Form and Function of an American Icon

Barn Form and Function of an American Icon
$30.00 / £19.99
Format: Hardback, 160 Pages
ISBN: 9780760349731
Publisher: Voyageur Press
Buy from an Online Retailer


Barns is your ticket to delving into the fascinating history of these iconic American structures. You'll never see these unique structures the same way again!

Strong-timbered barns are icons of American agriculture, harboring multilayered stories from their floors to their rafters. Barn reveals the compelling history of barns from colonial times, examining how immigrants adapted traditional designs from their home countries to the American landscape.

It guides the reader on a tour of different kinds of barns, showing how construction materials, cultural influences, function, and style have given rise to their extraordinary variety. The reader will also learn about barn preservation, barns in pop culture and mythology, elements of barn style, and barn construction.
Barn is filled with fascinating facts about barns:

  • How did barns change with westward expansion?
  • Why are barns red?
  • What effect did immigration have on styles of barns in America?
  • How did barn architecture change according to geography?
  • What elements of style emerged on barns?
  • Barn idioms abound (e.g., He can't hit the broad side of a barn door!); Where did they come from?
  • What is a "poetry barn"?
  • and much more!

A comprehensive treatment of barns in the American landscape, this book is rich with fascinating details and beautiful photography. Swing open those big barn doors, and find out why barns continue to embody the heart of the American farm.

The author

Susan Carol Hauser is the author of twelve books, including My Kind of River Journey: Seeking Passage on the Mississippi; Outside after Dark; and Wild Rice: An Essential Guide to Cooking, History, and Harvesting. She has been a commentator on National Public Radio's "Living on Earth" and has received several literary grants and awards, including a McKnight Artist Fellowship Loft Award in Poetry and two Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grants for Prose, the most recent in 2015. Her newest book is A Guide to the North Country National Scenic Trail in Minnesota, co-edited with Linda M. Johnson. Her freelance work has appeared in the Sun, the Old Farmer's Almanac, National Gardener, National Forests, and other regional and national magazines.

Reader reviews


Format: Hardback, 160 Pages
ISBN: 9780760349731
Illustrations: 100 color & 20 b-w photos
Size: 8.5 in x 10.98 in / 215.9 mm x 278.89 mm

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