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Minnesota, Real & Imagined

Minnesota, Real & Imagined

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Essays on the State and Its Culture

Edited by Stephen Graubard, Contributions by John S. Adams, Contributions by Anthony Amato

Minnesota Historical Society Press (April 1, 2001)

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.

Author information

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.

  • 297 pages
  • 6 x 9 inches
  • ISBN: 9780873513975

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