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The American Midwest: An Interpretive Encyclopedia Hardcover – November 8, 2006


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Hardcover, November 8, 2006
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The American Midwest: An Interpretive Encyclopedia + The Identity of the American Midwest: Essays on Regional History (Midwestern History and Culture)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1916 pages
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press; 1st edition (November 8, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0253348862
  • ISBN-13: 978-0253348869
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 9.1 x 2.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #939,683 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"[A] welcome and instructive volume, which treats the vernacular Midwest... as a coherent and unified region." —Indiana Magazine of History



"A collection of provocative readings that may inspire further research." —Choice



"This ambitious volume, the culmination of nearly ten years of effort by hundreds of scholars... [presents] a comprehensive and scholarly treatment of its subject while at the same time challenging the reader's expectations of what an encyclopedia should be." —Ohio History, Spring 2008, Vol. 115



"What geography can give all Middle Westerners along with the fresh water and topsoil, if they let it, is awe for an Edenic continent stretching forever in all directions. Makes you religious. Takes your breath away." —Kurt Vonnegut



"Best suited for browsing or targeted searches via the excellent index, this essential encyclopedia is suitable for patrons of all public and academic libraries." —Julienne L. Wood, American Reference Books Annual Vol. 39



"Best suited for browsing or targeting searches via the excellent index, this essential encyclopedia is suitable for patrons of all public and academic libraries." —Julienne L. Wood, American Reference Books Annual Vol. 39, 2008



"At 1,800 oversized pages, brimming with hundreds of lively essays on every imaginable Midwestern subject, it's an autodidact's delight, and a great addition to any serious reader's library." —Northern Ohio Live, December 1, 2007



"Spanning 1,890 pages and weighing in at 8 pounds, the encyclopedia is a lot like its subject: big, brawny, hardworking, plainspoken, and yes, far more interesting and outrageous than you ever imagined." —Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 5, 2007



"Unlike some state and regional encyclopedias, which seem to inundate the reader with facts and figures but never really relay a feel for their subject, this one was clearly created with the aim of endowing the reader with a sense of the American Midwest and its people.... This encyclopedia also gets kudos for one of the most comprehensive sections on labor- and class-related issues that it has been my pleasure to read..." —



"This book is an essential text for all Midwestern libraries.... Middle-American people, landscapes, and culture all stand to benefit from this weighty work of scholarship, as it provides us with a holistic guide for understanding ourselves, our neighbors, our regional landscape, and our place on the national stage." —Ohioana Quarterly, Summer 2007



"The American Midwest was a tremendous undertaking, and the final product is a well-balanced and extremely useful volume for scholars, researchers, and casual readers interested in learning more about all aspects of midwestern geography, history, and culture." —Michigan Historical Review, Spring 2008, Vol. 34, No. 1



"Although the essence of a place can never be definitively captured—even in a work stretching to almost two thousand pages—this ambitious publication productively engages the question." —South Dakota History, Vol. 37, No. 2



"Any way you look at it, The American Midwest: An Interpretive Encyclopedia is impressive." —Minnesota History



"No matter what I write I begin there." —Toni Morrison



"You'll close this new book and start spouting fascinating—and even useful—facts to your friends long before you realize that." —Trevor Meers, Midwest Living

From the Publisher

2007 AAUP Public and Secondary School Library Selection

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Beatrice Izzey VINE VOICE on November 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I, like almost all coastal people, assumed the Midwest is flyover and drive-through territory, boring, uncultured, a pleasant but somewhat unfortunate site of floods, droughts, blights, and tornadoes.

One day, I decided that it was time to stop accepting the common myths re a huge and vast region. It was the same day I accepted that New York and California are not all that - rather, the coasts rely so much on Midwestern foodstuffs and brain drain labor force (try counting all the Ohioans in New York, and the Iowans and Minnesotans in Los Angeles). And some of the most interesting people are from the Midwest (Willa Cather, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, Richard Widmark, Abbey Lincoln, Toni Morrison, Garrison Keillor, Prince, Stevie Wonder...).

This volume is an excellent guide, for both introductory and in depth studies, divided by subject area. I most enjoyed the state by state "generalizations" breakdown (what's true and not true about stereotypes per state), the literary culture run down, and the rural life chapters. I did not know there was a difference between dairy cows and meat cows, wheat states versus the corn belt states. Saw in a new light why cereal behemoths are based in Michigan, meatpackers in certain areas (near the corn, near the rail and water trade routes). There is nothing so accidental about why activities are located where they are.

The only flaw may be that these are short encyclopedia-like articles, and sometimes they overlap and are repetitive.
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1 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Regionalist Gal on June 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Wonderfully informational volume. Not disappointed with this purchase. Arrived well within the estimated time of delivery.
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2 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kenn Thomas on June 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book does contain a great deal of information, but also some rather silly sentiments. Contributor Jennifer Crets, for instance, remarks that small towns in Missouri "make time travel possible." Oh well, it does have a Bob Dylan quote on the back cover.
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6 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Beverley Hirzel on February 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is a rather large book. Not to be read overnight or a weekend. Full of detailed information that anyone living in America should read!
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