American Harvest, in which Mockett has intelligent things to say about race, faith and food, is a nimble blend of personal reflection and incisive social history. Consistently thought-provoking, it also features lots of keen-eyed nature writing ... If a less-talented writer tackled such a project, the results might be condescending. But Mockett’s sincerity and curiosity—and her long-standing connection to the region—make for an insightful book ... Mockett is deeply attuned to the land. Her description...is vivid. She asks smart questions about genetically modified foods and organic farming. And when she looks to the horizon, her prose dazzles.
Mockett’s heartfelt and often-emotional memories of following the wheat harvest for a summer, through seven states, is unlike anything you’ve read. In just 380 pages, she raises almost every existential question about race, identity and religion ... The author’s exquisite, intimate writing helps readers see the muted and vivid colors of the land, from red dust in Texas to lush green in Idaho, and understand her conflicting emotions when she is taken for Indian or Mexican ... Whether you’re interested ins big-scale farming, fine writing, monster equipment, or the history of just about everything connected to farming and farmers, please read American Harvest.
... a rich blend of science, philosophy and spirituality ... We pass dying towns, pioneer cemeteries and nuclear missile fields, and we learn to see wild pigs as pests, like city subway rats, running through fields and damaging the wheat. We contemplate the parched bones of long-discarded farm equipment as we ride in computer-driven tractors working satellite-monitored fields. Mockett writes poetically about the shifting colors of the sky and how they morph from dawn to noon to midnight. She marvels at the strength, patience and joy the harvesters take in their work.