A captivating story that is the first volume in what has become known as the “Mantz trilogy,” Three Miles Square garnered glowing reviews from some of the nation’s luminary mid-twentieth century intellectuals when it was first published in 1939. Lewis Mumford, for instance, proclaimed the novel to be “one of the best novels of agricultural America that anyone has produced in our generation . . . I recommend it to all those who wish to read more intimately the living face of America.” Louis Bromfield urged Americans to “Read it: aside from the pleasure you will have, you will learn much and it will do a great deal toward helping you to understand this vast curious country of yours.”
Author Paul Corey was born and raised on a 160 acre farm in western Iowa. He was the youngest of seven children. His father died when Paul was not yet two years old, leaving older brothers and sisters to carry on with the farm work until the place was sold in 1917, at which point the Corey’s moved to Atlantic. This family history would become the autobiographical basis for the Mantz trilogy, the chronicle of one family and their neighbors on a journey through the nation’s tumultuous agricultural history.