Creating Minnesota: A History from the Inside Out

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Overview

Renowned historian Annette Atkins presents a fresh understanding of how a complex and modern Minnesota came into being in Creating Minnesota. Each chapter of this innovative state history focuses on a telling detail, a revealing incident, or a meaningful issue that illuminates a larger event, social trends, or politics during a period in our past.

A three-act play about Minnesota's statehood vividly depicts the competing interests of Natives, traders, and politicians who lived in the same territory but moved in different worlds. Oranges are the focal point of a chapter about railroads and transportation: how did a St. Paul family manage to celebrate their 1898 Christmas with fruit that grew no closer that 1,500 miles from their home? A photo essay brings to life three communities of the 1920s, seen through the lenses of local and itinerant photographers. The much-sought state fish helps to explain the new Minnesota, where pan-fried walleye and walleye quesadillas coexist on the same north woods menu.

In Creating Minnesota Atkins invites readers to experience the texture of people's lives through the decades, offering a fascinating and unparalleled approach to the history of our state.

Annette Atkins is a professor of history at St. John's University in Collegeville and the author of Harvest of Grief: Grasshopper Plagues and Public Assistance in Minnesota, 1873-1878 (MHS Press) and We Grew Up Together: Brothers and Sisters in Nineteenth-Century America.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780873516334
  • Publisher: Minnesota Historical Society Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2008
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 319
  • Sales rank: 807,377
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents


Preface: The State I'm In     xi
The Shape of Water and the Feel of Trees: A South Dakotan in Minnesota     3
Dancing the Rice     11
Campbell Country     26
Playing with the Future     34
One Mixed-Blood Family Looks for Its Place     49
The War Touched Us All     61
Not Drawn to Scale     72
Making a Living, Making a Life     84
The Fairbrothers' Christmas     100
Becoming Better and Becoming American     107
The Look of the 1920s     119
Hanging on for Dear Life     170
We Never Had Enough Sugar     192
Style Comes to Staples     205
"The House That Hubert Built"     219
Walleye Quesadilla and the New Minnesota     236
Timeline: Dates Tell a Story, Too     251
Epilogue: Synecdoche     265
A Word to the Wise: Thank You     267
Notes     269
Index     303
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