The American Midwest: Essays on Regional History

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9780253339416: The American Midwest: Essays on Regional History
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In a series of often highly personal essays, the authors - all of whom are experts on various aspects of Midwestern history - consider the question of regional identity as a useful way of thinking about the history of the American Midwest. They begin with the assumption that Midwesterners have never been as consciously regional as Western or Southern Americans. They note the peculiar absence of the Midwest from the recent revival of interest in American regionalism among both scholars and journalists. Drawing on personal experiences as well as a wide variety of scholarship, the authors hope to stimulate readers into thinking more concretely about what it has meant to be from the Midwest - and why Midwesterners have traditionally been less assertive about their regional identity than other Americans. They suggest that the best place to find Midwesternness is in the stories the residents of the region have told about themselves and each other. Being Midwestern is mostly a state of mind. It is always fluid, always contested, always being renegotiated. Even the most frequent objection to the existence of Midwestern identity, the fact that no one can agree on its borders, is part of a larger regional conversation about the ways in which Midwesterners imagine themselves and their relationships with other Americans.

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About the Author:

Andrew R. L. Cayton is Distinguished Professor of History at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He is the author of numerous books and articles dealing with the history of the Midwest, including Frontier Indiana (1966) and (with Peter S. Onuf) The Midwest and the Nation (1990)

Susan E. Gray is Associate Professor History at Arizona State University. In addition to a number of articles relating to the history of the Midwest, she is the author of Yankee West: Community Life on the Michigan Frontier.

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Clayton, Andrew
Published by Indiana University Press (2001)
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Andrew Clayton, Andrew R. L. Cayton (Editor), Susan E. Gray (Editor)
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