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North Country: The Making of Minnesota Hardcover – June 7, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Univ Of Minnesota Press; 1St Edition edition (June 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0816648689
  • ISBN-13: 978-0816648689
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 2 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #640,270 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mary Lethert Wingerd is associate professor of history at St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota. She is the author of Claiming the City: Politics, Faith, and the Power of Place in St. Paul.

Customer Reviews

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This filled in the gaps in so many ways and is easy to read and a great resource.
sarafenix
Mary Lethert Wingerd uncovers the buried past of early Minnesota, "...the rich history that flows beneath their feet, like veins of precious metal."
Susan Southworth
It is a good look at the history of Minnesota, with lots of great primary source materials.
J. Grippen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J. Grippen on September 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Albeit a bit dry at times, and thick, and sometimes a bit back and forth, "North Country" is an interesting book that looks at the whole picture of what was going on in the area of land that became Minnesota. It examines the relationships between European visitors (explorers, traders) and the Natives that inhabited the land. It examines how European and Native culture rubbed off on one another in the early stages of contact, but as time wore on and more and more people ventured to Minnesota it became a lopsided interaction, and the Natives were pushed onto reservations and out of the state.

It is a good look at the history of Minnesota, with lots of great primary source materials.

I suggest this book for anyone interested in learning about how cultures interact, how Natives adapted with their visitors ways of life, and how the visitors adapted to the Natives' and just the general "birth story" of how Minnesota found it's current borders, it's place as the 32nd state, and even it's place in national dialog on slavery and race.

A very good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By sarafenix on February 19, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Living in Minnesota as a transplanted Californian, I found my information of the area seriously lacking. This filled in the gaps in so many ways and is easy to read and a great resource.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an absolutely pivotal book for all Minnesotans and people interested in the histories of native peoples in the upper Midwest, as it relates to expansion into these territories. Phenomenal details and analysis. It will fundamentally shape your perspective on our collective history.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joan O'Hara on April 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an outstanding historical chronlicle of my new residential state. I feel honored to have read it and have recommended it to others.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Susan Southworth on February 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Mary Lethert Wingerd uncovers the buried past of early Minnesota, "...the rich history that flows beneath their feet, like veins of precious metal." Beginning in the early 17th century, more than two centuries of Indian relations with Europeans and Americans are presented in a new and important chronicle.

French voyageurs created maps of Indian nations "but the organization of Indian society by kinship, which blurred tribal boundaries, and the seasonal movement of bands across vast stretches of land made such a project meaningless."

The Dakota war of 1862 was the climactic episode, leading to the expulsion of the Dakotas and Ojibwes. The 1864 $500 bounty payment receipt for the killing of Little Crow is juxtaposed with the heartbreaking photo of his wife and two small children in the Fort Snelling internment camp. Wingerd wants readers to understand all that was lost in the development of the State of Minnesota.

In contrast to the Indian history, Wingerd narrates a happier African American experience in early Minnesota. While the slavery question was dominant elsewhere in mid-nineteenth century United States, she states that it was irrelevant in Minnesota after so many generations of intermarriage with Indians. Life style choices rather than skin color differentiated between people. "Those who embraced Euro-American ways were considered white and those who favored the lifestyle of Native people were classified as Indian." A prominent merchant, George Bonga, was born in 1802 near Fond du Lac, the grandson of African slaves of a British officer.
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More About the Author

Mary Lethert Wingerd is associate professor of history at St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota. She is the author of "Claiming the City: Politics, Faith, and the Power of Peace in St. Paul."

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