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Whiskey Breakfast: My Swedish Family, My American Life by Richard C. Lindberg
This new book, copyright 2011, is a multigenerational tale of the Swedish-American experience. Lindberg — a first-generation, baby-boomer, Swedish American — has written an autobiography combining it with recent immigrant history and Swedish cultural history/politics, and has blended this with Chicago history focusing on how Chicago's Swedetoown became the center of Swedish immigrants' social and cultural life.
Themes are similar to Moberg's books that dealt with Swedish immigration 75 to 100 years earlier. This, Lindberg's 15th book, deals with immigration-related conflicts in the 1940s and '50s, the same time period in which Moberg's books were being published.
Lindberg evokes a contemporary version of the haunted landscape of poverty and superstition from which his ancestors fled to America...only to suffer different demons in the new land. In the end his story is a redemptive one of endurance and survival.
I Go to America Swedish American Women and the Life of Mina Anderson by Joy K. Lintelman
Near the end of her life, Mina Anderson penned a lively memoir that helped Swedish novelist Vilhelm Moberg create “Kristina,” the central female character in his beloved emigrant novels. But Mina’s story was different from Kristina's. Moberg's character constantly yearned for Sweden. Mina herself wrote how grateful she was for the opportunity to be in America, “I have never regretted that I left Sweden. I have had it better here.”
The book traces Mina’s trip across the Atlantic to Wisconsin and then to the Twin Cities where she worked as a domestic servant, and finally to her move to rural Mille Lacs County, where she and her husband worked a farm, raised seven children, and contributed to rural Swedish community life. Author Joy Lintelman (professor of history at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN) expands upon Mina’s memoir by detailing and including the social, cultural, and economic realities experienced by countless Swedish women. This is a MN Book Award Winner, and winner of a 2010 Award of Merit from the American Association of State and Local History.
IM – 10
Rambling 'Round Maine / Remembering the Maine by Jan Smith
Jan Smith, Minnesota author and storyteller, has written these two related, regional books of historical fiction. The Maine referred to is a township in Otter Tail County, Minnesota that is home to Phelps Mill and, incidentally, the birthplace of Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas.
by Rhoda R. Gilman, Carolyn Gilman, and Deborah M. Stultz
If you heard stories about your grandfather taking the oxcart to St. Cloud for supplies and being gone for two weeks, this book, recently re-issued by the Minnesota Historical Society Press, is for you. It traces the paths running through Minnesota, North Dakota and Canada that were used as international trade routes for furs and merchandise between St. Paul in the south and the settlement that was to become Winnipeg in the north. Supplemented with maps, sketches, a full index and reference notes, the book is divided into chapters featuring six main trails: Manitoba, North Dakota, Minnesota Valley, Woods, Middle and Metropolitan.
"At the risk of sounding like a full-blown geek, this is about to become my favorite book. Maps for the Middle Trail even show my little hometown, right there, two weeks from St. Cloud...a trip that takes about an hour and a half today!" Suzann Nelson
GLY - 01
The Checkered Years: A Bonanza Farm Diary 1884 — 88 by Mary Dodge Woodward
Mary Dodge Woodward, a fifty-six-year-old widow and Vermonter by birth, moved from Vermont to Wisconsin, and then — with her two grown sons and a daughter — to a 1280 to 1500-acre bonanza wheat farm in Dakota Territory's Red River Valley in 1882. Woodward had the house they lived in moved more than 250 miles, from St. Paul, MN to today's West Fargo, ND area. Although their two sections of land were too small to be considered a true bonanza farm, the history that was documented on that farm gives readers their best insight into the bonanza farm lifestyle.
For five years, from 1884 to 1889, Woodward recorded the yearly farm cycle of plowing and harvesting as well as the frustrations of gardening and raising chickens, the phenomenon of mirages on the plains, the awesome blizzard of 1888, her reliance on her family, and her close relationship with her daughter.
This book, and its photographs, is a valuable record of a frontier woman's life, and an interesting firsthand account of farm life in the Red River Valley and of pioneer life in general. Following Woodward's death, her granddaughter compiled the diaries into this book, publishing it in 1937. In the last 25 years, the original house was moved from Mapleton Township to Bonanzaville USA, an outdoor museum in West Fargo, ND.
- 14 Paperback $14.95
Early Candlelight by Maud Hart Lovelace
Maud Hart Lovelace (1892 - 1980), author of the popular Betsy-Tacy books, first published this book in 1929. This historical novel set at Old Fort Snelling in the 1830s is a rich and romantic re-creation of the early territorial period in Minnesota's history.
Young Deedee DuGay knew everyone at the fort in the 1830s. Independent and quick witted, Deedee — whose brothers were voyageurs — lived with her large family in a cabin at the fort's military reservation. The respected and compassionate Jasper Page, leading fur trader in MN Territory, lived on a nearby island. Far above her social class, Deedee dared to love him, and a new introduction by Rhoda R. Gilman compares the fictional Jasper Page to Henry H. Sibley, fur trader and first governor of Minnesota, upon whom the character was based.
Their story is a rich and romantic re-creation of an important time in Minnesota's history, and Lovelace has written an historical story compelling for young adults as well as general readers.
- 13 Paperback
Between Rocks and Hard Places by Ann Urness Gesme
Now in its fourth printing, it has a beautiful new cover that reflects the beauty of Norway and does justice to Gesme's thorough research. Quite a few books cover the lives of Scandinavian immigrants in the United States. Between Rocks and Hard Places is one of the few books written for the non-Norwegian reader that looks at daily life in Norway before mass emigration. Gesme fully explains the "push factors:" the conditions, customs and traditions in the early 1800s that drove so many people from their homeland into the unknown. It is perhaps the most comprehensive book on this topic designed for the English reader.
GLY - 05 Paperback $13.95
by Jon Gjerde & Carlton C. Qualey
The farming communities and Lutheran churches formed by Norwegian immigrants to Minnesota have been widely documented. Less frequently written about is their urban legacy; trades, industry, art and culture. This book, a part of the Minnesota Historical Society's "People of Minnesota Series", goes a long way in filling that gap.
The Prairie Traveler: The 1859
Handbook for Westbound Pioneers
with a good rifle and a sturdy horse, this guidebook was an essential
companion for westward-bound pioneers in the 19th century. Marcy, a
captain in the U.S. Army, spent most of his military career in the
West. As more people headed out to seek a life in the Wild West, the
War Department asked Marcy to develop a manual based on his frontier
experiences. It was originally titled, The Prairie Traveler: A
Hand-book for Overland Expeditions with Maps, Illustrations, and
Itineraries of the Principal Routes between the Mississippi and the
IM – 16 Paperback $9.95
Grass of the Earth by Aagot Raaen
First written in the early 50s, this book has been republished by popular demand. One isn't sure where nonfiction leaves off and fiction begins, but my brother-in-law in the Northwood, North Dakota area recognizes the names and places described. The book recounts the settling of the Red River Valley from the late 1880s.
I - 03 Paperback $15.95
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