{PDF} The Heartland ☆ Kristin L. Hoganson

Kristin L. Hoganson ✓ 4 review

The Heartland

Yth The deeper she dug into the making of the modern heartland the wider her story became as she realized that she'd uncovered an unheralded crossroads of people commerce and ideas But the really interesting thing Hoganson found was that over the course of American history even as the region's connections with the rest of the planet became increasingly dense and intricate the idea of the rural Midwest as a steadfast heartland became a stronger and stubbornly immovable myth In enshrining a symbolic heart the American people have repressed the kinds of stories that Hoganson tells of sweeping breadth and depth and soul. The ideas of this book are valuable though the writing is mediocre As with many academic projects I can imagine this book shrunk into two highly interesting New Yorker style articles The first article that I d select from this book would be the creation of the Heartland In Hoganson s telling America arrived at a point when it needed an identity We can imagine any number of choices for that symbolic heart of the country why not New York City Why not New England Why not the coasts But the collective choice was made to locate the heart of the country in what we think of now as the Midwest which was once just the West From there a myth was constructed about isolation and fundamental goodness A valuable part of this book is the examination of local history in chapter 1 were she demonstrates that these books gathering dust in our libraries went about setting up European settlers as the true occupants of the land while Native Americans were dismissed as being ramblers who were never truly settled the land White European settlers thus produced the uality of the local in ways that people passing through and over the land could not My second selection for a lengthy essay would be a shorter version of the surprising central chapters on cattle hogs and agriculture Those who founded the cities and towns of the Midwest in the 19th century perceived themselves as part of a global network of food production They were interested in cattle from Britain and hogs from China and wheat and vegetables from pretty much everywhere They understood their region not as some fenced in place that had to make do with whatever they had or a place where they had to go it alone but as a region that could be fundamentally transformed by rational progress Looking in old newspapers from Illinois Hoganson finds plenty of evidence in advertisements or short news items that people in the Midwest imagined themselves as connected to the globe In fact they understood well that their prosperity depended on certain government trade policies and were thus engaged with foreign policy uestionsIn her conclusion Hoganson makes use of an image that I particularly liked It would take an entire atlas of maps layered on top of one another transparency style to convey the far flung relationships that formed the heartland Though she mentions transparencies we know that we are in the realm of Google Earth here with its map overlays She helps us to imagine the layers and connections that technology and the Internet has helped us to imagine readily The myth of the local continues to overwrite the connections of the Heartland with the rest of the world As I ve walked through county fairs in Wisconsin and looked at the cattle and pigs I don t recall seeing signs explaining the foreign origin of these animals or the export of them to foreign places There s rather a sense that hearty young men and women have raised these American creatures and as good Americans we make use of these creatures Global connections are not self evident and it s far easier to imagine self sufficiency We should make a collective effort to draw out the global Even at county fairs we should follow Hoganson s lead and trace breeds back to the Netherlands or wherever they came from We should point to the countries where all that soy and corn will wind up Collectively we have allowed this myth of the Heartland to go unchecked and we are paying the price now in every way

Free download The Heartland

In The Heartland Kristin L Hoganson drills deep into the center of the country only to find a global story in the resulting core sample Deftly navigating the disconnect between history and myth she tracks both the backstory of this region and the evolution of the idea of an unalloyed heart at the center of the land A provocative and highly original work of historical scholarship The Heartland speaks volumes about pressing preoccupations among them identity and community immigration and trade and security and global power And food To read it is to be inoculated against using the word heartland unironically ever again. This book oozed with the passion of her research And being from Michigan I really enjoyed reading it But her focus on using modern day PC presumptions distracted from her conclusions in many parts Focusing on the specific area of Champaign IL with it s excellent University surrounding areas and the peoples that made the human history of the place gave it a great focus and I did a lot of compare contrast with where I grew up in East Lansing MI with it s excellent Michigan State University and there are a plethora of both similarities and differences Her deconstruction of the myth of the Heartland was very similar to my own experience after being overseas for than a decade and coming back to the Midwest in 1990 I d heard the myth and always wondered Where did this BS come from She did a particularly good job of tracking the origin of the myth On the other hand she focuses on the Kickapoo Tribe and their relations with the US Military and I think she was off base in her description of both groups how they think and why they did what they did It irked me a bit that she overlooked the French influence in Illinois but they didn t establish any forts or trading posts in Champaign County so other than the name she judged them insignificant Pity that All in all a worthy read and I hope she sells many copies and people actually read it

Summary é PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ✓ Kristin L. Hoganson

A history of a uintessentially American place the rural and small town heartland that uncovers deep yet hidden currents of connection with the worldWhen Kristin L Hoganson arrived in Champaign Illinois after teaching at Harvard studying at Yale and living in the DC metro area with various stints overseas she expected to find her new home well isolated Even provincial After all she had landed in the American heartland a place where the nation's identity exists in its pristine form Or so we have been taught to believe Struck by the gap between reputation and reality she determined to get to the bottom of history and m. NoMy only comment is that the Midwest deserves to be taken seriously as a historical space in its own right not as a zone significant only for its connections with other regions of the world Hoganson initially comes at the topic from the angle of actually the Midwest isn t fundamentally isolationist or parochial Duh We didn t need this book to tell us that This work feels almost like an insult


About the Author: Kristin L. Hoganson

Kristin Hoganson is a professor of history at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign She specializes in the United States in world context cultures of US imperialism and transnational history She is the author of Fighting for American Manhood How Gender Politics Provoked the Spanish American and Philippine American Wars 1998 and Consumers’ Imperium The Global Production of Americ



10 thoughts on “The Heartland

  1. says:

    Anyone looking to this book for a broad survey of the Midwest as the title seems to suggest will undoubtedly be disappointed What one gets instead is a focused argument illustrated by an episodic account of interactions with one place in the Mi

  2. says:

    I found this intriguing thought provoking and wide ranging exploration of what is actually meant by the term The American Heartland most interesting It seems to have divided reviewers between those who love it a

  3. says:

    NoMy only comment is that the Midwest deserves to be taken seriously as a historical space in its own right not as a zone significant only for its connections with other regions of the world Hoganson initially comes at the topic from the angle of actually the Midwest isn't fundamentally isolationist or parochial

  4. says:

    The ideas of this book are valuable though the writing is mediocre As with many academic projects I can imagine this book shrunk into two highly interesting New Yorker style articles The first article that I'd select from this book would be the creation of the Heartland In Hoganson's telling America arrived at a point when it needed an identity We can imagine any number of choices for that symbolic heart of the country

  5. says:

    The Heartland is a brief snapshot of middle America focusing primarily on Illinois and the community of Champaign since the author works at the local university She begins by addressing all the nicknames for the Mi

  6. says:

    I’m still wrapping my head around why this was such an awful read premise approached poorly and executed lazily absolutely awful wri

  7. says:

    This book oozed with the passion of her research And being from Michigan I really enjoyed reading it But her focus on usi

  8. says:

    Seeks to repudiate the myth of the heartland as a one dimensional unchanging and conservative region with little impact on the nation’s past Hoganson focuses mainly on Champaign Illinois as a microcosm of the heartland She delves into various historical aspects that had an effect on the region including agriculture animal husbandry education politics aviation bird migration and the presence of Native Americans All these elements contribut

  9. says:

    This was not an easy book for me And yet I learned so much Picking it up you think it will help define that part of the world in which

  10. says:

    Wow this book had so muchinfoabout thebeginigof farming the hops and their breed I liked this book it had much to learn about the beginning of farming Eric

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *