Ernest Ludwig Feder was among the most prolific, creative and boldest of rural economists in the decades after the Second World War. Yet much of the work for which he would become most well known — on land reform, dependency and peasant agriculture, particularly in Latin America — was a comparatively late development, starting when he was almost fifty, more than two-thirds of the way through a full and varied life that never conformed to conventional academic criteria and that came to a premature end when he was just seventy-one. In the years since, the relevance of his work has grown, although the number of younger scholars who actually read his books and papers has declined.