to deal with.Mr. Foner explains some of the attitudes and actions taken by the northern Republicans in the twenty years prior to the U.S. Civil War.

The party of the South became the Democrats, once known as the Jacksonian Democrats, and the Whigs in the North were replaced by the conservative Republicans.In the North a person could improve his social standing with hard work. The Republicans major belief was in the idea of free labor.The belief in free labor was contrary to the society in the South.Slaves and poor whites were for the most part unable to advance socially and economically.Foner quoted the New York Times of the day as printing:"Our Paupers today, thanks to free labor, are our yeoman and merchants of tomorrow. (p.16)Basically the Republicans believed if a man applied himself and worked very hard he could improve both his financial and social condition.

The Republicans believed that the slaves in the South were lazy and ignorant and would never better themselves.They also thought that the poor whites despised the slaves and considered any work that a slave did as beneath them and disgraceful.This promoted laziness and helped to keep the poor whites of the South from advancing. The Republicans thought that the institution of slavery was not only oppressing the slaves but the southern economy as well.In 1858 Aaron Cragin, a New Hampshire Congressman observed after hearing southern speech, "this language of feudalism and aristocracy has a strange sound to me." (p.71)The North was considered a bourgeois culture whereas the South was considered an aristocracy. (p.71)

Chapter three is written about Salmon P. Chase.Foner credits Chase with creating the anti-slavery argument in the political arena.Chase stated that slavery was sectional and freedom national. (p. 102) What Chase meant by that statement is that slavery was a state problem and not something that Congress could establish. (p.102). Foner discussed the belief of Chase in the concept of Slave Power.This is where the southern slave owners controlled the government and the South in general.

Foner discusses the Radical Republicans explaining how they would accept no compromise on slavery and were willing to take the nation to civil war to end the hated institution.The radicals wanted the states to end slavery not Congress.Foner spends several chapters describing the different factions within the newly created Republican Party.The conservatives in the Republican Party wanted to preserve the union and were willing to make concessions to the South if necessary.The moderates of the party were the ones that had the two goals, free soil and the Union.They also were against the expansion of slavery into new states. (p. 219) The Republican Party gathered all those against slavery and those who were for free labor and an upwardly mobile population that worked hard to improve their lot in life.

Mr. Foner's book, Free Soil, was written nearly forty years ago but it is still worthwhile for a student of history wanting to learn about the political process prior to the U.S. Civil War.The book is very well researched and has footnotes throughout so that the reader can see what sources were used for the book.It is an excellent book and should be used in all courses that study the U.S. Civil War and the twenty years prior to it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent background
This book is an excellent background study for anyone interested in the origins of the Republican Party in the 1850's before it became the Party of Jefferson Davis and Southern social conservatives in the 1970's and 1980's.

4-0 out of 5 stars Oldie but Goodie
The roots of the Civil War reach back to the birth of the nation. The Founders agreed to disagree on the issue of slavery in order to form a `more perfect Union.' By the 1860s the nation was at war with itself. Why did the South secede, and why did the North take up arms to prevent its secession? (316) In Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: The Ideology of the Republican Party Before the Civil War, the first of Eric Foner's many influential books, he examines the two decades running up to the 1860 presidential election by taking a close look at the ideology of the Republican Party. In a time of rancorous sectional division, during which the Democratic Party was sundered north and south, with each section nominating its own presidential candidate, the Republicans drew anti-slavery Whigs and Democrats together under one banner. The party members shared a resentment of Southern political power, a devotion to the Union, moral revulsion to the peculiar institution, and a commitment to the northern social order and its development and expansion. (310-314)

During the 1850s, respected historians agree, that the government of President Buchanan was under the complete control of the South which threatened the essence of the Republican view of democracy--which was majority rule. (100) "The domination of both the South and the federal government by the Slave Power violated this basic democratic belief." (101) Repeated attempts by the southern Slave Power to establish slavery in the western territories brought the sectional conflict to a crisis. The North and South represented two incompatible social systems, and expansion of the decadent South, as Seward warned, might lead to "entirely a slave-holding nation."

Several critical chapters of Foner's book delineate the radical, conservative and moderate elements within the newly-formed Republican party, and include the northern Democratic-Republicans who were alienated by the slaveocracy which by then controlled their party. The former Democrats found their party no longer a "champion of popular rights." (177) The radicals battle cry was, "Liberty and Union." This small but powerful minority was influential within the party, and brooked no compromise with the South, believing that the Founders intended that slavery would eventually cease to exist in the nation. (139-144) The conservatives wanted to preserve the Union at any cost, and were willing to make concessions to the South in order to do so. It was the moderates, including Lincoln, who "refused to abandon either of their twin goals--free soil and the Union," and drew the line at expansion of slavery into the new states. (219) It was not the moral imperative of the abolitionists which drew together the radicals and conservatives, the Whigs and Democrats, and the former Liberty, Free Soil and Know-Nothings. It was the political anti-slavery, Free Labor ideology which "blended personal and sectional interest with morality so perfectly that it became the most potent political force in the nation." (309)

Foner is the DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University whose interest in the antebellum period started in college in the 1960s. Foner has authored more than a dozen books on American political history and race relations, including his latest Forever Free: The Story of Emancipation and Reconstruction; published in 2005. Free Soil began as his doctoral dissertation under Pulitzer prizewinner, Richard Hofstadter. This scholar's scholar assumes a substantial familiarity with 19th century American history, leaving the reader to fill in the essential details of the various acts, provisos, compromises and constitutions; likewise, biographical material on important players in the antebellum milieu, like Stephen A. Douglas and William H. Seward, is also given short shrift. An introductory essay written on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the publication of Free Soil calls on recent historiography to explore the concept of "free labor" in the 19th century, a time when half of Northern Americans were wage-earners.

Free Soil is now nearly forty years old, yet remains a worthwhile read for anyone with a more than superficial interest in the Civil War and its causes. The reader comes away with a greater understanding of the role of the Republican Party in shaping the anti-slavery movement during the antebellum period.
... Read more

14. On American Soil: How Justice Became a Casualty of World War II
by Jack Hamann
Hardcover: 368 Pages (2005-04-29)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$6.73
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B002XULWXY
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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On a hot August night in 1944, a terrified Italian prisoner of war was lynched in a remote ravine on a sprawling U.S. Army fort in Seattle. After a tumultuous two-month criminal investigation, the Army charged three U.S. soldiers with first-degree murder and forty other U.S. soldiers with rioting; all forty-three were African-American. What followed was the largest and longest Army court-martial of World War II, and the only trial in US history where black men stood accused of a mob lynching. The Army prosecutor was Leon Jaworski, later of Watergate fame. The entire true story is an engrossing tale of pride, power, duplicity and redemption. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars Double Injustice
Jack Hamann's book is indispensable for anyone interested in the story of Italian POWs in WWII. He takes a little-known incident--the 1944 lynching of Italian POW Guglielmo Olivotto in Seattle--and expands it into an analysis of the treatment of both Italians and black Americans in the American military. Olivotto's death was never solved; or rather, as Hamann shows, it was blamed on the black soldiers stationed at Fort Lawton who had rioted and attacked the Italian POWs over an earlier fist-fight. As Hamann demonstrates, the prosecution of some 44 soldiers in a court martial, and the conviction of 28 of them, including three for the murder of Olivotto, was a miscarriage of justice. The prosecutor--the soon-to-be-famous Leon Jaworski--concealed crucial evidence of the probable innocence of many of the soldiers from the defense. More disturbing, Hamann shows that evidence at the scene of the lynching was destroyed or mishandled, leaving the black soldiers to take the rap. His research indicates that it was probable that a white MP had actually lynched the Italian.
Hamann's book thus sheds light on two not very widely known aspects of WWII. First, he brings attention to the fact that 50,000 Italian POWs were interned in the U.S., with Americans displaying a mixed attitude towards them. Many Italian Americans visited the POW facilities, hoping to find relatives or information about relatives in Italy, with some ending up marrying the POWs. Other Americans resented the fact that the Italian POWs--at least those who had taken a loyalty oath to work with the Allies--were treated so well and allowed to visit and dine off base: the word many used was "mollycoddling." Second, Hamann publicizes the fact that even as late as 1944, African Americans in the military were kept in segregated facilities and allowed to work only in menial jobs in the service--loading and unloading ships and supplies. When these two aspects were allowed to collide, as they did in the riot at Fort Lawton, murder and mayhem could result. Anyone interested in either of these two aspects of WWII will find this book invaluable.

4-0 out of 5 stars The truth wins out
On American Soil is a fact-based account of a little know event during World War II - an event which led to the largest court-martial of World War II and another example of American injustice that we were never taught about in American schools.What began as a riot, supposedly led by black Army soldiers against Italian prisoners of war, ended in the hanging of one of the POWs.Then came the cover-up.Over 60 years later, Author Hamann did the best he could with the information still available to tell us what actually happened while giving us a detailed description of the personalities and litigation involved.One of the legal stars of the future to come out of this trial was prosecutor Leon Jaworski who went on to be a major participant in the Nuremberg trials and special prosecutor for the Watergate scandal.It is a sad tale of injustice, but maybe Hamann has overcome some of the unfairness with this book.Sadly too late for the railroaded African American soldiers who were prosecuted, sentenced, and have died before this book and its information came to light.It's not a pretty picture, but fascinating never the less. Hamann does a good job of taking very obscure and detailed information and giving us a story of compelling interest.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
This book is about a trial during WWII.The defendants are Black Soldiers.The vicitim is an Italian prisoner of war.The author does a great job telling the story of this racially charged trial, and the injustce that resulted.I had never heard of the events that are chronicled in this book, but it was certainly a dark hour in American justice.It was a fast entertaining read.I found this suprising considering how factually oriented the book is.Overall, it is a really good book.

5-0 out of 5 stars On American Soil
This book I started out fact and increased the pace until the very end.It was one of the best books that I have ever read.It contains true history, murder and suspense.

On American Soil me back to a time in America where it is sometimes painful to be.It is a must read for anyone who claims to know American history.

5-0 out of 5 stars Timely and fascinating
It is rare that a book of history is so eminently timely to the events of the present day. It is even rarer when it has such an immediate impact. In June, a scant three months after the book's release, House Representative Jim McDermott of Washington introduced a resolution, cosponsored by 25 representatives, calling for an inquiry into the convictions of 28 black soldiers for rioting and murder, as chronicled in Hamann's debut novel "On American Soil."

Hamann weaves a compelling narrative of the events of 1944 at a remote army base at Fort Lawton in Seattle that culminated in the largest army court martial of WWII and the lynching of an Italian prisoner of war.

After hundreds of thousands of Italian and German soldiers surrendered in North Africa, the Allies found themselves unexpectedly confronted with the problem of housing POWs on an unimagined scale. America's military leaders were determined that they would set the standard for compliance with the Geneva Convention. The environment that sparked the lynching of Private Olivetto was the American public's dismay at the "coddling" of Italian prisoners and the military's attempts to defend that treatment.

To describe the book's events further would do disservice to the pleasure of the read. It progresses quickly, through short but compelling personal narratives, high court room drama, and even a thrilling whodunnit murder mystery.

In the end, it is the gripping story, as uncovered through Hamann's painstaking research that make the book the masterpiece that it is. Indeed, in an Indiana Jones-style twist, the key document uncovered by Hamann was found deep in the National Archives in a stack of boxes entitled "Miscellaneous." Yet, it must also be noted that what is striking as one reads the book is that it reads like the most tautly-paced work of fiction. I, a week before my first year law school finals, picked the book up for the first time. I did not put it down until I had read the book in its entirety.

In an America that continues to be plagued by issues of race relations and the treatment of prisoners, this is an accessible book that should be required reading. ... Read more

15. Soil Science and Management
by Edward Plaster
Hardcover: 448 Pages (2008-05-22)
list price: US$194.95 -- used & new: US$144.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1418038652
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Soil Science and Management, fifth edition emphasizes the human interaction with and effect on soils, rather than treating the soil as an independent element. Non-technical and easy-to-understand, Soil Science and Management, fifth edition teaches the essentials of soils from the perspective of farmers, horticulturalists, environmentalists and other who are concerned about how soils work and how they are used more effectively. An emphasis on management and the sustainable use of soil and water resources makes it especially relevant to these audiences. The inclusion of nutrient management, best practices and relevant legal issues and government programs make this text a practical application for readers.Four-color illustrations have been added through-out the text, making it a much more visually appealing book. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

3-0 out of 5 stars marked book wrong
When I was looking for this book I was under the impression that this was #5. I would not have purchased this book if I had known it was #2. It was not marked correctly on the page thet I bought it from. I am a student with very limited income and was forced to drop the class because I didn't recieve the correct book and ordering another one would have been to late for my studies. I have bookmarked where I bought this book from and will not buy from there again.

5-0 out of 5 stars Soil is not Dirt!
Great price on a critical book for anyone interested in Soil Science.Condition exactly as described.

5-0 out of 5 stars College textbook + great reference!
This was my college textbook for Soils. This book was extremely interesting. I've used it as a reference for other classes + I'm and arborist. This book is costly, but well worth the $$.

4-0 out of 5 stars Textbook
I am using this book as a textbook for a Soil Nutrition class.The book is surprisingly interesting considering it is a textbook.It is an excellent reference for soil and soil/plant nutrition questions.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is an excellent book!
What a boring topic, you may think.Who could write a thick book about soil?And who possibly can read it?You may be surprised!If your interest is in the field of landscape architecture, horticulture, forestry, gardening, site engineering e.g. this book will give you a professional knowledge, in a very systematic, approachable way.I will keep Soil Science in my professional library as a reference book. ... Read more

16. Soil Physics with HYDRUS: Modeling and Applications
by David E. Radcliffe, Jiri Simunek
Hardcover: 388 Pages (2010-05-21)
list price: US$99.95 -- used & new: US$79.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 142007380X
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Numerical models have become much more efficient, making their application to problems increasingly widespread. User-friendly interfaces make the setup of a model much easier and more intuitive while increased computer speed can solve difficult problems in a matter of minutes. Co-authored by the software’s creator, Dr. Jirka Šimůnek, Soil Physics with HYDRUS: Modeling and Applications demonstrates one- and two-dimensional simulations and computer animations of numerical models using the HYDRUS software.

Classroom-tested at the University of Georgia by Dr. David Radcliffe, this volume includes numerous examples and homework problems. It provides students with access to the HYDRUS-1D program as well as the Rosseta Module, which contains large volumes of information on the hydraulic properties of soils. The authors use HYDRUS-1D for problems that demonstrate infiltration, evaporation, and percolation of water through soils of different textures and layered soils. They also use it to show heat flow and solute transport in these systems, including the effect of physical and chemical nonequilibrium conditions. The book includes examples of two-dimensional flow in fields, hillslopes, boreholes, and capillary fringes using HYDRUS (2D/3D). It demonstrates the use of two other software packages, RETC and STANMOD, that complement the HYDRUS series.

Hands-on use of the windows-based codes has proven extremely effective when learning the principles of water and solute movement, even for users with very little direct knowledge of soil physics and related disciplines and with limited mathematical expertise. Suitable for teaching an undergraduate or lower level graduate course in soil physics or vadose zone hydrology, the text can also be used for self-study on how to use the HYDRUS models. With the information in this book, you can run models for different scenarios and with different parameters, and thus gain a better understanding of the physics of water flow and contaminant transport.

... Read more

17. The Soul of Soil: A Soil-Building Guide for Master Gardeners and Farmers
by Grace Gershuny
Paperback: 173 Pages (1999)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$19.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1890132314
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Soil is the basis not only for all gardening, but for all terrestrial life. No aspect of agriculture is more fundamental and important, yet we have been losing vast quantities of our finite soil resources to erosion, pollution, and development.Now back in print, this eminently sensible and wonderfully well-focused book provides essential information about one of the most significant challenges for those attempting to grow delicious organic vegetables: the creation and maintenance of healthy soil.Chapter 2, "Understanding the Soil System," is alone worth the price of admission. Gershuny and Smillie give lay readers and experts a clear explanation of subjects--soil life and nutrient cycles--that have confounded most authors. Nowhere will the reader find simpler and more coherent descriptions of key concepts including cation exchange capacity and chelation.The soil fungi - 23977 Bytes There are other books about soil available, including Grace Gershuny's comprehensive Start with the Soil, and there are books that feature chapters on soil building. What distinguishes The Soil of Soil is the authors' concise presentation; they give readers important information, including technical essentials, without getting bogged down in scientific or quasiscientific mumbo-jumbo. In addition, useful tables list specific compost materials, green manures, and other resources that allow growers to translate into action the more general information provided by the book. The soil-building techniques featured include: * Organic matter management * Building and maintaining humus * On-site composting * Green manures and rotations; * Cultivation and weed control; * Nutrient balances and soil testing; * Using mineral fertilizers; * Planning for organic certification. Updates to the 1999 edition include analysis of Proposed Rules for the National Organic Standards, and expanded recommendations for private testing services and soil-testing equipment for home gardeners and organic farmers.All of us involved in the cultivation of plants--from the backyard gardener to the largest farmer--need to help regenerate a "living soil," for only in the diversity of the soil and its creatures can we ensure the long-term health of ourselves and our environment. The Soul of Soil offers everyone a basic understanding of what soil is and what we can do to improve our own patch of it. Seen in this light, this practical handbook will be an inspiration as well. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Soul of Soil
I am excited about the upcoming Advanced Master Gardener's class on on Soil Science and was pleased to see the textbook recommended for this course was available on Amazon.I ordered it (plus another on "Soil Science Simplified") and due to quick response from Amazon, I now have time to review them both before the class starts in November.I'm jazzed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
If you are a home gardener who wants to make your backyard attractive, skip this book, but if you are serious about growing things and understanding ecological principles, this is a great resource.

4-0 out of 5 stars For master gardeners and farmers, but also good for basics
This is truly a good book. It is short, simply written, and very informative. However, it is a little technical for the average Gardner. I personally picked-up this book to gain general knowledge about soil, and I found everything I asked for and more. Nevertheless, there were things that I felt were not explained enough, but that's not the fault of the author because I am neither a master gardner nor a farmer. In the begging of the book it almost seemed like the author was one of the environmentalist extremists, however as I continued reading I found the author to be a responsible writer with no extremism. As a matter of fact, on several occasions the author offered advise to non-organic farmers. Overall, a great book and coming from my non-farmer background I would give it 4 stars.

4-0 out of 5 stars Soil Basics and More
The Soul of Soil

The Soul of Soil

Understanding our soil is essential to successful gardening and farming, as well as to building a sustainable future for the planet. Grace Gershuny and Joe Smillie have devoted decades to unlocking the secrets of this mysterious and often maligned substance and they share their wisdom with us here. Includes descriptions of the major soil types, nutrient cycles and physical properties of soil, as well as lessons on composting and cover cropping. This book gives us the tools we need to understand the complex interactions that take place below our feet as we work to turn the tide against the erosion, pollution and outright destruction of our precious earth.

3-0 out of 5 stars The Soul of Soil
Very informative book but it is a little technical for home garderner. ... Read more

18. Soil (True Books: Natural Resources)
by Christin Ditchfield
Paperback: 48 Pages (2003-03)
list price: US$6.95 -- used & new: US$3.23
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0516293680
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Ideal for today's young investigative reader, each A True Book includes lively sidebars, a glossary and index, plus a comprehensive "To Find Out More" section listing books, organizations, and Internet sites. A staple of library collections since the 1950s, the new A True Book series is the definitive nonfiction series for elementary school readers. ... Read more

19. Soils and Foundations (7th Edition)
by Cheng Liu, Jack Evett
Hardcover: 528 Pages (2007-05-05)
list price: US$111.00 -- used & new: US$82.58
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0132221381
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Written in a clear, direct style, this practical book introduces readers to the essentials of soil mechanics and foundations. Major emphasis is given to design and practical applications, which are supported by basic theory. Now in its seventh edition, it includes new material on soil consistency, overconsolidated clay, degree of consolidation, vibroflotation and the settlement of sand. KEY TOPICS Chapter topics cover formation of natural soil deposits, engineering properties of soils, soil exploration, soil compaction and stabilization, water in soil, stress distribution in soil, consolidation of soil and settlement of structures, shear strength of soil, shallow foundations, pile foundations, drilled shaft foundations, lateral earth pressure, retaining structures, and stability analysis of slopes. For civil engineers, civil engineering technologists, and geotechnical engineers. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars A practical problem-oriented book
This book explains the subject of soils and foundations in a straight-forward manner that is not terse and steeped in needless derivations or largely unnecessarily advanced math. I've even seen one book on this subject that delves into finite element analysis. Instead, this book explains its subject manner succinctly, along with equations, and then uses those equations in numerous examples. There are plentiful diagrams and end-of-chapter exercises with solutions to about half of the problems in the back of the book. I notice that the table of contents is missing from the product description so I add that next:

1 Formation of Natural Soil Deposits
2 Engineering Properties of Soils
3 Soil Exploration
4 Soil Compaction and Stabilization
5 Water in Soil
6 Stress Distribution in Soil
7 Consolidation of Soil and Settlement of Structures
8 Shear Strength of Soil
9 Shallow Foundations
10 Pile Foundations
11 Drilled Shaft Foundations
12 Lateral Earth Pressure
13 Retaining Structures
14 Stability Analysis of Slopes

Nothing in the book talks about scholastic preparation for this subject, but I would recommend that you have a year of engineering physics and a class on statics. The book's equations also involve some calculus, such as when determining the water content in soil in chapter five, but it is nothing overly involved. Most of the book's mathematics involves nothing more advanced than some trigonometry.

4-0 out of 5 stars book review
this book is very helpful in fidnding how to calculate the properties of soil i have not yet been through the entire book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must for PE preperation
This book is written in a sensible way where we do not have to study theories. It provides all the basics in plain english without compromise, or holding back. I would recommend this book for all students preparing for the professional Engineers exam, the afternoon session in conjunction withe the 3 DVDs offered by Liiban Affi from [...]. Both would serve you well. ... Read more

20. Soil Behaviour and Critical State Soil Mechanics
by David Muir Wood
Paperback: 488 Pages (1991-04-26)
list price: US$70.00 -- used & new: US$64.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521337828
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Soils can rarely be described as ideally elastic or perfectly plastic and yet simple elastic and plastic models form the basis for the most traditional geotechnical engineering calculations. With the advent of cheap powerful computers the possibility of performing analyses based on more realistic models has become widely available. One of the aims of this book is to describe the basic ingredients of a family of simple elastic-plastic models of soil behavior and to demonstrate how such models can be used in numerical analyses. Such numerical analyses are often regarded as mysterious black boxes but a proper appreciation of their worth requires an understanding of the numerical models on which they are based. Though the models on which this book concentrates are simple, understanding of these will indicate the ways in which more sophisticated models will perform. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This book is excellent. Giving you the basic, and advanced knowledge of soil behavior written in the most simplestway.
Great work.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the classic in the this topic
All geotechnical engineers must read this book. A beautifully crafted book with insight into soil strength and soil behavior. Wait untill the end of the chapters where theoretical developments are extended to describe laboratory testing from triaxial testings to Atterberg's limit.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Book for Critical State Soil Mechanics
Let me recommend this book to you, if you are interested in soil mechanics, numerical modelling, and if you try to understand soils well.
Critical states soil mechanics is a popular framework for the recent developement of many soil constitutive models. This book is a step by step exploration of this framework, especially Modified Cam Clay model, both conceptually and numerically. The stress-strain-strength behaviors of cohesive and cohesionless soils under drained or undrained condition can be quantitively determined using this simple model. More sophisticated models in the current research front, for example, MIT S2 model, bounding surface models, are all shadowed within critical state concepts.
Overall, it is a book about a very useful elasto-plastic soil mechanics model. It uses some fundamentals of elasticity and plasticity. You may meet a little bit mathematics there, but that is almost trivial compared with that used in solid mechanics and theory of plasticity.

4-0 out of 5 stars Helpful for your work
I don't know how to explain about that but this book's really the best. ... Read more

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