Midwest Regional

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How to Speak Midwestern

Edward McClelland

Pittsburgh toilet, squeaky cheese, city chicken, shampoo banana, and Chevy in the Hole are all phrases that are familiar to Midwesterners but sound foreign to anyone living outside the region. This book explains not only what Midwesterners say but also how and why they say it and covers such topics as: the causes of the Northern cities vowel shift, why the accents in Fargo miss the nasality that's a hallmark of Minnesota speech, and why Chicagoans talk more like people from Buffalo than their next-door neighbors in Wisconsin. Readers from the Midwest will have a better understanding of why they talk the way they do, and readers who are not from the Midwest will know exactly what to say the next time someone ends a sentence with "eh?".

paper / 152 pp. / 2016 / 9780997774276 / $19.00
Order no. 1641

Southern Seed, Northern Soil: African-American Farm Communities in the Midwest, 1765-1900

Stephen A. Vincent

Southern Seed, Northern Soil captures the exceptional history of the Beech and Roberts settlements, two African-American and mixed-race farming communities on the Indiana frontier in the 1830s. Stephen Vincent analyzes the founders' backgrounds as a distinctive free people of color from the Old South. He traces the migration that culminated in the founding of the two communities. He follows the settlements' transformations through the pioneer and Civil War eras, and their gradual transition to commercial farming in the late 19th century.

paper / 272 pp. / 2002 / ISBN 978-0253213310 / $21.00
Order No. 457

Parading Patriotism: Independence Day Celebrations in the Urban Midwest

Adam Criblez

Parading Patriotism breaks new ground in revealing how Fourth of July celebrations in the urban Midwest between 1826 and 1876 helped define patriotic nationalism, bringing celebratory actions to life by demonstrating the importance of Independence Day commemorations in defining changing conceptions of what it meant to be an American. The book links two important historical genres by considering how historical memory and American nationalism coalesced on the Fourth of July as Midwesterners used the holiday as a time both to reflect on the past and forge ahead in constructing a unique national identity.

193 pp. / 2013 / ISBN 9780875806921 / $28.95
Order no. 1437

Perimeter: A Contemporary Portrait of Lake Michigan

Kevin J. Miyazaki

Commissioned by the Haggerty Museum of Art at Marquette University to create an artwork reflecting on the importance of freshwater, Milwaukee-based photographer Kevin J. Miyazaki embarked on a two-week, 1,800-mile drive around Lake Michigan. He traveled its perimeter, through Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan, to produce what he calls “a contemporary portrait of Lake Michigan.” Miyazaki set up his portable studio on beaches, in parks, on boat docks, and in backyards, photographing those he met along the way. From residents, environmental scientists, and artists to a Native American water rights advocate, surfers, and commercial fishermen, Lake Michigan holds a powerful place in the life of each. Many shared their thoughts with him on why this body of water is important to all.

2014 / ISBN 9780870206771 / $29.95
Order no. 1439

Midwest Sweet Baking History: Delectable Classics Around Lake Michigan

Jenny Lewis

Discover how the Midwest refined the nation's sweet tooth through a delicious mix of immigrant traditions and American ingenuity. Chef Jenny Lewis dips a spoon into generations of homemade desserts and examines the cogs and wheels of some of the biggest brands of the baking industry. Pull your chair up to a history in which Midwest beet sugar, vanilla cream and evaporated milk are mixed into a narrative of wars, social shifts and politics. Learn how to make Pumpkin Whoopie Pies, plumb the secrets of the Kraft Oil method, and encounter a rich medley of other true stories and irresistible recipes from Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan.

paper / 160 pp. / 2011 / ISBN 9781609493448 / $19.99
Order No. 2941

At the Crossroads

Abe Aamidor

The U.S. auto industry has struck a brick wall. Can it get back on the road to recovery? At the Crossroads: Middle America and the Battle to Save the Car Industry argues that the Obama administration missed an historic opportunity in 2009 to launch a Manhattan Project style effort to save not only Detroit, but the entire manufacturing base in Middle America. Abe Aamidor and Ted Evanoff explain how Washington's intervention fell short and how it is holding back American economic recovery. The authors take a thoughtful look at the root causes behind the auto industry's crash, including disastrous labor contracts such as the 1950s' 'Treaty of Detroit', which set the stage for crushing legacy costs; Wall Street's predatory financial practices ushered in under the Reagan administration; and a largely unregulated free trade regime that undermined the competitiveness of American manufacturing. At the Crossroads tells the story of Detroit's collapse and a failed national industrial policy from the point of view of those most affected by it; the factory workers, small business owners, and mayors of small manufacturing towns like Kokomo, Marion, and Bedford in Indiana, the number two auto manufacturing state after Michigan and the number one manufacturing state overall based on a percentage of population. Washington could debate the pros and cons of a national industrial policy and an auto industry bailout ad nauseum, but it was the people in small towns in Middle America who would live or die by the policy decisions of their distant national leaders. 

cloth / 402 pp / 2010 / ISBN 978-0-1550229-04-2 / $24.95
Order No. 2832

Fighting for America: The Struggle for Mastery in North America, 1519-1871

Jeremy Black

Fighting for America by Jeremy BlackPrize winning author Jeremy Black traces the competition for control of North America from the landing of Spanish troops under Hernán Cortés in modern Mexico in 1519 to 1871 when, with the Treaty of Washington and the withdrawal of most British garrisons, Britain accepted American mastery in North America. In this wide-ranging narrative, Black makes clear that the process by which America gained supremacy was far from inevitable. The story Black tells is one of conflict, diplomacy, geopolitics, and politics. The eventual result was the creation of a United States of America that stretched from Atlantic to Pacific and dominated North America. The gradual withdrawal of France and Spain, the British accommodation to the expanding U.S. reality, the impact of the American Civil War, and the subjugation of Native peoples, are all carefully drawn out. Black emphasizes contingency not Manifest Destiny, and reconceptualizes American exceptionalism to take note of the pressures and impact of international competition.

Cloth / 496 pp. / 2011 / ISBN 978-0-253-35660-4 / $39.95
Order No. 2880


Writing From the Center

Scott Russell Sanders

Although the geography is Midwestern, the impulses of these essays are universal. In substance, they seek and describe a center that is geographical, emotional, artistic, and spiritual.

cloth / 188 pp. / 1995 / ISBN 0-253-32941-8 / $25.00
Order No. 2272

paper / 196 pp. / 1997 / ISBN 0-253-21143-3 / $12.95 $11.97
Order No. 2218


 Cities of the Heartland: The Rise and Fall of the Industrial Midwest


Jon C. Teaford

Best available study of midwestern cities of the U.S. from the 1830s to the 1980s for all who want to learn about the origins of the contemporary urban crisis.

paper / 300 pp. / 1994 / ISBN 0-253-20914-5 / $15.95
Order No. 2043