Minnesota Historical Society

Place Called Home: Writings on the Midwestern Small Town

$ 24.95


The dynamic Midwestern small town--from its idyllic beginnings to its imminent decline--explored and celebrated in thirty-four selections of cultural history, fiction, and poetry, both classic and contemporary.

2004 Minnesota Book Award Winner

  • By: Richard O. Davies, Joseph A. Amato & David R. Pichaske, eds.
  • Format: Paperback book, 445 pages
  • Publisher: MHS Press
  • Product ##: 0873514513

    The Midwestern small town has long held an iconic place in American culture--from the imaginings of Sinclair Lewis's Main Street and Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio to Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegon. But the reality is much more complex, as the small town has been a study in transition from its very inception. In A Place Called Home, editors Richard O. Davies, Joseph A. Amato, and David R. Pichaske offer the first comprehensive examination of the Midwestern small town and its evolving nature from the 1800s to the present.

    This rich collection, gleaned from the best writings of historians, novelists, social scientists, poets, and journalists, features not only such well-known authors as Sherwood Anderson, Carol Bly, Willa Cather, Hamlin Garland, Langston Hughes, Garrison Keillor, William Kloefkorn, Sinclair Lewis, Susan Allen Toth, and Mark Twain but also many lesser known and exceptionally talented writers. Five chronological sections trace the founding, growth, and decline of the Midwestern town, and introductory comments illuminate its ever-changing face. The result is a wide-ranging collection of writings on the community at the heart of America.


    RICHARD O. DAVIES is University Foundation Professor of History at the University of Nevada, Reno. He is the author of Main Street Blues: The Decline of Small Town America and several other books focusing on twentieth-century American history.

    JOSEPH A. AMATO is professor of Rural and Regional Studies at Southwest State University in Marshall, Minnesota. He is the author of numerous books, including Dust: A History of the Small and the Invisible, The Great Jerusalem Artichoke Circus: The Buying and Selling of the American Dream, and, most recently, Rethinking Home: A Case for Writing Local History.

    DAVID R. PICHASKE is professor of English literature at Southwest State University. He is a specialist in the literature of the rural Midwest and is the editor of Late Harvest: Rural American Writing and author of A Generation in Motion: Popular Music and Culture in the Sixties.



    Praise for A Place Called Home


    "A superb introduction to the history, culture, and social significance of small-town life in the Midwest. Anyone interested in the history of the Midwest will find this collection provocative, exciting, and suggestive for further reading and research." -- R. Douglas Hurt, editor of The Rural West since World War II and author of American Agriculture: A Brief History

    "The editors of this wonderful collection challenge us to consider the future as well as the past of that iconic American place, the Midwestern small town." -- Andrew R. L. Cayton, coauthor of The Midwest and the Nation: Rethinking the History of an American Region

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