Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. ii-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Illustrations and Tables

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pp. ix-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xiv

Writing a book, like driving a big rig, involves many solitary hours of work, and I am grateful for this opportunity to thank colleagues and friends who have shared ideas and camaraderie with me on this long haul. At the...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-12

Armed with bricks, knives, and shotguns, angry bands of truck drivers roamed the nation’s highways in the summer of 1979, shattering windshields and slashing fellow truckers’ tires. Governors of nine states summoned...

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1. Food and Power in the New Deal, 1933–42

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pp. 13-42

“The city-dweller or poet who regards the cow as a symbol of bucolic serenity,” declared U.S. Circuit Court judge Jerome Frank in 1941, “is indeed naïve.” Presiding over an acrimonious legal battle involving the price...

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2. Chaos, Control, and Country Trucking, 1933–42

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pp. 43-68

The irresistible dream of being an “independent” trucker was the central dramatic theme of the first major trucking film, They Drive by Night, released by Warner Brothers in 1940. Joe and Paul Fabrini, played by George Raft and...

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3. Food Fights in War and Peace, 1942–52

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pp. 69-98

Charles F. Brannan was trained as a lawyer and dressed like a banker, but as secretary of agriculture from 1948 through 1952, he engineered one of the century’s most vigorous attacks on corporate power in the farm and food...

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4. Trucking Culture and Politics in the Agribusiness Era, 1953–61

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pp. 99-134

Robert Vandivier’s first experience as a truck driver came before he was tall enough to see over the steering wheel, hauling skim milk and grain to feed the livestock on his parents’ southern Indiana farm during the Depression...

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5. Beef Trusts and Asphalt Cowboys

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pp. 135-162

In October 1953, Bob Douthitt of Huntington Park, California, penned an angry diatribe to Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson. The retail price of beef was skyrocketing even as cattle farmers saw their profits plummeting...

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6. The Milkman and the Milk Hauler

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pp. 163-186

In September 1960, forty Indianapolis milkmen invaded a local supermarket, commandeered all of its shopping carts, and jammed the aisles to protest the store’s policy of underselling home-delivered milk by 28 cents per gallon. As...

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7. Agrarian Trucking Culture and Deregulatory Capitalism, 1960–80

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pp. 187-232

Born in 1933, Mike Parkhurst grew up hoping to be a journalist. He instead found himself behind the wheel of a milk truck after graduating from high school. Soon he was hauling watermelons, potatoes, fertilizer, and paper on...

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Conclusion

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pp. 233-238

The neopopulist sentiments that ignited the trucker protests of the 1970s helped to sweep Ronald Reagan into the presidency in 1981. Fed up with the failed economic policies of the Nixon, Ford, and Carter administrations...

Appendix A

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pp. 239-242

Appendix B

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pp. 243-250

Notes

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pp. 251-292

Index

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pp. 293-308