Minnesota Real & Imagined (Stephen R. Graubard) pdf, epub, doc

Minnesota Real & Imagined ePub and PDF Available
When I was at the University of Minnesota, a professor of mine who was teaching a course on the history of the American West (who hailed from Texas) mentioned off hand during a lecture that whenever he left Minnesota, he felt like he was returning to the United States. Minnesota, he informed the class was, like Texas, a state with its own strange culture that did not fit totally with the others. I was intrigued by this statement, as I had also felt for a long time that Minnesota was unique though I did not have the context to inform my impression.

This collection of essays, originally published in 2000 as the 129 Volume of Daedalus, the journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, comes to similar conclusions and, if a bit dated, it was a fascinating, informative read. Called the "state that works" due to its strong economy and educated populace, there is still a certain kind of self-depreciating arrogance evident by a lot of residents, who cling to stereotypes of bad weather and "Minnesota Nice" passive aggression as they trumpet the Guthrie Theater and the (more than) ten thousand lakes (myself included). My favorite pieces were Rhoda Gilman's "The History and People of Minnesota" Annette Atkins "Facing Minnesota," Jospeh A. Amato and Anthony Amato's "Minnesota, Real and Imagined," and "Virginia Gray and Wyman Spano's "The Irrestible Force Meets the Immovable Object: Minnesota's Moralistic Political Culture Confronts Jesse Ventura," as they explore the development of this culture, both positive and negative, including injustice to indigenous Dakota and Ojibwe cultures, immigration from all continents, radical labor, social justice, and the prominence of the arts.

Some of the questions explored in the essays include such things as; Why did Minnesota elect a professional wrestler as governor? Why do we have our own version of the Democratic Party, the DFL? What makes live theater such a big deal in the state? How did another former governor almost become the foreign minister of Croatia? For a region arbitrarily enforced upon the cultural landscape by the U.S. government in the 19th century, how did the state come to have such a strong, progressive identity? As a state with long peopled by immigrants from around the world, it mixes a provincial isolationism with dynamic internationalism.

"Minnesota Real and Imagined," is a informational piece of regional cultural history that would be good reading next to something like Colin Woodard's American Nations and yes, I do feel a bit more informed about the background of my home state.

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Book info

  • Author:
  • Publisher:Minnesota Historical Society Press
  • File: 4.5 Mb
  • Release: 01.04.2001
  • ISBN: 9780873513975
  • Pages 297
  • Rating: 4 (1 votes)

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