HighBridge Audio

Skip to Main Content »

Category Navigation:

Search Site

The Planter of Modern Life

nonfiction: Biography
Unabridged   10 hour(s)
Publication date: 04/14/2020

The Planter of Modern Life

Louis Bromfield and the Seeds of a Food Revolution

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781684577934
Digital Download ISBN:9781684577927


How a leading writer of the Lost Generation became America's most famous farmer and inspired the organic food movement.

Be the first to review this product
Email to a Friend

Product Description

Louis Bromfield was a World War I ambulance driver, a Paris expat, and a Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist as famous in the 1920s as Hemingway or Fitzgerald. But he cashed in his literary success to finance a wild agrarian dream in his native Ohio. The ideas he planted at his utopian experimental farm, Malabar, would inspire America’s first generation of organic farmers and popularize the tenets of environmentalism years before Rachel Carson's Silent Spring.

A lanky Midwestern farm boy dressed up like a Left Bank bohemian, Bromfield stood out in literary Paris for his lavish hospitality and his green thumb. He built a magnificent garden outside the city where he entertained aristocrats, movie stars, flower breeders, and writers of all stripes. Millions savored his novels, which were turned into Broadway plays and Hollywood blockbusters, yet Bromfield's greatest passion was the soil. In 1938, Bromfield returned to Ohio to transform 600 badly eroded acres into a thriving cooperative farm, which became a mecca for agricultural pioneers and a country retreat for celebrities.

This sweeping biography unearths a lost icon of American culture, a fascinating, hilarious and unclassifiable character who—between writing and plowing—also dabbled in global politics and high society.


"His [Robertson] pleasing voice ensnares the listener, who learns of a unique, captivating character who deserves better recognition.” -Booklist Audio Review

“In this delightful and exhilarating page-turner…Heyman does an impressive job of combining all of Bromfield’s interests into a cohesive narrative that captivates as both intriguing history and a significant look at early environmentalism.” —Booklist Starred Review

“Heyman turns the story of this novelist, screenwriter, nonfiction author, and pioneering farmer into an utterly engrossing account of both his life and his times…[The Planter of Modern Life] is a biography of dual landscapes―literary and pastoral―as much as a chronicle of a man…An outstanding debut.” —Kirkus Starred Review

Author Bio

Stephen Heyman has written for the New York Times, Slate, Vogue, and many other publications. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Leon Levy Center for Biography and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He lives in Pittsburgh.