Richard F. HirshJul 31, 2023
Powering American Farms
A Conversation with Richard Hirsh
Johns Hopkins University Press 2022
Richard Hirsh, Professor of History at Virginia Tech, talks about his book, Powering American Farms: The Overlooked Origins of Rural Electrification (Johns Hopkins UP, 2022), with Peoples & Things host, Lee Vinsel. Powering American Farms is a revisionist history of rural electrification that calls into question a long standard story that rural electrification only began through the powers of the US federal government during the New Deal. Through extensive archival research, Hirsh finds a wide variety of activities around electrification on farms, through efforts of utilities, academic researchers, agricultural extension programs, and farmers themselves.
Lee Vinsel is an associate professor in the Department of Science, Technology and Society at Virginia Tech. He studies human life with technology, with particular focus on the relationship between government, business, and technological change. His first book, Moving Violations: Automobiles, Experts, and Regulations in the United States, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in July 2019.