Books: Collective Farming in Ohio

PLEASANT VALLEY—Louis Bromfield—Harpers ($3).

After nearly 15 years' absence from the U.S., mostly in France, Novelist Louis Bromfield returned in 1938 to his native Ohio valley near Mansfield, bought three rundown farms, built a big house, and organized a cooperative farming community. Pleasant Valley is his story of the venture. Its 301 readable pages are crammed with anecdotes and opinions, experiences in house building and land reclamation, bits of autobiography and local history, and a few modest essays, modeled on Thoreau, on wild life, farm life, and the healing power of the land.

If Author Bromfield's resources and tastes are exceptional, his...

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