The mid-Seventies represented a watershed era for feminism. A historic National Women's Conference convened in Houston in 1977. The Equal Rights Amendment inched toward passage. Conservative women in the Midwest, however, saw an event like the International Year of the Woman not as a celebration, but as part of a conspiracy that would lead to radicalism and one-world government. Erin M. Kempker delves into how conspiracy theories affected--and undermined--second wave feminism in the Midwest. Focusing on Indiana, Kempker views this phenomenon within the larger history of right-wing fears of subversion during the Cold War. Feminists and conservative women each believed they spoke in women's best interests. Though baffled by the conservative dread of "collectivism," feminists compromised by trimming radicals from their ranks. Conservative women, meanwhile, proved adept at applying old fears to new targets. Kemper's analysis places the women's opposing viewpoints side by side to unlock the differences that separated the groups, explain one to the other, and reveal feminism's fate in the Midwest.
From 1900 until the early 1920s, an unusual community existed in America's heartland-Buxton, Iowa. Originally established by the Consolidation Coal Company, Buxton was the largest unincorporated coal mining community in Iowa. What made Buxton unique, however, is the fact that the majority of its 5,000 residents were African Americans—a highly unusual racial composition for a state which was over 90 percent white. At a time when both southern and northern blacks were disadvantaged and oppressed, blacks in Buxton enjoyed true racial integration—steady employment, above-average wages, decent housing, and minimal discrimination. For such reasons, Buxton was commonly known as “the black man's utopia in Iowa.”
Containing documentary evidence—including newspapers, census records, photographs, and state mining reports—along with interviews of 75 former residents, Buxton: Work and Racial Equality in a Coal Mining Community (originally published in 1987 and winner of the 1988 Benjamin Shambaugh Award) explored the Buxton experience from a variety of perspectives. The authors—an American historian, a family sociologist, and a race relations sociologist—provided a truly interdisciplinary history of one Iowa's most unique communities.
Now, eighty years after the town's demise and fifteen years after Buxton's original publication, the history of this Iowa town remains a compelling story that continues to capture people's imaginations. In Buxton: A Black Utopia in the Heartland, the authors offer further reflections upon their original study and the many former Buxton residents who shared their memories. In the new essay, “A Buxton Perspective,” issues such as social class and the town's continuing legacy are addressed. The voices captured inBuxton, although recorded over twenty years ago, still resonate with exuberance, affection, and poignancy; this expanded edition will bring their amazing stories back to the forefront of Iowa and American history.
A History of the Finest and Most Flamboyant Cavalry Arm of the Civil War
While Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia prosecuted the war in the East for the Confederacy, the Army of Tennessee fought in the West, ranging over a tremendous expanse during the course of the Civil War, from southern Ohio and eastern Kentucky all the way to Georgia and the Carolinas. Unlike Lee’s army, however, the Army of Tennessee suffered at the hands of a series of uninspired commanders and had few impressive victories. It did have, however, arguably the best cavalry of any army in the war in terms of numbers and leadership. Led by some of the most colorful officers of the Civil War—the brilliant, passionate Nathan Bedford Forrest, the flamboyant but erratic John Hunt Morgan, and the quietly competent “Fightin’ Joe” Wheeler—and grabbing headlines for daring raids, such as Morgan’s foray into Ohio, the mounted forces of the Army of Tennessee developed a strategy of a highly mobile fighting unit that could be deployed rapidly in strength to strike deep behind enemy lines and maneuver at a moment’s notice during a battle, tactics that were to have the most impact on military operations in the future.
As distinguished historian Edward G. Longacre chronicles in Cavalry of the Heartland: The Mounted Forces of the Army of Tennessee, the army’s top generals failed to recognize the battle-winning potential of their cavalry and instead sent them off on sideshow operations rather than deploying them consistently to assist the main body’s efforts. Based on a wide array of research materials, Cavalry of the Heartland is the only book-length study of the strategy and tactics of the Army of Tennessee’s mounted forces from its inception in the spring of 1861 to its final bow at Bentonville, North Carolina, four years later. Throughout, numerous campaigns and battles are described in full detail, including Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Perryville, Murfreesboro (Stones River), Tullahoma, Chickamauga, Chattanooga, Atlanta, Nashville, and the Carolinas.
In this splendidly illustrated book, food writer and self-described farm groupie Janine MacLachlan embarks on a tour of seasonal markets and farmstands throughout the Midwest, sampling local flavors from Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. She conducts delicious research as she meets farmers, tastes their food, and explores how their businesses thrive in the face of an industrial food supply. She tells the stories of a pair of farmers growing specialty crops on a few acres of northern Michigan for just a few months out of the year, an Ohio cattle farm that has raised heritage beef since 1820, and a Minnesota farmer who tirelessly champions the Jimmy Nardello sweet Italian frying pepper. Along the way, she savors vibrant red carrots, slurpy peaches, vast quantities of specialty cheeses, and some of the tastiest pie to cross anyone's lips.
Informed by debates about eating local, seasonal crops, organic farming, sanitation, and biodiversity, Farmers' Markets of the Heartland tantalizes with special recipes from farm-friendly chefs and dozens of luscious color photographs that will inspire you to harvest the homegrown flavors in your own neighborhood.
Histories try to forget, as this evocative study of one community reveals. Forgetting and the Forgotten details the nature of how a community forged its story against outsiders. Historian Michael C. Batinski explores the habits of forgetting that enable communities to create an identity based on silencing competing narratives. The white settlers of Jackson County, Illinois, shouldered the hopes of a community and believed in the justice of their labor as it echoed the national story. The county’s pastkeepers, or keepers of the past, emphasizing the white settlers’ republican virtue, chose not to record violence against Kaskaskia people and African Americans and to disregard the numerous transient laborers. Instead of erasing the presence of outsiders, the pastkeepers could offer only silence, but it was a silence that could be broken.
Batinski’s historiography critically examines local historical thought in a way that illuminates national history. What transpired in Jackson County was repeated in countless places throughout the nation. At the same time, national history writing rarely turns to experiences that can be found in local archives such as court records, genealogical files, archaeological reports, coroner’s records, and veterans’ pension files. In this archive, juxtaposed with the familiar actors of Jackson County history—Benningsen Boon, John A. Logan, and Daniel Brush—appear the Sky People, Italian immigrant workers, black veterans of the Civil War and later champions of civil rights whose stories challenge the dominant narrative.
As other teens returned home from school, thirteen-year-old José Silva headed for work at a restaurant, where he would remain until 2:00 a.m. Francisca Herrera, a tomato picker, was exposed to pesticides while she was pregnant and gave birth to a baby without arms or legs. Silva and Herrera immigrated illegally to the United States, and their experiences are far from unique. In this comprehensive, balanced overview of the immigration crisis, Nancy Brown Diggs examines the abusive, unethical conditions under which many immigrants work, and explores how what was once a border problem now extends throughout the country. Drawing from a wide spectrum of sources, Hidden in the Heartland demonstrates how the current situation is untenable for both illegal immigrants and American citizens. A vivid portrait of the immigration crisis, the book makes a passionate case for confronting this major human rights issue—a threat to the very unity of the country.
The art and craft of winemaking has put down roots in Middle America, where enterprising vintners coax reds and whites from the prairie earth while their businesses stand at the hub of a new tradition of community and conviviality.
In Local Vino, James R. Pennell tracks among the hardy vines and heartland terroir of wineries across Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, and Ohio. Blending history and observation, Pennell gives us a top-down view of the business from cuttings and cultivation to sales and marketing. He also invites entrepreneurs to share stories of their ambitions, hard work, and strategies. Together, author and subjects trace the hows and whys of progress toward that noblest of goals: a great vintage that puts their winery on the map.
2004 winner of the Robert E. Park Book Award from the Community and Urban Sociology Section (CUSS) of the American Sociological Association
Although the death of the small town has been predicted for decades, during the 1990s the population of rural America actually increased by more than three million people. In this book, Sonya Salamon explores these rural newcomers and the impact they have on the social relationships, public spaces, and community resources of small town America.
Salamon draws on richly detailed ethnographic studies of six small towns in central Illinois, including a town with upscale subdivisions that lured wealthy professionals as well as towns whose agribusinesses drew working-class Mexicano migrants and immigrants. She finds that regardless of the class or ethnicity of the newcomers, if their social status differs relative to that of oldtimers, their effect on a town has been the same: suburbanization that erodes the close-knit small town community, with especially severe consequences for small town youth. To successfully combat the homogenization of the heartland, Salamon argues, newcomers must work with oldtimers so that together they sustain the vital aspects of community life and identity that first drew them to small towns.
An illustration of the recent revitalization of interest in the small town, Salamon's work provides a significant addition to the growing literature on the subject. Social scientists, sociologists, policymakers, and urban planners will appreciate this important contribution to the ongoing discussion of social capital and the transformation in the study and definition of communities.
In this dazzling collection, best-selling author Marnie O. Mamminga details the common experiences that unite those of us who live, love, and work in the heart of the country. With insight and humor, Mamminga chronicles a wide range of small but significant everyday moments: the anxiety of taking a teenager out for driving lessons, the nostalgic pleasure of watching the Cubs at Wrigley Field, the heartache of moving an aging parent into a nursing home, and the quiet bliss of sitting on a cabin’s porch, listening for loons and wolves under the Northwoods’ starry sky.
Combining elements of the personal and the universal, these essays chart the passage of time from childhood to adulthood, sickness to health, working life to retirement, parenthood to grandparenthood, and everything in between. These sharply observed vignettes highlight the importance of taking time to appreciate the ordinary occurrences that profoundly shape our lives and the places we call home.
Once dominated by megabreweries like Miller and G. Heilemann, the Midwest has in recent years become home to a dynamic craft beer industry at the core of America's current brewing renaissance.
Beer writer and Certified Cicerone® Michael Agnew crisscrossed Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin sampling the astonishing variety of beers on offer at breweries and brewpubs. The result is a region-wide survey of the Midwestern craft beer scene. Packed with details on more than 200 breweries, A Perfect Pint's Beer Guide to the Heartland offers actual and armchair travelers alike a handbook that includes:
Agnew's exclusive choices on which beers to try at each location
Entries on every brewery's history and philosophy
Information on tours, tasting rooms and attached pubs, and dining options and other amenities
A survey of each brewery's brands, including its flagship beer plus seasonal brews and special releases
Brewery equipment and capacity
In addition, Agnew sets the stage with a history of Midwestern beer spanning the origins of the immigrant brewers who arrived in the 1800s to the homebrewers-made-good who have built a new kind of brewing culture founded on creativity, dedication to quality, and attention to customer feedback.
Informed and unique, A Perfect Pint's Beer Guide to the Heartland is the essential companion for beer aficionados and curious others determined to drink the best the Midwest has to offer.
Includes more than 150 full color images, including the region's most distinctive beer labels, trademarks, and company logos.
In 1969, the campus tumult that defined the Sixties reached a flash point at the University of Illinois. Out-of-town radicals preached armed revolution. Students took to the streets and fought police and National Guardsmen. Firebombs were planted in lecture halls while explosions rocked a federal building on one side of town and a recruiting office on the other. Across the state, the powers-that-be expressed shock that such events could take place at Illinois's esteemed, conservative, flagship university—how could it happen here, of all places?
Positioning the events in the context of their time, Michael V. Metz delves into the lives and actions of activists at the center of the drama. A participant himself, Metz draws on interviews, archives, and newspaper records to show a movement born in demands for free speech, inspired by a movement for civil rights, and driven to the edge by a seemingly never-ending war. If the sudden burst of irrational violence baffled parents, administrators, and legislators, it seemed inevitable to students after years of official intransigence and disregard. Metz portrays campus protesters not as angry, militant extremists but as youthful citizens deeply engaged with grave moral issues, embodying the idealism, naiveté, and courage of a minority of a generation.
Historians of midwestern railroading during the early part of the twentieth century have generally focused on the production of railroad company histories while ignoring the regional view. Fortunately for railway historians and buffs, coincidentally with the zenith of the Railway Age, the national fad for producing and mailing postcards was at its height. Millions of cards, including "real-photo" images, were produced between 1905 and 1915. Roger Grant has selected more than a hundred representative picture postcards to visualize the principal themes and characteristics that gave this dynamic industry its distinctive regional features.
By the turn of the century, the railroad map of the Midwest was unequaled. Anyone who examined it carefully sensed that this was the vital center of America's massive network of steel rails. Depots erected in the western prairie environment were spartan, with only minor decoration, but those in the Midwest usually mirrored more ornate New England styles. These features are often reflected in the images in this heavily illustrated book, which depicts the spare but strong pioneering spirit of the enterprise.
Set in the ruins of his family’s strip-mined homestead in the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois, award-winning journalist and historian Jeff Biggers delivers a deeply personal portrait of the overlooked human and environmental costs of our nation’s dirty energy policy. Beginning with the policies of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson, chronicling the removal of Native Americans and the hidden story of legally sanctioned black slavery in the land of Lincoln, Reckoning at Eagle Creek vividly describes the mining wars for union recognition and workplace safety, and the devastating consequences of industrial strip-mining. At the heart of our national debate over climate change and the crucial transition toward clean energy, Biggers exposes the fallacy of “clean coal” and shatters the marketing myth that southern Illinois represents the “Saudi Arabia of coal.”
Reckoning at Eagle Creek is ultimately an exposé of “historicide,” one that traces coal’s harrowing legacy through the great American family saga of sacrifice and resiliency and the extraordinary process of recovering our nation’s memory.
Sex in the Heartland
Beth Bailey Harvard University Press, 2002 Library of Congress HQ18.M53B35 1999 | Dewey Decimal 306.70977
Sex in the Heartland is the story of the sexual revolution in a small university town in the quintessential heartland state of Kansas. Bypassing the oft-told tales of radicals and revolutionaries on either coast, Beth Bailey argues that the revolution was forged in towns and cities alike, as "ordinary" people struggled over the boundaries of public and private sexual behavior in postwar America.
Bailey fundamentally challenges contemporary perceptions of the revolution as simply a triumph of free love and gay lib. Rather, she explores the long-term and mainstream changes in American society, beginning in the economic and social dislocations of World War II and the explosion of mass media and communication, which aided and abetted the sexual upheaval of the 1960s. Focusing on Lawrence, Kansas, we discover the intricacies and depth of a transformation that was nurtured at the grass roots.
Americans used the concept of revolution to make sense of social and sexual changes as they lived through them. Everything from the birth control pill and counterculture to Civil Rights, was conflated into "the revolution," an accessible but deceptive simplification, too easy to both glorify and vilify. Bailey untangles the radically different origins, intentions, and outcomes of these events to help us understand their roles and meanings for sex in contemporary America. She argues that the sexual revolution challenged and partially overturned a system of sexual controls based on oppression, inequality, and exploitation, and created new models of sex and gender relations that have shaped our society in powerful and positive ways.
Gus Flesor came to the United States from Greece in 1901. His journey led him to Tuscola, Illinois, where he learned the confectioner's trade and opened a business that still stands on Main Street. Sweet Greeks sets the story of Gus Flesor's life as an immigrant in a small town within the larger history of Greek migration to the Midwest.
Ann Flesor Beck's charming personal account recreates the atmosphere of her grandfather's candy kitchen with its odors of chocolate and popcorn and the comings-and-goings of family members. "The Store" represented success while anchoring the business district of Gus's chosen home. It also embodied the Midwest émigré experience of chain migration, immigrant networking, resistance and outright threats by local townspeople, food-related entrepreneurship, and tensions over whether later generations would take over the business.
An engaging blend of family memoir and Midwest history, Sweet Greeks tells how Greeks became candy makers to the nation, one shop at a time.
Illinois State Historical Society's Certificate of Excellence (2002)
Supplemented by recollections from the present era, Tell Us a Story is a colorful mosaic of African American autobiography and family history set in Springfield, Illinois, and in rural southern Illinois, Missouri, and Arkansas from the 1920s through the 1950s.
Shirley Motley Portwood shares rural, African American family and community history through a collection of vignettes about the Motley family. Initially transcribed accounts of the Motleys’ rich oral history, these stories have been passed among family members for nearly fifty years. In addition to her personal memories, Portwood presents interviews with her father, three brothers, and two sisters plus notes and recollections from their annual family reunions. The result is a composite view of the Motley family.
A historian, Portwood enhances the Motley family story by investigating primary data such as census, marriage, school, and land records, newspaper accounts, city directories, and other sources. The backbone of this saga, however, is oral history gathered from five generations, extending back to Portwood's grandparents, born more than one hundred years ago. Information regarding two earlier generations—her great- grandfather and great-great-grandparents, who were slaves—is based on historical research into state archives, county and local records, plantation records, and manuscript censuses.
A rich source for this material—the Motley family reunions—are week-long retreats where four generations gather at the John Motley house in Burlington, Connecticut, the Portwood home in Godfrey, Illinois, or other locations. Here the Motleys, all natural storytellers, pass on the family traditions. The stories, ranging from humorous to poignant, reveal much about the culture and history of African Americans, especially those from nonurban areas. Like many rural African Americans, the Motleys have a rich and often joyful family history with traditions reaching back to the slave past. They have known the harsh poverty that made even the necessities difficult to obtain and the racial prejudice that divided whites and blacks during the era of Jim Crow segregation and inequality; yet they have kept a tremendous faith in self-improvement through hard work and education.
An extensive, upbeat compilation of Wisconsin’s jazz musicians
Although New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago are often considered the epicenters of American jazz, this extensive, upbeat compilation of jazz musician biographies details Wisconsin’s rich association the genre since its the inception of the genre in the early 1900s. Iconic musicians Bunny Berigan, Woody Herman, Les Paul, and Al Jarreau all hailed from Wisconsin, as have many other influential players, composers, and teachers. Wisconsin Riffs features these musicians side-by-side—from the world-renowned to obscure regional artists—to portray a comprehensive history of jazz in Wisconsin.
Through meticulous research and more than a hundred interviews, author Kurt Dietrich has assembled a group of musicians who represent a wide range of backgrounds, ages, stylistic schools, and experiences—from leaders of swing-era big bands to legendary Wisconsin Conservatory instructors to today’s up-and-coming practitioners of contemporary jazz and jazz rock. For aspiring musicians, jazz enthusiasts, and fans of Wisconsin culture alike, Wisconsin Riffs presents a compelling, complex, and multi-layered concoction—just like jazz itself.