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Jim Handy Launching Tiny Engines of Abundance and Apostles of Inequality (In Person + Streaming)

Wednesday Mar 29 2023 7:00 pm, Saskatoon, Travel Alcove & YouTube
NOTE: This event has already taken place. Please visit this page to see our upcoming events.

Join author Jim Handy as he discusses his latest books Apostles of Inequality: Rural Poverty, Political Economy, and the Economist, 1760-1860 (University of Toronto Press) and Tiny Engines of Abundance: A History of Peasant Productivity and Repression (Fernwood Publishing). This event will feature a reading, a conversation hosted by Dr. Valerie Korinek, and a book signing.

The event will be hosted live in the Travel Alcove, and also available as a simultaneous YouTube stream. The video will remain available for viewing thereafter.  Before arriving, please review details of how to attend physical events here at the store.

Apostles of Inequality explores how the 'agricultural revolution' in England between 1750-1850 led to increased poverty in rural England primarily because rural workers were forced off the little bits of land they had farmed so effectively. The book details the justifications used for such dispossession in favour of capital by the new 'science' of political economy and The Economist newspaper.

Tiny Engines of Abundance details the remarkable productivity of small-scale, polycrop farming--peasants--and the multiple attacks they have faced. It traces these parallel processes in five places in five time periods: England between 1760-1860, Jamaica around emancipation from slavery in 1834, Guatemala and Nigeria in the 20th century, and Kerala, India from the passage of the Land Reform Amendment Act in 1969 till today.

Jim Handy has taught in the Department of History at the University of Saskatchewan for 37 years. He is the winner of numerous teaching awards and is the author of five books and more than 40 articles and chapters.

Valerie J. Korinek is the A.S Morton Chair in History and Research Director in the Department of History at the
University of Saskatchewan.


Apostles of Inequality

- Jim Handy

Hardcover $75.00 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $67.50

Between 1760 and 1860, the English countryside was subject to constant attempts at agricultural improvement. Most often these meant depriving cottagers and rural workers of access to land they could cultivate, despite evidence that they were the most productive farmers in a country constantly short of food. Drawing from a wide range of contemporary sources, Apostles of Inequality argues that such attempts, driven by a flawed faith in the wonders of capital, did little to increase agricultural productivity and instead led to a century of increasing impoverishment in rural England. Jim Handy rejects the assertions about the benefits that accompanied the transition to "improved" agriculture and details the abundant evidence for the efficiency of smallholder, peasant agriculture. He traces the development of both economic theory and government policy through the work of agricultural improver Arthur Young (1741-1820), government advisor Nassau William Senior (1790-1864), and the editors and writers of the Economist, as well as Adam Smith and Thomas Robert Malthus. Apostles of Inequality demonstrates how a fascination with capital - promoted by political economy and farmers' desires to have a labour force completely dependent on wage labour - fostered widespread destitution in rural England for over a century.

Tiny Engines of Abundance

- Jim Handy

Trade paperback $22.00 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $19.80

This book provides a historical and comparative perspective of peasant productivity using case studies portraying the extraordinary efficiency with which English cottagers, Jamaican ex-slaves, Guatemalan Mayan campesinos, Nigerian hill farmers and Kerala hut dwellers obtained bountiful and diversified harvests from small parcels of land, provisioning for their families and often local markets. These stories provide us with pictures of carefully limited needs, of sustainable livelihoods and of resilient self-reliance attacked relentlessly and mercilessly in the name of capital, progress, development, modernity and/or the state. For two hundred years we have been told that the hundreds of thousands, or millions, or billions of hungry mouths require that peasants be dispossessed to allow more industrious farmers to feed them. This book helps make it clear how wrong we have been. Handy's approach is original, and the book will engage people interested in the history of the peasantry, rural development, and the quest for food sovereignty.