Indiana University Press

Midwestern History and Culture

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Midwestern History and Culture

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The American Midwest

An Interpretive Encyclopedia

Richard Sisson, Christian Zacher, and Andrew Cayton, editors

This first-ever encyclopedia of the Midwest seeks to embrace this large and diverse area, to give it voice, and help define its distinctive character. Organized by topic, it encourages readers to reflect upon the region as a whole. Each section moves from the general to the specific, covering broad themes in longer introductory essays, filling in the details in the shorter entries that follow. There are portraits of each of the region's twelve states, followed by entries on society and culture, community and social life, economy and technology, and public life. The book offers a wealth of information about the region's surprising ethnic diversity -- a vast array of foods, languages, styles, religions, and customs -- plus well-informed essays on the region's history, culture and values, and conflicts. A site of ideas and innovations, reforms and revivals, and social and physical extremes, the Midwest emerges as a place of great complexity, signal importance, and continual fascination.

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Dissent in the Heartland

The Sixties at Indiana University

Mary Ann Wynkoop

"More than other local histories of campus activism during this period, Dissent in the Heartland introduces national themes and events, and successfully places Indiana University into that context. The research in primary sources, including FBI files, along with numerous interviews, is superior, and the writing is lucid and at times provocative."
-- Terry H. Anderson, author of The Sixties

This grassroots view of student activism in the 1960s chronicles the years of protest at one Midwestern university. Located in a region of farmland, conservative politics, and traditional family values, Indiana University was home to antiwar protestors, civil rights activists, members of the counterculture, and feminists who helped change the heart of Middle America. Its students made their voices heard on issues from such local matters as dorm curfews and self-governance to national issues of racism, sexism, and the Vietnam War. Their recognition that the personal was the political would change them forever. The protest movement they helped shape would reach into the heartland in ways that would redefine higher education, politics, and cultural values.

Based on research in primary sources, interviews, and FBI files, Dissent in the Heartland reveals the Midwestern pulse of the Sixties, beating firmly, far from the elite schools and urban centers of the East and West.

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River of Enterprise

The Commercial Origins of Regional Identity in the Ohio Valley, 1790-1850

Kim M. Gruenwald

"Gruenwald's book will make the same contribution to historical knowledge of the Ohio Valley as Lewis Atherton's Frontier Merchant did for our understanding of the mercantile Midwest in the mid-nineteenth century.... a finely crafted narrative that lets the reader understand that the Ohio River always served more as an artery, that is, a river of commerce, than a dividing line or boundary." -- R. Douglas Hurt, author of The Ohio Frontier

River of Enterprise explores the role the Ohio played in the lives of three generations of settlers from the river's headwaters at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to the falls at Louisville, Kentucky. Part One examines the strategies of colonists who coveted lands "Across the Mountains" as space to be conquered. Part Two traces the emergence of a new region in a valley transformed by commerce as the Ohio River became the artery of movement in "the Western Country." Part Three reveals how relations between neighbors across the river cooled as residents of "the Buckeye State" came to regard the river as the boundary between North and South. From 1790 to 1830, the Ohio River nurtured a regional identity as Americans strove to create an empire based on the ties of commerce in frontier Ohio and Kentucky, and the backcountry of Pennsylvania and Virginia.

The book studies the local, regional, and national connections created by merchants by tracing the business world of the Woodbridge family of Marietta, Ohio. Only as regional commercial concerns gave way to statewide industrial concerns, and as artificial transportation networks such as canals and railroads supplanted the river, did those living to the north define the Ohio as a boundary.

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