What do Paul Bunyan, Charles Lindbergh, and Jesse Ventura have in common? Minnesota, of course! In A Popular History of Minnesota, historian Norman K. Risjord offers a grand tour of the state’s remarkable history. This highly readable volume details everything from the glacial formation of the land to the arrival of the Dakota and the Ojibwe people, from Minnesota’s contributions to the Northern cause during the Civil War to the key players in reform politics who helped sculpt the identity the state retains today.
A Popular History of Minnesota highlights the historical significance of Minnesota’s natural resources—the bountiful north woods, the treasured iron ranges, the impressive Mississippi waterfall on which the Mill City was built. It details the powerful marks left on the state by such luminous figures as Oliver H. Kelley, founder of the national Grange movement, Hubert H. Humphrey, champion of civil rights, and Betty Crocker, aid to homemakers everywhere. Lively side trips outline noteworthy subjects, from the Kensington runestone to the devastating forest fires of the 1890s and 1920s, from the rise of the Mayo Clinic to the preservation of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Handy travelers’ guides highlight historic destinations for readers who enjoy seeing where history happened.
Fast-paced and informative, with generous illustrations, A Popular History of Minnesota is a must-read for newcomers and established Minnesotans alike.