Claiming the city : politics, faith, and the power of place in St. Paul /
Mary Lethert Wingerd.
Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 2001.
xiii, 326 p. : ill., maps.
0801439361 (cloth : alk. paper)
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Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 2001.
0801439361 (cloth : alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2002-10-01:
This book examines the labor history of St. Paul, Minnesota, 1838-1934. But it also offers a compelling case for including place and religion as key categories for understanding political developments. Using the concept of "civic identity"--"a deep place-based loyalty"--Wingerd (Macalester College) constructs an impressive analysis of how the St. Paul half of the Twin Cities came to see itself as distinctly other than Minneapolis. St. Paul's growth came from transportation and commerce, not large-scale industry. Unions in the capital city were pervasive yet small in scale. Local businesspeople generally found the toleration of unions to be good for business. A labor-business alliance, while breached during the WW I years, dominated St. Paul society and culture from the late 19th through the mid-20th centuries. The pivotal brokers for the St. Paul civic compact were the Irish and the Roman Catholic Church, symbolized by the influence of Mary Mehegan Hill (wife of railroad magnate J.J. Hill), Archbishop John Ireland, and seminary professor John A. Ryan. Wingerd's demonstration of taking "place-based consciousness seriously" is worth the attention of all historians. Recommended for regional, religious, urban, and labor collections. Upper-division undergraduates and above. D. F. Anderson Northwestern College (IA)
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Choice, October 2002
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Bowker Data Service Summary
Claiming The City traces the contours of St. Paul's 'civic identity' to show how personal identities and political structures of power are fundamentally informed by the social geography of place.

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