Temperatures that dive to forty degrees below zero are only part of life in northern Minnesota, according to award-winning writer Barton Sutter. Cold Comfort is his temperamental tribute to the city of Duluth, Minnesota, where bears wander the streets and canoe racks are standard equipment.
What do Henry David Thoreau, Mark Twain, and Oscar Wilde have in common? They, and authors Edward Eggleston, Hamlin Garland, Bayard Taylor, Knut Hamsun, Fredrika Bremer, Max O'Rell, and Frederick Marryat all visited Minnesota between 1838 and 1890. Each of these authors, and Minnesota's Nobel and Pulitzer prize winning author, Sinclair Lewis, plumbed their Minnesota experiences in later prose and fiction. Reprinted here are eleven essays by John T. Flanagan, originally published in Minnesota History, the journal of the Minnesota Historical Society, which describe the sojourn of these authors and the literary results.
On May 4, 1919, Charlie Cook set off for a year of adventure in the Minnesota-Ontario Boundary Waters. Soon abandoned by his comfort-loving companion, the restless World War I veteran spent an enlightening year learning--often the hard way--how to paddle and sail on windy lakes, hunt and fish for food, bake "rough delicacies" in a reflector oven, and build winter-proof shelters. His how-to descriptions of trapping beaver, mink, and other game are unsurpassed in their detail.
Cook also found his way into the border community of Ojibwe and mixed-blood families and a motley assortment of mysterious travelers, game wardens, and loners, including trapper Bill Berglund (who "adopted" Cook until the tenderfoot's eagerness to harvest pelts came between them).
Cook's adventure climaxed in a 700-mile expedition by dogsled north into Canada, where he reached the limits of his endurance--and just barely lived to tell the tale.
For anyone who loves the Boundary Waters or wonders what this rugged region was like not so long ago, Cook's story reveals a world still ruled by nature but on the brink of change.
"The James Gang raid on the bank at Northfield and its aftermath is America's penultimate rip-snorting horseback robbery story. The outlaws were the most daring and most wanted men in the nation. They dressed well, rode fine horses, were sociable and well-mannered. Conflicting reports arose about nearly everything that happened in the raid and to the participants afterwards. A century of writers made the confusion worse. Mr. Koblas doesn't purport to have all the answers. He presents a book based on exhaustive research that is essentially a presentation of all available reports. He adds much information about something virtually unknown: his research on the pros and cons of Bill Stiles being a ninth man at Northfield who escaped to die peacefully in Los Angeles years later. A masterpiece of historical research. The most detailed examination of a James Gang event to date. Should be required reading for every student of Western history." Paul Meredith, Violent Kin Magazine
A Lively Account in text and photos that highlights the accomplishments of such national and international figures as Archbishop John Ireland (whose Catholic colonization program brought thousands of Irish families to farms in southwestern Minnesota), F. Scott Fitzgerald (the golden boy of the jazz age he created), and oil-rich philanthropist Ignatius Aloysius O'Shaughnessy.
Minnesotans have long suspected that the last ice age never fully receded from the state, but that has not kept them from having a good time. Icy Pleasures explores the many ways that the people of Minnesota have embraced its Siberian reputation with winter carnivals and cold weather sports.
Paul Maccabee's John Dillinger Slept Here is not just one of the best books ever written about Minneapolis-St. Paul, it is one of the best books of local history I have ever read -- about any city anywhere on Earth. While writing Public Enemies' I kept it on my desk at all times. I daresay one cannot call himself a real Minnesotan if you haven't read it. The book is just that darned good."--Bryan Burrough, author of Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and Birth of the FBI, 1933-34, the basis for Public Enemies, the movie starring Johnny Depp
This book is based on more than 100,000 pages of FBI files and wiretaps, prison and police records, and mob confessions. Interviews with 250 crime victims, policemen, gun molls, and family members of criminals bring these public enemies to life. Crime historian Paul Maccabee takes you inside the bank robberies, gangland assassinations, and police intrigue of St. Paul's 1920s and1930s gangster era. You'll also find Crooks' Tour maps and more than 130 rare FBI, police, and family photographs.
Praise for John Dillinger Slept Here:
"A landmark study of gangland crime."--William J. Helmer, author of Dillinger: The Untold Story
"Maccabee is an authority on his subject which makes John Dillinger Slept Here an enthralling read. " --St. Paul Pioneer Press
Ruth F. Brin's compelling memoir reveals the childhood beginnings of her life as feminist thinker, poet, and well-respected writer of the Jewish faith. Brin draws close and loving portraits of her parents and older brothers, and outlines the history of her paternal grandparents who came to America from Austria-Hungary in the late 1880s to settle in Saint Paul. Early on, Brin relates her growing sense of how her religious faith will be integrated into her life and the ways in which she and her family must confront and survive instances of anti-Semitism. The author's original poems combine with her family's traditional stories to make Bittersweet Berries a unique narrative of one woman's beginnings and growth as an accomplished writer and religious thinker.