Thursday, May 14, 2009

4 new books from Chicago

The University of Chicago Press, either as publisher or distributor, has four books out that look relevant to various parts of Midwestern family history. I haven't seen any of them -- yet!

The Frontier in Alaska and the Matanuska Colony, by historian Orlando Wilson, on a 1930s government-encouraged migration of farm families from the cutover regions of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota to a new frontier. The book includes "several case studies of these original families, dispelling many frontier myths and describing the reality of pioneering in Alaska."

My Kind of Midwest: Omaha to Ohio, by John Jakle, longtime professor of geography and landscape architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Includes "Some Family History of My Own." This is on my must-read list, based on my acquaintance with his Common Houses in America's Small Towns: the Atlantic Seaboard to the Mississippi Valley.

My Kind of County: Door County, Wisconsin, by geographer John Fraser Hart. Yes, these are two in a series from the Center for American Places, now a department of Columbia College Chicago. Hart is what every county needs: a knowledgeable outsider with an insider's feel for the place. Includes "A Historical Tale."

Selling the Race: Culture, Community, and Black Chicago, 1940-1955, by University of Chicago historian Adam Green. How commerce helped create a common African-American culture around midcentury.

1 comment:

Mary Bakeman said...

The Minnesota Genealogical Journal: 31, published by Park Genealogical Books and available in many libraries, includes an article listing the families from Minnesota who took the Matanuska Valley Challenge, with maps. Even if your family isn't from Minnesota, you'll find research hints you can use.