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Minnesota Historical Society Press


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Minnesota Historical Society Press

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Results 51-60 of 94

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Making Marriage Cover

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Making Marriage

Husbands, Wives, and the American State in Dakota and Ojibwe Country

The debate over the meaning of marriage in the United States and specifically in Minnesota is not a recent development. From 1820 to 1845, when the first significant numbers of Americans arrived in the region now called Minnesota, they carried the belief that good government and an orderly household went hand in hand. The territorial, state, and federal governments of the United States were built upon a particular vision of civic responsibility: that men, as heads of households, enter civic life on behalf of their dependents—wives, children, servants, and slaves. These dependents were deemed unfit to make personal decisions or to involve themselves in business and government—and they owed labor and obedience to their husbands, fathers, and masters. These ideas clashed forcibly with the conceptions of kinship and social order that existed among the Upper Midwest's long-established Dakota, Ojibwe, and mixed-heritage communities. In resisting the new gender and familial roles advocated by military personnel, Indian agents, and missionaries, the region’s inhabitants frustrated American attempts to transform Indian country into a state. Indeed, many Americans were forced to compromise their own beliefs so that they could put down roots. Through the stories of married—and divorcing—men and women in the region, Catherine J. Denial traces the uneven fortunes of American expansion in the early nineteenth century and the nation-shaping power of marital acts.

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Minneapolis in the Twentieth Century

The Growth of an American City

Iric Nathanson

Today, Minneapolis is considered one of the most desirable places to live in the United States. However, like most cities, Minneapolis has its own checkered history. Iric Nathanson shines a light in dark corners of the city's past, exploring corruption that existed between the police department and city hall, brutal suppression of Depression-era unions, and reports on anti-Semitism at midcentury. Still other subjects that on the surface seem disparaging offer the city's residents as opportunity to shine. Community leaders make a difference during the "long hot summer" of 1967, when racial violence exploded across the country. Concerned neighbors guide transportation policy from more and bigger highways to forward-looking light rail transit. A forgotten riverfront is transformed into a magnet for people wishing to live and play at the site of the city's earliest successes. Nathanson skillfully tells these stories and more, always with an eye toward how noteworthy characters, plotlines, and scenes helped create the Minneapolis we know today.

Mni Sota Makoce Cover

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Mni Sota Makoce

The Land of the Dakota

by Gwen Westerman and Bruce White, with a foreword by Glenn Wasicuna

Much of the focus on the Dakota people in Minnesota rests on the tragic events of the 1862 U.S.–Dakota War and the resulting exile that sent the majority of the Dakota to prisons and reservations beyond the state’s boundaries. But the true depth of the devastation of removal cannot be understood without a closer examination of the history of the Dakota people and their deep cultural connection to the land that is Minnesota. Drawing on oral history interviews, archival work, and painstaking comparisons of Dakota, French, and English sources, Mni Sota Makoce tells the detailed history of the Dakota people in their traditional homelands for at least hundreds of years prior to exile. “Minnesota” is derived from the Dakota phrase Mni Sota Makoce, Land Where the Waters Reflect the Clouds—and the people’s roots here remain strong. Authors Gwen Westerman and Bruce White examine narratives of the people’s origins, their associations with the land, and the seasonal round through key players and place names. They consider Dakota interactions with Europeans and offer an in-depth “reading between the lines” of historical documents—some of them virtually unknown—and treaties made with the United States, uncovering misunderstandings and outright deceptions that helped lead to war in 1862. Dakota history did not begin with the U.S.– Dakota War of 1862—nor did it end there. Mni Sota Makoce is, more than anything, a celebration of the Dakota people through their undisputed connection to this place, Minnesota, in the past, present, and future.

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My Mother Is Now Earth

By Mark Anthony Rolo

“. . . the memory of my mother came to me like a drifting scent in the breeze, swirling through the branches of a nearby cedar tree. I was drawn back [35 years] to the day I learned she had passed on. But that autumn day of 1973 did not grip me with deep sadness, the burden of never seeing her again. I was looking at that day from a new angle, a distant view that seemed to suggest a new, untold story. I was suddenly more than curious about who my mother truly was in this life and beyond.” Uprooted from family and community in Milwaukee by her husband, a French and Irish construction worker with a drinking problem, Corrine Rolo struggles to raise their seven children on a remote farm near Big Falls, Minnesota. She longs to move back to Milwaukee, or to visit her relatives on the Bad River Ojibwe reservation, at one point threatening to leave the older kids behind and return to her home in the city. Mark Anthony Rolo sifts through potent dreams and childhood memories to recreate a picture of his often conflicted mother during the last three years of her life. She told him a few warm stories of her life on the reservation, but she participated in the family’s casually derogatory banter about their Ojibwe heritage. She spent little time helping Rolo with his schoolwork, even as she wrote voluminous, detailed letters to her family in Milwaukee. She could treat her children harshly and yet also display the fiercest love. With an innocent and sometimes brutal child’s view, Rolo recounts stories of a woman who battles poverty, depression, her abusive husband, and isolation through the long northern Minnesota winters, and of himself, her son, who struggles at school, wrestles with his Ojibwe identity, and copes with violence. But he also shows, with eloquence and compassion, his adult understanding of his mother’s fight to live with dignity, not despair.

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Night Flying Woman

An Ojibway Narrative

Ignatia Broker

With the art of a practiced storyteller, Ignatia Broker recounts the life of her great-great-grandmother, Night Flying Woman, who was born in the mid-19th century and lived during a chaotic time of enormous change, uprootings, and loss for the Minnesota Ojibway. But this story also tells of her people's great strength and continuity. Praise for Night Flying Woman “One of my favorite books.”—Louise Erdrich “This remarkable book deserves to be read aloud for generations to come.”—Minneapolis Star tribune “A book everyone should read. It lights a fire of warmth within me.”—Marge Dalve, White Earth Band Ojibway “This beautiful book is a blessing, a gift, an antidote for all the poisonous lies about our past that we have had to endure. It is full of courage and love. This is how it really was.”—Beverly Slapin and Doris Seale, Books Without Bias: Through Indian Eyes “Ignatia Brloker writes with the beauty of Ojibway female oral style…a poignant tale.”—Choice

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North for the Harvest

Mexican Workers, Growers, and the Sugar Beet Industry

Jim Norris

Throughout most of the twentieth century, thousands of Mexicans traveled north to work the sugar beet fields of the Minnesota–North Dakota Red River Valley. North for the Harvest examines the evolution of the relationships between American Crystal Sugar Company, the sugar beet growers, and the migrant workers. Though popular convention holds that corporations and landowners invariably exploited migrant workers, Norris reveals that these relationships were more complex. The company often clashed with growers, sometimes while advocating for workers. And many growers developed personal ties with their migrant workers, while workers themselves often found ways to leverage better pay and working conditions from the company. Ultimately, the lot of workers improved as the years went by. As one worker explained, something historic occurred for his family while working in the Red River Valley: “We broke the chain there.” “North for the Harvest is beautifully conceived, very well written, and nuanced and original in its arguments. Norris demonstrates that labor relations in the Red River Valley beet industry was a ‘three-corner game’ that cannot be fully understood without examining all the players.” David Vaught, author of Cultivating California: Growers, Specialty Crops, and Labor, 1875–1920 “This story of the long-established and productive contributions of Latinos to Minnesota and North Dakota needs to be heard. It has never been told in such depth and with such style.” Jeffrey Kolnick, Associate Professor of History, Southwest Minnesota State University

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North Star State

A Minnesota History Reader

Anne J. Aby

Two hundred years of Minnesota history spring to life in this lively and captivating collection of essays. The North Star State encompasses the wide range of Minnesota's unique past--from the Civil War to the World Wars, from frontier life to the age of technological innovation, from Dakota and Ojibwe history to the story of St. Paul's black sleeping-car porters, from lumber workers and truckers' strikes to the women's suffrage movement. In addition to investigative articles by the state's top historians, editor Anne Aby has assembled captivating first-person accounts from key moments in Minnesota history, including George Nelson's reminiscences of his years in the early nineteenth-century fur trade; the diary of Emily Goodridge Grey, an early African American settler; and Jasper N. Searles's letters home from the Battle of First Bull Run.

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Norwegian American Women

Migration, Communities, and Identities

Edited by Betty A. Bergland and Lori Ann Lahlum

The history of Norwegian settlement in the United States has often been told through the eyes of prominent men, while the women are imagined in the form of O. E. Rølvaag’s fictionalized heroine Beret Holm, who made the best of life on the frontier but whose gaze seemed ever fixed on her long-lost home. The true picture is more complex. In an area spanning the Midwest and rural West and urban areas such as Seattle, Chicago, and Brooklyn, Norwegian American women found themselves in varied circumstances, ranging from factory worker to domestic, impoverished to leisured. Offering a comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach, Norwegian American Women: Migration, Communities, and Identities considers the stories of this immigrant group through a gendered lens. Nine noted scholars situate these women in the history, literature, politics, and culture of both their ancestral home and the new land, interpreting their multifarious lives and the communities they helped build. pieces on wide-ranging topics by Betty A. Bergland, Laurann Gilbertson, Karen v. Hansen, Lori Ann Lahlum, Ann M. Legreid, Odd S. Lovoll, Elisabeth Lønnå, David C. Mauk, and Ingrid K. Urberg are bookended by Elizabeth Jameson’s lively foreword and Dina Tolfsby’s detailed bibliography, comprising a collection that enlightens at the same time that it inspires further investigations into the lives of women in Norwegian America.

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Norwegian Newspapers in America

Connecting Norway and the New Land

Odd S. Lovoll

In the nineteenth century, the United States, “the land of newspapers,” was also fast becoming the land of immigrants, with increasing numbers of Norwegians arriving amid the European influx. Already Skandinaven, published out of Chicago, kept newcomers and their Old World friends and family informed of political, religious, and social matters discussed in burgeoning Norwegian American communities. From 1847 to today, more than 280 Norwegian-language papers were launched in cities ranging from Minneapolis to Fargo, Boston to Seattle. Some lasted just a few months; others continued for decades; all contributed to a developing Norwegian- American perspective. Odd Lovoll traces newspaper ventures both successful and short lived to offer a comprehensive look at America’s Norwegian-language press. Highlighting diligent editors and analyzing topics of interest to readers through the years, Norwegian Newspapers in America demonstrates how newspapers pursued a twofold goal: forging a bridge to the homeland while nurturing cultural practices in the New World.

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Norwegians and Swedes in the United States

Friends and Neighbors

Edited by Philip J. Anderson and Dag Blanck

To early American immigrants, nineteenth-century newcomers from the Scandinavian peninsula likely seemed all of a type. to immigrants hailing from Norway and Sweden, however, differences in language, culture, and religion sorted them into distinct groupings: not Scandinavian, but Norwegian or Swedish—and proud of their lineage. How did these differences affect relationships in the new world? In what ways did Swedes and Norwegians preserve their cultures in the city and in rural areas? On what political subjects did they disagree—or perhaps agree? Did they build communities together or in opposition to each other? Where they were neighbors, were they also friends? In this groundbreaking volume, scholars from the United States, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark debate these issues and more, sharing perspectives on context, culture, conflict, and community. Essayists include Philip J. Anderson, Jennifer Attebery, H. Arnold Barton, Ulf Jonas Björk, Dag Blanck, Jørn Brøndal, Angela Falk, Mark Granquist, Per Olof Grönberg, Ingeborg Kongslien, James p. Leary, Joy K. Lintelman, Odd S. Lovoll, David Mauk, Byron J. Nordstrom, Kurt W. Peterson, Harald Runblom, and Mark Safstrom.

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