In the late 1960s, another desperate time, historian Michael Lesy took a long look at fin-de-siècle America. Examining a collection of several thousand glass plate negatives and historical documents from Jackson County, Wisconsin, he concocted a sprawling treatise on a past that had been willfully forgotten, a brooding rejoinder to Edgar Lee Masters's Spoon River Anthology. First published in 1973, Lesy's Wisconsin Death Trip, now reissued in a handsome paperbound edition, became a key text of the counterculture, a book to shelve alongside Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee and Custer Died for Your Sins--and it sometimes reads like a hip product of its time. Lesy documents the unsettling record of one small corner of rural America, turning up accounts of barn burnings, attacks by gangs of armed tramps, threatening and obscene letters, death by diphtheria and smallpox (the Wisconsin townsfolk had, some years, to attend several funerals a week), alcoholism, madness, business and bank failures, and even a case or two of witchcraft.
After reading Lesy's texts and viewing the sometimes unsettling images he's turned up, you would be forgiven for thinking that no one in small-town Wisconsin in our great-great-grandparents' time was well-adjusted--which is, of course, not the case. Hyperbole notwithstanding, this is a remarkable study, one that Lesy himself rightly calls an experiment in both history and alchemy. --Gregory McNamee
As powerful and fascinating as it was when it debuted nearly 40 years ago. Unlike any other book you have ever read.Published 10 days ago by Sir Robert
Very fast shipping. The quality of the book was excellent - much better than advertised.Published 1 month ago by K9lover
If you like old photos and are interested and how life was back in the day, then why are you reading my review and not reading Wisconsin Death Trip?Published 2 months ago by wee*monkey
Very interesting book, I really liked it. Received in excellent condition and at allotedtime frame.Published 2 months ago by ked
This hippie cannot write his way out of a urine soaked paper bag.Published 2 months ago by OS Human.0
I read the book years ago and loaned it to out and it was never returned and when I saw it on Amazon I was very excited and ordered it immediately. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Judith Haataja