Cottonwood Roots

Cottonwood Roots

by Kem Luther
     
 

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This account of the author's journey proceeds from his birthplace in Broken Bow, Nebraska, eastward across the Midwest to New York State and back into time as he carries out genealogical research on his family. His findings along the way give rise to diverse reflections, from courthouse architecture to the financial and social stresses of "proving up" land claims.

Overview

This account of the author's journey proceeds from his birthplace in Broken Bow, Nebraska, eastward across the Midwest to New York State and back into time as he carries out genealogical research on his family. His findings along the way give rise to diverse reflections, from courthouse architecture to the financial and social stresses of "proving up" land claims. The reader becomes a traveling companion, a party to fascinating and thought-provoking discourse on the history that is our common heritage, as well as the stages of birth, growth, individual life, death, and then attenuation in the memory of our descendants.
 
Genealogy may be the folk ancestor worship of Americans, and Luther leads us gracefully to an understanding of what we can learn from such a practice, and why it can satisfy an important need. This book is a pleasant reminder that what we term a "familiar essay" still has its able practitioners, and therefore retains its power to please and to instruct.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In order to trace his genealogical roots, Luther (computer science, Sheridan Coll., Canada) has gone on a journey from Broken Bow, Nebraska, to the state of New York. The narrative of Luther's search for his ancestors is not a typical genealogical history but reflects the author's background in philosophy and computer science. Allusions to mathematical modeling, databases, actuarial tables, and probabilities delineate his point of view. While he touches on the births, lives, and deaths in his family, Luther also examines such varied topics as the Amish, Millerites, gene pools, and the Civil War. He writes about the popularity of genealogical research during the 1930s and 1940s in Buffalo: ``Genealogists, it would seem, sometimes inhabit the same decadent, twilight space as philosophers.'' The metaphor of ``cottonwood roots'' refers to a family history at once stable and adjustable. Recommended for most libraries.-- Vicki L. Toy Smith, Univ . of Nevada, Reno
Dayton Duncan
"[This book] is like taking a long car ride with an extremely knowledgeable yet good-natured uncle, whose purpose in bringing you along on the trip was not just to enlist you in some ancestral sleuthing, but also to give you a seminar-on-wheels across a vast array of historical and sociological topics."—Dayton Duncan, author of Out West: An American Journey

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780595383818
Publisher:
iUniverse, Incorporated
Publication date:
02/15/2006
Pages:
168
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.39(d)

Meet the Author

Kem Luther has a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Chicago and teaches computer science at Sheridan College in Toronto, Ontario. He has published academic articles and poetry. Cottonwood Roots is his first book.

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