The University of Wisconsin Press

Agriculture / History / Wisconsin

The Round Barn, A Biography of an American Farm, Volume Two
The Big House, Around the Farm
Jacqueline Dougan Jackson

“Jackie Jackson throws open the Round Barn doors at the Dougan family farm to tell us an American story. She gives us a rich history of farm life at the mercy of the forces of science and the market but grounded in rock-solid Wisconsin values. In our world of ‘140 characters’ Jackie adds depth and texture with the remembered word, the treasured memory, and the wonderful characters she met on her life’s journey.”
—U.S. Senator Dick Durbin

Based on extensive primary materials from the Dougan farm, this second volume of Jacqueline Dougan Jackson’s The Round Barn: A Biography of an American Farm continues where the dairy tour ended in the first installment. This book broadens the focus to general farming, as Jackson bountifully describes the start and development of hybrid seed corn and artificial breeding on her family’s farm. As a biography of the Dougan farm, The Round Barn embodies “Grampa” Dougan’s philosophy as painted on the farm silo, “Life as well as a living.”

“Jackie Jackson’s Round Barn is a delight. The legendary creative writing teacher at the University of Illinois-Springfield has woven a rich and revealing tapestry of American farm life in its halcyon days. The Round Barn is so much more than a collection of stories. Think of it as a memoir of a Wisconsin dairy, one that links that farm to the wider world, lovingly crafted to pull the reader into a rich and wonderful world.”—Mark R. DePue, Director of Oral History at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library

“People familiar with a farm, and especially those who were lucky enough as a child to spend time in a barn, will be charmed by this . . . way of life that seems, while sadly past, a promising vision for the future.”—The Commercial Appeal

Jacqueline Dougan Jackson is the author of fourteen books including Stories from the Round Barn and More Stories from the Round Barn. A founding faculty member of Sangamon State University, now University of Illinois–Springfield, she has had her fiction read over Wisconsin Public Radio. She grew up on a Wisconsin dairy farm amidst extended family and pet goats.

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Of Related Interest
The Round Barn: A Biography of an American Farm, Volume One
Silo and Barn, Milkhouse, Milk Routes
Jacqueline Dougan Jackson
“Perhaps the fullest, most concrete history of the heyday of the American family dairy farm. It is a Tocqueville of the barn and pasture and big house, the milk route, the cornfield, and the making of an honorable living and a beautiful life. The Round Barn is a unique, unprecedented, and incomparable work, a definitive American work, a work of incalculable value to our history, our sense of ourselves as Americans, and perhaps our future. That Jackie Jackson has added this extraordinary book to American literature and history is one of the great accomplishments of contemporary American writing.”—Reginald Gibbons, Northwestern University


September 2013
487 pp.   6 x 9   166 b/w photos,
8 b/w illus., 3 maps

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Paper $24.95 t
ISBN 978-1-881480-10-5
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• Volume Three is forthcoming in 2014, and it will widen The Round Barn’s scope to the relationships of the farm with the community, state, nation, and world

Reading The Round Barn: A Biography of an American Farm is like sitting on the porch of an early twentieth-century dairy farm and watching an era in American history pass right before your eyes. In a book that is part history, part elegy, and part memoir, Jacqueline Dougan Jackson—Jackie—tells the story of her family’s dairy farm with the unusual round barn that was famous in the Beloit, Wisconsin, countryside.”
—Joe Kolina, TriQuarterly


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