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Landscapes of Minnesota

Landscapes of Minnesota

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A Geography

Author John Fraser Hart, Author Susy Svatek Ziegler

Minnesota Historical Society Press (March 1, 2008)

A definitive exploration of Minnesota’s changing environmental and human landscapes and how they have grown and developed over time.


Have you ever wondered why Minnesota’s forests grow in the north and not in the west? Why gaming casinos are prospering? Why producers raise chickens instead of cows? Why some towns grow while others fail? Minnesota’s natural wonders have had an effect on and been changed by the people who call this complex mosaic of lakes and forests, rivers and fields home. Through engaging, in-depth text and copious illustrations, John Fraser Hart and Susy Svatek Ziegler explore the human and environmental characteristics that define the state in Landscapes of Minnesota.

Illustrated with hundreds of maps and color photographs that reveal the changing character of Minnesota, this stunning geography traces the development of the state’s natural environment, how the land formations, plants, and animals became a part of its fabric, and how they have changed over time. Focusing on small towns, the authors document patterns of growth and decline, offering striking commentary on these once-key bastions of Minnesota-ness. Turning to the Twin Cities, they analyze the expanding urban arc and the surprising growth of a baby boomer retirement belt. Landscapes of Minnesota explores how the lives and livelihoods of Minnesotans have affected what the state has become and what it one day will be.

Author information

John Fraser Hart is a professor of geography at the University of Minnesota and a Guggenheim Fellow. He is a former president of the Association of American Geographers and the recipient of many awards, including a distinguished teacher award from the National Council for Geographic Education and a distinguished scholarship award from the Association of American Geographers.

Susy Szatek Ziegler is an assistant professor of geography at the University of Minnesota and a Fulbright Scholar. She is co-author of Alternative Biographies of the Global Garden.

  • 328 pages
  • 110 color photos, 100 maps, 30 graphs, 10 line drawings
  • 8 x 10 inches
  • ISBN: 9780873515917

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