Minnesota Historical Society

Minnesota, Real & Imagined

$ 14.95


Essays on the State and Its Culture
Thirteen perceptive and insightful essays that examine the uniqueness of Minnesota in the social, cultural, and political spheres.

What is it about Minnesota? It is the land of Ventura and of Keillor, a state with both America's most visited wilderness area and the nation's largest shopping mall, and a state with a population equally divided between the metropolitan and the rural. Considering these apparent dichotomies, why has the state emerged as a cultural symbol of a distinct and perhaps lost America? Does this symbol even reflect reality? Thirteen perceptive essays by keen observers explore the past, present, and possible future of a place that is full of contradictions yet unified in its exceptionalism.

How is it that a state widely regarded for its enlightened and progressive political tradition would elect a former professional wrestler as its governor? How is it that a place where the most significant cultural divide was once between Lutheran and Catholic is now the home of 15,000 Somalis and 50,000 Hmong? Why is it that this state in the middle of America has a strong awareness of, and a tradition of involvement in, international aVairs? Why do Minnesota corporations have such a strong tradition of philanthropy--and what will become of this tradition as more of them are engulfed by national and multinational mergers?

Minnesota, Real & Imagined, which originated as a special issue of Daedalus: Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, examines the real and mythical Minnesota in perceptive and engaging ways. After reading these essays, you'll never see Minnesota the same way again.


  • Edited by Stephen R. Graubard
  • Introduction by Nina M. Archabal.
  • Format: Paper, 290 pp., notes, index
  • Publisher: MNHS Press
  • Product ##: 9780873513975

STEPHEN R. GRAUBARD is the former editor of Daedalus: Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

NINA M. ARCHABAL is the former director of the Minnesota Historical Society.

Praise for Minnesota, Real & Imagined:

"Thirteen essays . . . [that] sheds light brightly on Minnesota's history, culture and current trends." -- Leonard Inskip, Minneapolis Star Tribune



Contributors and Essays


Nina M. Archabal -- Introduction
Rhoda R. Gilman -- The History and Peopling of Minnesota: Its Culture
Annette Atkins -- Facing Minnesota
Joseph A. Amato & Anthony Amato -- Minnesota, Real and Imagined: A View from the Countryside
David A. Lanegran -- Minnesota: Nature's Playground
John S. Adams -- Minnesota: A Work in Progress, Shaping the Landscape and the People
Thomas D. Peacock & Donald R. Day -- Nations Within a Nation: The Dakota and Ojibwe of Minnesota
Richard M. Chapman -- Mixing New and Old Wine in Minnesota: Spirituality, Ecumenism, and Religious Traditions in Ferment
John E. Brandl -- Policy and Politics in Minnesota
Virginia Gray & Wyman Spano -- The Irresistible Force Meets the Immovable Object: Minnesota's Moralistic Political Culture Confronts Jesse Ventura
Michael O'Keefe -- Social Services: Minnesota as Innovator
Jon Pratt & Edson W. Spencer -- Dynamics of Corporate Philanthropy in Minnesota
Joe Dowling -- Theater and the Arts: A Personal Reflection
Robert J. White -- Minnesota and the World Abroad

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