Grass Roots History
by Theodore C. Blegen
University of Minnesota Press, 1947
Paper: 978-0-8166-5961-6


Grass Roots History was first published in 1947. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

The pivot of history is not the uncommon, but the usual, and the true makers of history are "the people, yes."

Theodore C. Blegen, writing with discernment and vigor, explores in his book the simple essence of grass roots history, the colors and forms and the processes of our daily life and civilization. He uses diaries and letters, songs and ballads of the immigrants and pioneers, everyday speech, and newspaper advertisements to show clearly and sharply the exciting sources of "the literature of the unlettered," to reveal the spirit of the day, and to reconstruct for the reader a segment of the American past.

"We have need to dig into the folk story of America if we are to bring out the pattern of American development and American culture in all its color and richness of texture and design. Grass roots history is an avenue to that 'social awareness' which the natural scientists, more boldly than the social scientists, have declared to be the most urgent and compelling need of our day."

This is the author's own statement of the significance of grass roots history.

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