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economic bases. I trust, however, that I have written in the scholarly spirit, and not to establish a thesis. Upon some controverted topics I have thought best, without expressing my own opinion, to present the essence of the argument on both sides. I have tried to do so fairly, and think I have succeeded. There are, however, popular delusions which have taken strong hold upon many excellent men, as to which I felt that one has no right to suppress convictions approved by universal business experience, and the teaching of all economists.

Having prepared the book mainly for farmers, I was desirous that farmers should read it. The farmer, however, is seldom a free book buyer, and I was persuaded that, except by the kindly ministrations of the canyasser—a capacity in which I began my own business life—the most of those for whom the book was especially intended would never see it. I therefore decided to publish by subscription.

Possibly it is desirable that an unknown author should state his experience, and the environment which influences him. I was once a farmer of the old school, and led the life described in the first chapter of this volume. Then followed twenty-five years of business life, for the most part dealing with affairs of some magnitude. Then, retiring from business, were three years of active cooperative work. I now live upon my farm, where I am permitted to act as agricultural editor of a daily journal. For a short time I was connected with the University of California, as Organizer of Farmers' Institutes. My pecuniary interests and my sympathies are with the farmer.

Mr. L. A. Clinton, assistant agriculturalist in the College of Agriculture of Cornell University, has been kind enough to prepare for me a chapter upon “The Study of the Farm," from a standpoint which I could not take-that of a farmer and a man of science.

EDWARD F. ADAMS. Wrights, California, May, 1899.


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HE present volume is, so far as I know, the first attempt to present any comprehensive review of the farmer's

position and relations as a business man. I am quite sure that it is the first to pursue those relations to their ultimate foundations, group them together, and place them in popular form for convenient examination, disentangled, so far as they can be, from the affairs of other classes. The book is, in fact, an elementary treatise in applied economics, in which the farmer's interests are employed as a constant standard of comparison. The facts and principles set forth are, of course, entirely familiar to economists, and, to a great degree, to the different classes of business men, as to the points where their interests directly impinge on those of the farmer. The farmer, for the most part, has not had his attention called to these matters, and, so far as he has considered them, has been prone to rely too much upon a partisan press, and the utterances of political and other orators, who seek to accomplish some present end by exciting and increasing his prejudices. As a result, the farmer is continually at a disadvantage in his pecuniary dealings with those better informed than he as to the trend of commercial movements. The only remedy for the farmer is a study of fundamental principles, in the light of which he may correctly read the meaning of current events. This book is intended as an aid to such study. By our own intellects we must form our own judgments, but we all need the aid of the experience of others.

While nothing in this book will be new to economists, and very little to experienced business men, I am quite sure that much will seem strange to many in the classes for which




the book is intended, and especially to some farmers. A study of the business relations of the farmer takes us far from the farm. The farmer's interests are intertwined with all other interests. The great social and commercial movements of the day:arė matters of dollars and cents to the farmer. All political questions are.money questions, and can not be omitted from wrij: book: wiel purports to deal adequately with the farmer's business interests.

The farmers constitute the one class which is essential to the existence of the race. Without the farmer we should perish. Whatever concerns him concerns all mankind, and whatever affects other classes reacts upon him, and this not merely in an esoteric sense, but in the dollars and cents which he takes in and pays out. What occurs on and about the farm the farmer can see, understand, and in some measure control. What occurs elsewhere, however profoundly it may affect him, he may never even hear of, and can hardly influence at all. It is essential that the farmer know more than he does of these distant forces, because it is necessary that he adjust himself to conditions which he can not control. The farmer, for example, can not control the operations of railroad magnates, the machinations of speculators on grain exchanges, the rate of discount at the Bank of England, or the standard of life of the Indian ryot, but all these help to determine the price he shall receive for his wheat, and what he shall pay for the supplies he needs. The intent of this book is to set him thinking more about such things.

It is hoped, also, that it may be equally useful to others than farmers. Relations are reciprocal. It is as important to the tradesman or the artisan to thoughtfully consider wherein the interests of the farmer coincide with or differ from his own, as it is for the farmer to understand his position. Besides, whatever affects the farmer equally affects other classes, although possibly in different ways, and while in this book the welfare of the farmer is the standard by which interests are judged, yet all interests may be fairly well judged by any fixed standard-and it will be astonishing to many to discover how closely the true interests of us all are united.

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