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The first Finnish immigrants arrived in R ed Wing in 1864, the vanguard of thousands who eventually and resolutely placed Minnesota second among the states in terms of Finnish population. Today we may recognize Minnesota’s “Finnishness” in the popular sauna, in the characteristic tenacity known as sisu, or in place names and cultural markers that link to homeland. The newest contribution to the People of Minnesota series traces the Finns’ migration to the state, particularly its northeastern region; their log construction techniques, including dovetail notching; and their ethnic organizations, from religious to political to fraternal. Colorful sidebars enliven the narrative, highlighting such topics as “Finglish,” New World legends, and the 1920s Olympic competitors in track and field known as the “Flying Finns.” A separate thread tells the story of the Finland Swedes—“the minority within a minority” whose members were born in Finland but spoke Swedish and thus straddled two ethnic groups, belonging fully to neither. The book concludes with a personal narrative of Fred Torma (1888–1979), a miner and carpenter from Nashwauk, who describes establishing a Socialist hall, involvement in the 1907 Mesabi strike, and founding a cooperative boardinghouse and store. His is just one engaging example of the vibrant lives and legacy of Finnish Americans in Minnesota.
Politics and Policy in the Prairie State
Persistent problems have left Illinois the butt of jokes and threatened it with fiscal catastrophe. In Fixing Illinois, James D. Nowlan and J. Thomas Johnson use their four decades of experience as public servants, Springfield veterans, and government observers to present a comprehensive program of almost one hundred specific policy ideas aimed at rescuing the state from its long list of problems.Nowlan and Johnson start with the history of how one of the most prosperous states of the 1950s became a present-day mess riven by debt and discord and increasingly abandoned by both businesses and citizens. Among their more than ninety proposals to restore Illinois to greatness:An overhaul of state pension systems that includes more reasonable benefits and lengthening of the retirement age, among other changes;Reducing one of the nation's highest corporate tax rates to attract business;Medicare reform through an insurance voucher program;Demanding that schools raise expectations for success, particularly in rural and impoverished urban areas;A new approach to higher education that includes a market-driven system that puts funds in the hands of students rather than institutions;Broadening of the tax base to include services and reduction in rates;The creation of a long-term plan to maintain the state's five-star transportation infrastructure;Raising funds with capital construction bonds to update and integrate the antiquated information systems used by state agencies;Uprooting the state's entrenched culture of corruption via public financing of elections, redistricting reform, and revolving door prohibitions for lawmakersPointed, honest, and pragmatic, Fixing Illinois is a plan for effective and honest government that seeks an even nobler end: restoring our faith in Illinois's institutions and reviving a sense of citizenship and state pride.
Minnesota Crops, Cook, and Conservation during World War I
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.
How Humans Shaped the North Woods
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.
The Shattered Dreams of De Lassus De Luzieres
Scenes from the Life and Times of Henry Ford
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.
Cedar Falls and the Civil War
Classic Golf Clubs of Minnesota
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.
An American Farmer Looks Back
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.
The "Bold and Dashing Life" of Robert Campbell, Revised and Expanded Edition