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Social upheaval, political gridlock, and controversies over taxes, the environment, and an unpopular war: the state of Minnesota in 1968 was a lot like the state of America today. Tom Berg, a lawmaker in Minnesota during the 1970s, was a witness—and a party—to the deal cutting, arm-twisting, and just plain hard work that led to historic political shifts. His account of the making of legislative history at the state level and relationships with federal and local governments has much to tell us about where we stand as a nation and how change happens.
A firsthand look into the political and personal mysteries and realities that make real and significant differences in people’s lives, Minnesota’s Miracle is a civics lesson and legislative primer with a rare kick—it’s as rollicking as it is relevant. Berg tells the stories behind changes made in legislative policies and programs during a critical decade, describing the key players, their emotions, the politics they employed, their electoral wins and losses, the impact of national politics when Walter Mondale was elected vice president, and the role of important court decisions. It was a time of partisanship, high emotions, violent protests, heated controversy, and outright political fights over issues that continue to haunt us; but it was also a time when government functioned well, in what Time Magazine called “A State That Works.” Berg’s behind-the-scenes view of the “Minnesota Miracle” is a work of living history that offers suggestions and as much hope as it does hard truths and cold facts.
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Tom Berg served eight years in the Minnesota legislature in the 1970s. He later served as the U.S. Attorney for Minnesota and is currently of counsel to the national law firm of Hinshaw & Culbertson, where he practiced law for fifteen years.Review:
"Minnesota’s Miracle makes this point clear: ‘While human nature may give rise to factions and political parties, it also allows friendship and commonality to grow and foster some level of goodwill and cooperation.’ That is Berg's summary of the ‘Minnesota Miracle’ and it can be ours once again." —David Durenberger
"In today’s divisive political arena, we have a lot to learn from the legislators who worked together across the aisle in Minnesota. For a glimpse into the inner workings of Minnesota’s government, read this book." —Walter Mondale
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