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Farmers of Forty Centuries; Or, Permanent Agriculture in China, Korea, and Japan
We have had few great agricultural travelers and few books that describe the real and significant rural conditions. Of natural history travel we have had very much; and of accounts of sights and events perhaps we have had too many. There are, to be sure, famous books of study and travel in rural regions, and some of them, as Arthur Young's "Travels in France," have touched social and political history; but for the most part, authorship of agricultural travel is yet undeveloped.
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The spirit of scientific inquiry must now be taken into this field, and all earth-conquest must be compared and the results be given to the people that work. This was the point of view in which I read Professor King's manuscript. It is the writing of a well-trained observer who went forth not to find diversion or to depict scenery and common wonders, but to study the actual conditions of life of agricultural peoples.
We in North America are wont to think that we may instruct all the world in agriculture, because our agricultural wealth is great and our exports to less favored peoples have been heavy; but this wealth is great because our soil is fertile and new, and in large acreage for every person.
Farmers of Forty Centuries or Permanent Agriculture in China, Korea and Japan
We have really only begun to farm well. The first condition of farming is to maintain fertility. This condition the oriental peoples have met, and they have solved it in their way.