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Food Will Win the War Cover

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Food Will Win the War

Minnesota Crops, Cook, and Conservation during World War I

Rae Katherine Eighmey

Meatless Mondays, Wheatless Wednesdays, vegetable gardens and chickens in every empty lot. When the United States entered World War I, Minnesotans responded to appeals for personal sacrifice and changed the way they cooked and ate in order to conserve food for the boys “over there.” Baking with corn and rye, eating simple meals based on locally grown food, consuming fewer calories, and wasting nothing in the kitchen became civic acts. High-energy foods and calories unconsumed on the American home front could help the food-starved, war-torn American Allies eat another day and fight another battle. Food historian Rae Katherine Eighmey engages readers with wide research and recipes drawn from rarely viewed letters, diaries, recipe books, newspaper accounts, government pamphlets, and public service fliers. She brings alive the unknown but unparalleled efforts to win the war made by ordinary “Citizen Soldiers”—farmers and city dwellers, lumberjacks and homemakers—who rolled up their sleeves to apply “can-do” ingenuity coupled with “must-do” drive. Their remarkable efforts transformed everyday life and set the stage for the United States’ postwar economic and political ascendance.

Forest for the Trees Cover

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Forest for the Trees

How Humans Shaped the North Woods

Jeff Forester

Author Jeff Forester describes how humans have occupied and managed the northern borderlands of Minnesota, from tribal burning to pioneer and industrial logging to evolving conceptions of wilderness and restoration forestry. On the surface a story of Minnesota's borderlands, The Forest for the Trees more broadly explores the nation's history of resource extraction and wilderness preservation, casting forward to consider what today?s actions may mean for the future of America?s forests. From early settlers and industrialists seeking the pine forests' wealth to modern visitors valuing the tranquility of protected wilderness, the region known today as the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness has offered assorted treasures to each generation. By focusing on the ecological history of the BWCAW's Winton watershed, Forester shows how the global story of logging, forestry, conservation, and resource management unfolded in the northern woods of Minnesota. The result is a telling exploration of human attitudes toward wilderness: the grasp after a forest?s resources, the battles between logging and tourist interests, and decades of conservation efforts that have left northern Minnesota denuded of white pine and threatened with potentially devastating fire. The result of a decade of research, The Forest for the Trees chronicles six phases of human interaction with the BWCAW: tribal, burning the land for cultivation; pioneering, harvesting lumber on a small scale; industrial, accelerating the cut and consequently increasing the fire danger; conservation, reacting to both widespread fires and unsustainable harvest levels; wilderness, recognizing important values in woodlands beyond timber; and finally restoration, using prescribed burns and other techniques to return the forest to its "natural" state. Whether promoted or excluded, one constant through these phases is fire. The Forest for the Trees explores how tribal people burned the land to encourage agriculture, how conservationists and others later fought fire in the woods by completely suppressing it, and finally how scientific understanding brought the debate full circle, as recent controlled burns in the BWCAW seek to lessen significant fuel loads that could produce fires of unprecedented magnitude.

A French Aristocrat in the American West Cover

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A French Aristocrat in the American West

The Shattered Dreams of De Lassus De Luzieres

Carl J. Ekberg & Foreword by Marie-Sol de La Tour d'Auvergne

 

In 1790, Pierre-Charles de Lassus de Luzières gathered his wife and children and fled Revolutionary France. His trek to America was prompted by his “purchase” of two thousand acres situated on the bank of the Ohio River from the Scioto Land Company—the institution that infamously swindled French buyers and sold them worthless titles to property. When de Luzières arrived and realized he had been defrauded, he chose, in a momentous decision, not to return home to France. Instead, he committed to a life in North America and began planning a move to the Mississippi River valley.
            De Luzières dreamed of creating a vast commercial empire that would stretch across the frontier, extending the entire length of the Ohio River and also down the Mississippi from Ste. Genevieve to New Orleans. Though his grandiose goal was never realized, de Luzières energetically pursued other important initiatives. He founded the city of New Bourbon in what is now Missouri and recruited American settlers to move westward across the Mississippi River. The highlight of his career was being appointed Spanish commandant of the New Bourbon District, and his 1797 census of that community is an invaluable historical document. De Luzières was a significant political player during the final years of the Spanish regime in Louisiana, but likely his greatest contributions to American history are his extensive commentaries on the Mississippi frontier at the close of the colonial era.
            A French Aristocrat in the American West: The Shattered Dreams of De Lassus de Luzières is both a narrative of this remarkable man’s life and a compilation of his extensive writings. In Part I of the book, author Carl Ekberg offers a thorough account of de Luzières, from his life in Pre-Revolutionary France to his death in 1806 in his house in New Bourbon. Part II is a compilation, in translation, of de Luzières’s most compelling correspondence. Until now very little of his writing has been published, despite the fact that his letters constitute one of the largest bodies of writing ever produced by a French émigré in North America.
            Though de Luzières’s presence in early American history has been largely overlooked by scholars, the work left behind by this unlikely frontiersman merits closer inspection. A French Aristocrat in the American West brings the words and deeds of this fascinating man to the public for the first time.

Friends, Families & Forays Cover

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Friends, Families & Forays

Scenes from the Life and Times of Henry Ford

Ford R. Bryan

The 55 chapters of Friends, Families & Forays are bursting with details about the people and the pursuits that colored the life of Henry Ford. Here the reader will meet prominent and diverse figures such as Thomas Edison, John Borroughs, George Washington Carver, Helen Keller, and Mahatma Gandhi—all of whose lives intersected that of Henry Ford at some interesting point in his life. Also brought to life in these pages are the branches of Ford's family tree, from his Irish ancestors to the descendants who carry his legacy today. Although it was the automobile that made him an industrial icon, Henry Ford could boast of exploits in many other arenas as well: railroads, speedboats, robots, flour mills, rubber plantations, and humanitarian efforts around the world and in his own backyard. Ford's hard work and passionate interests brought him great wealth , and this book provides a peek at the luxuries he and his wife, Clara, enjoyed, from a yacht and a private rail car, to gracious residences in Michigan, Florida, and Georgia.

From Blue Mills to Columbia Cover

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From Blue Mills to Columbia

Cedar Falls and the Civil War

Historian Kenneth Lyftogt introduces us to the volunteer soldiers of the Pioneer Grays and Cedar Falls Reserves infantry companies and in turn examines Iowa’s role in the Civil War. Many of these soldiers served the Union for the duration of the war, from the early fighting in Missouri to Shiloh, Vicksburg, and Sherman’s destructive marches through Georgia and the Carolinas. Their letters home are Lyftogt’s primary sources, as are editorials and articles published in the Cedar Falls Gazette.

From Fields to Fairways Cover

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From Fields to Fairways

Classic Golf Clubs of Minnesota

Rick Shefchik

From retreats for the middle class to playgrounds for the rich, golf clubs have been sources of recreation, fellowship, and business for Minnesotans for more than a century. Minnesota’s courses have hosted some of the sport's most dramatic tournaments and legendary players—including Bobby Jones, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods—and its clubs have been deeply involved in the development and popularizing of golf throughout North America.

From Fields to Fairways is the first book to thoroughly explore the history, architecture, and joie de vivre of Minnesota golf clubs, bringing to life the personalities who founded and shaped the clubs and courses, including forgotten details of how the greatest courses were built. Rick Shefchik highlights the best-known golf architects and the clubs they designed, such as Donald Ross (Woodhill, Interlachen, Northland), A. W. Tillinghast (Golden Valley, Rochester), William Watson (Minikahda, White Bear Yacht Club), and Seth Raynor (Somerset, Midland Hills, Minnesota Valley). He also traces the evolution of the state’s public courses, which provided affordable playing grounds for the middle class as well as African Americans, who were not allowed to join private clubs. Another chapter focuses on the creation of private clubs by Jewish golfers, who were likewise once excluded from Minnesota’s elite golf clubs.

Featuring more than two hundred photos from newspapers, clubs, museums, and private collections—many of which have never before been seen by the public—From Fields to Fairways will be the book of record on Minnesota’s illustrious golf history for fans and players of all handicaps.

From Missouri Cover

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From Missouri

An American Farmer Looks Back

Thad Snow, Edited by Bonnie Stepenoff

After years of subjecting the editors of St. Louis newspapers to eloquent letters on subjects as diverse as floods, tariffs, and mules, Thad Snow published his memoir From Missouri in his mid-seventies in 1954. He was barely retired from farming for more than half a century, mostly in the Missouri Bootheel, or “Swampeast Missouri,” as he called it. Now back in print with a new introduction by historian Bonnie Stepenoff, these sketches of a life, a region, and an era will delight readers new to this distinctive American voice as well as readers already familiar with this masterpiece of the American Midwest.

            Snow purchased a thousand acres of southeast Missouri swampland in 1910, cleared it, drained it, and eventually planted it in cotton. Although he employed sharecroppers, he grew to become a bitter critic of the labor system after a massive flood and the Great Depression worsened conditions for these already-burdened workers. Shocking his fellow landowners, Snow invited the Southern Tenant Farmers Union to organize the workers on his land. He was even once accused of fomenting a strike and publicly threatened with horsewhipping.
            Snow’s admiration for Owen Whitfield, the African American leader of the Sharecroppers’ Roadside Demonstration, convinced him that nonviolent resistance could defeat injustice. Snow embraced pacifism wholeheartedly and denounced all war as evil even as America mobilized for World War II after the attack on Pearl Harbor. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, he became involved with creating Missouri’s conservation movement. Near the end of his life, he found a retreat in the Missouri Ozarks, where he wrote this recollection of his life.
            This unique and honest series of personal essays expresses the thoughts of a farmer, a hunter, a husband, a father and grandfather, a man with a soft spot for mules and dogs and all kinds of people. Snow’s prose reveals much about a way of life in the region during the first half of the twentieth century, as well as the social and political events that affected the entire nation. Whether arguing that a good stock dog should be left alone to do its work, explaining the process of making swampland suitable for agriculture, or putting forth his case for world peace, Snow’s ideas have a special authenticity because they did not come from an ivory tower or a think tank—they came From Missouri.

From Mountain Man to Millionaire Cover

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From Mountain Man to Millionaire

The "Bold and Dashing Life" of Robert Campbell, Revised and Expanded Edition

William R. Nester

 

The western fur trade era—a time when trappers and traders endured constant danger from man, beast, and weather—was one of the most colorful periods in American history. Over a decade ago, William R. Nester wrote the first biography of Robert Campbell (1804–1879); the subsequent discovery of nearly five hundred new documents, most from two major caches of letters, led to this even-more-detailed and vivid account of Campbell’s self-described “bold and dashing life.”
Campbell came to America from Ireland in 1822 and entered the fur trade soon after. He quickly rose from trapper to brigade leader to partner, all within a half dozen years, and this new edition includes an expanded narrative of his adventures in the Rocky Mountain fur trade. In the mid-1830s, having amassed considerable wealth, Campbell retired from the mountains and embarked on a new career. He returned to St. Louis and built up a business empire that embraced mercantile, steamboat, railroad, and banking interests, thus becoming a leading force behind the region’s economic development. A more extensive account of the cutthroat business world in which Campbell operated now enriches this portion of the book.
Nester masterfully depicts the “sterling character” for which Campbell was renowned. Campbell enjoyed deep and enduring friendships and strong familial ties, both in America and abroad. Although he was an outstanding businessman and philanthropist, his personal life was marred by tragedy. Ten of his thirteen children died prematurely. Despite those tragic losses, his faith in God never faltered. He believed that all worldly successes should honor God and once wrote that , “all worldly gain is but dross.” This edition elucidates the complex relations among his family and chronicles both tragic events and humorous incidents in more depth.
Exploring the letters, journals, and account books that Campbell left behind, Nester places him in the context of the times in which he lived, showing the economic, political, social, and cultural forces that provided the opportunities and challenges that shaped his life. Nester provides new insights into Campbell’s ownership of slaves, his attitudes toward slavery, and his behind-the-scenes political and economic activities during the Civil War. This comprehensive exploration of Robert Campbell’s life depicts a fascinating era in American history.

From Six-on-Six to Full Court Press Cover

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From Six-on-Six to Full Court Press

A Century of Iowa Girls' Basketball

Janice A. Beran

From Six-on-Six to Full Court Press is a complete history of Iowa women’s high school, college, and recreational basketball. Beran’s exhaustive research . . . covers legendary players and coaches, changes in rules, stats on Iowa girls’ high school records, alterations in playing styles and uniforms, along with the heart-stopping excitement of the state tournament.”—Hoop Source

From the Jewish Heartland Cover

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From the Jewish Heartland

Two Centuries of Midwest Foodways

Ellen F. Steinberg

From the Jewish Heartland: Two Centuries of Midwest Foodways reveals the distinctive flavor of Jewish foods in the Midwest and tracks regional culinary changes through time. Exploring Jewish culinary innovation in America's heartland from the 1800s to today, Ellen F. Steinberg and Jack H. Prost examine recipes from numerous midwestern sources, both kosher and nonkosher, including Jewish homemakers' handwritten manuscripts and notebooks, published journals and newspaper columns, and interviews with Jewish cooks, bakers, and delicatessen owners._x000B__x000B_Settling into the cities, towns, and farm communities of Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, and Minnesota, Jewish immigrants incorporated local fruits, vegetables, and other comestibles into traditional recipes. Such incomparable gustatory delights include Tzizel bagels and rye breads coated in midwestern cornmeal, baklava studded with locally grown cranberries, tangy ketchup concocted from wild sour grapes, rich Chicago cheesecakes, and savory gefilte fish from Minnesota northern pike._x000B__x000B_Steinberg and Prost also consider the effect of improved preservation and transportation on rural and urban Jewish foodways and the efforts of social and culinary reformers to modify traditional Jewish food preparation and ingredients. Including dozens of sample recipes and ample illustrations, From the Jewish Heartland: Two Centuries of Midwest Foodways takes readers on a memorable and unique tour of midwestern Jewish cooking and culture.

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