I'll Take My Stand, published in 1930, remains one of the most important works of social criticism in American history. The book's intellectual support of agrarianism and Southern identity distinguish it from other attacks upon industrialism in the twentieth century. The failure of I'll Take My Stand to reshape the terms of political debate in the 1930s is best explained by studying the book's rhetorical attempt to reconstruct America's technological vision of progress. By analyzing how the progress appeal functioned as an ideograph, and how the Agrarians sought to replace a technological vision of progress with an agrarian vision, this paper helps reconcile I'll Take My Stand's rhetorical failure in the 1930s with its significance in later decades.
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