Catalogue


Remaking the heartland [electronic resource] : Middle America since the 1950s /
Robert Wuthnow.
imprint
Princeton ; Oxford : Princeton University Press, c2011.
description
xiii, 358 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
9780691146119 (hardback : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Princeton ; Oxford : Princeton University Press, c2011.
isbn
9780691146119 (hardback : alk. paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
contents note
Here in the middle -- Recovering from the Great Depression -- Reinventing the rustic life -- Education in Middle America -- The decline of small communities -- The changing face of agribusiness -- From towns to sprawling suburbs.
catalogue key
8845924
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [335]-348) and index.
A Look Inside
Awards
This item was nominated for the following awards:
PSP Prose Awards, USA, 2011 : Nominated
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"InRemaking the Heartland, Robert Wuthnow demonstrates that the widely reported demise of the Midwest has been significantly exaggerated. Instead of a dying region, he finds a thriving one which has adapted to a challenging world by drawing on its own enduring institutions and behaviors."--David B. Danbom, author ofBorn in the Country: A History of Rural America"Remaking the Heartlandtakes a refreshing look at Middle America and dispels common myths about what is happening there. It turns out that it is not one big place that ought to be turned into a buffalo commons after all. Robert Wuthnow has written a fine and well-researched book that will change the minds of many readers in positive directions."--R. F. Diffendal, Jr., University of Nebraska-Lincoln"One of America's most prolific scholars of culture and change now turns his attention to his native Midwest. Robert Wuthnow paints a compelling portrait of the enduring vitality of this special part of America and offers a provocative narrative of how it is changing. Wuthnow's many fans--especially those with Midwestern ties--will enjoy his spirited, graceful, and well-evidenced argument that the heart of the American heartland still beats strong."--Robert D. Putnam, author ofBowling AloneandAmerican Grace"Remaking the Heartlandis a compelling examination of the transformation of the Midwest in the postwar era. Combining an insider's empathy with the critical distance of someone who has moved away, Wuthnow debunks the myths of the heartland's decline and highlights the region's institutional riches and cultural creativity."--John Schmalzbauer, Missouri State University
Flap Copy
"In Remaking the Heartland , Robert Wuthnow demonstrates that the widely reported demise of the Midwest has been significantly exaggerated. Instead of a dying region, he finds a thriving one which has adapted to a challenging world by drawing on its own enduring institutions and behaviors."--David B. Danbom, author of Born in the Country: A History of Rural America " Remaking the Heartland takes a refreshing look at Middle America and dispels common myths about what is happening there. It turns out that it is not one big place that ought to be turned into a buffalo commons after all. Robert Wuthnow has written a fine and well-researched book that will change the minds of many readers in positive directions."--R. F. Diffendal, Jr., University of Nebraska-Lincoln "One of America's most prolific scholars of culture and change now turns his attention to his native Midwest. Robert Wuthnow paints a compelling portrait of the enduring vitality of this special part of America and offers a provocative narrative of how it is changing. Wuthnow's many fans--especially those with Midwestern ties--will enjoy his spirited, graceful, and well-evidenced argument that the heart of the American heartland still beats strong."--Robert D. Putnam, author of Bowling Alone and American Grace "Drawing on published sources, government statistics, and autobiographical material, this book is a comprehensive appraisal of the social transformation of Middle America."--Glenn Fuguitt, University of Wisconsin-Madison and coauthor of Rural and Small Town America " Remaking the Heartland is a compelling examination of the transformation of the Midwest in the postwar era. Combining an insider's empathy with the critical distance of someone who has moved away, Wuthnow debunks the myths of the heartland's decline and highlights the region's institutional riches and cultural creativity."--John Schmalzbauer, Missouri State University
Flap Copy
"In Remaking the Heartland , Robert Wuthnow demonstrates that the widely reported demise of the Midwest has been significantly exaggerated. Instead of a dying region, he finds a thriving one which has adapted to a challenging world by drawing on its own enduring institutions and behaviors."-- David B. Danbom, author of Born in the Country: A History of Rural America " Remaking the Heartland takes a refreshing look at Middle America and dispels common myths about what is happening there. It turns out that it is not one big place that ought to be turned into a buffalo commons after all. Robert Wuthnow has written a fine and well-researched book that will change the minds of many readers in positive directions."-- R. F. Diffendal, Jr., University of Nebraska-Lincoln "One of America's most prolific scholars of culture and change now turns his attention to his native Midwest. Robert Wuthnow paints a compelling portrait of the enduring vitality of this special part of America and offers a provocative narrative of how it is changing. Wuthnow's many fans--especially those with Midwestern ties--will enjoy his spirited, graceful, and well-evidenced argument that the heart of the American heartland still beats strong."-- Robert D. Putnam, author of Bowling Alone and American Grace "Drawing on published sources, government statistics, and autobiographical material, this book is a comprehensive appraisal of the social transformation of Middle America."-- Glenn Fuguitt, University of Wisconsin-Madison and coauthor of Rural and Small Town America " Remaking the Heartland is a compelling examination of the transformation of the Midwest in the postwar era. Combining an insiders empathy with the critical distance of someone who has moved away, Wuthnow debunks the myths of the heartlands decline and highlights the regions institutional riches and cultural creativity."-- John Schmalzbauer, Missouri State University
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2011-10-01:
Recent books about the Middle West suggest a scenario of outmigration, aging populations, and dying small towns (Patrick J. Carr and Maria J. Kefalas, Hollowing out the Middle: The Rural Brain Drain and What It Means for America, CH, Apr'10, 47-4732; Richard Wood, Survival of Rural America: Small Victories and Bitter Harvests, CH, Apr'09, 46-4757). This report of research conducted in the late 2000s provides a different narrative. Well-respected sociologist Wuthnow (Princeton) interweaves interviews, diaries and memoirs, and census data into a series of case studies to describe a region that is thriving in the new economy, primarily because of culture and institutions. The basic argument is that the Middle West was still recovering from the Great Depression when faced with challenges of the 1980s and 1990s. Historical investments in education and a culture of survival have allowed the region to adjust to changing agriculture and suburbanization to remain socially and economically healthy, for the most part. The book is well written, documented, and argued. Of special note are the discussion of ethnic diversity and the development of edge cities. While not denying the demise of small places (less than 500), the discussion of larger communities is compelling and optimistic. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. A. A. Hickey Western Carolina University
Reviews
Review Quotes
In Remaking the Heartland, Robert Wuthnow demonstrates that the widely reported demise of the Midwest has been significantly exaggerated. Instead of a dying region, he finds a thriving one which has adapted to a challenging world by drawing on its own enduring institutions and behaviors.
Remaking the Heartlandis a compelling examination of the transformation of the Midwest in the postwar era. Combining an insider's empathy with the critical distance of someone who has moved away, Wuthnow debunks the myths of the heartland's decline and highlights the region's institutional riches and cultural creativity.
Well-respected sociologist Wuthnow interweaves interviews, diaries and memoirs, and census data into a series of case studies to describe a region that is thriving in the new economy, primarily because of culture and institutions. . . . [ Remaking the Heartland ] is well-written, documented, and argued.
"Well-respected sociologist Wuthnow interweaves interviews, diaries and memoirs, and census data into a series of case studies to describe a region that is thriving in the new economy, primarily because of culture and institutions. . . . [ Remaking the Heartland ] is well-written, documented, and argued."-- Choice
Well-respected sociologist Wuthnow interweaves interviews, diaries and memoirs, and census data into a series of case studies to describe a region that is thriving in the new economy, primarily because of culture and institutions. . . . [ Remaking the Heartland ] is well-written, documented, and argued. -- Choice
Wuthnow provides a much needed and refreshing look into the assumptions that Middle America, especially small-town Middle America, is dying or at worst already lost to modern, urban society.
"Wuthnow provides a much needed and refreshing look into the assumptions that Middle America, especially small-town Middle America, is dying or at worst already lost to modern, urban society."-- Michelle Meyer Lueck, Rural Sociology
"We are fortunate to have a social scientist and historian with the stature of Robert Wuthnow undertake the sort of study that draws on oral history interviews, newspaper accounts, census data and broad cultural histories and interpretations. Wuthnow adds a new perspective on rural life and culture. . . . What saves the book from statistical overload is the way interviews with particular people demonstrate the impact of the data; especially good are the interviews in which interviewees describe the change they have seen over their lifetime, usually four or five decades."-- Shannon Jung, Christian Century
We are fortunate to have a social scientist and historian with the stature of Robert Wuthnow undertake the sort of study that draws on oral history interviews, newspaper accounts, census data and broad cultural histories and interpretations. Wuthnow adds a new perspective on rural life and culture. . . . What saves the book from statistical overload is the way interviews with particular people demonstrate the impact of the data; especially good are the interviews in which interviewees describe the change they have seen over their lifetime, usually four or five decades. -- Shannon Jung, Christian Century
The book is as much history as social science, and the writing flows seamlessly from personal observation to archival material, and from case studies to broad generalization. The total package is impressive: insights from some two hundred in-depth interviews supplemented by information from local newspapers, company reports, and an original content analysis of changing values via the Farm Journal magazine. Wuthnow is also a skilled writer who displays just the right blend of affection and detachment while leading readers through a nuanced story. -- James R. Shortridge, Material Culture
This study deserves, even requires, multiple readings to fully appreciate its contribution to our knowledge about the Midwest. Historians and other scholars of the region will find it informative and useful.
"This study deserves, even requires, multiple readings to fully appreciate its contribution to our knowledge about the Midwest. Historians and other scholars of the region will find it informative and useful."-- R. Douglas Hurt, Kansas History
We are fortunate to have a social scientist and historian with the stature of Robert Wuthnow undertake the sort of study that draws on oral history interviews, newspaper accounts, census data and broad cultural histories and interpretations. Wuthnow adds a new perspective on rural life and culture. . . . What saves the book from statistical overload is the way interviews with particular people demonstrate the impact of the data; especially good are the interviews in which interviewees describe the change they have seen over their lifetime, usually four or five decades.
"The book is as much history as social science, and the writing flows seamlessly from personal observation to archival material, and from case studies to broad generalization. The total package is impressive: insights from some two hundred in-depth interviews supplemented by information from local newspapers, company reports, and an original content analysis of changing values via the Farm Journal magazine. Wuthnow is also a skilled writer who displays just the right blend of affection and detachment while leading readers through a nuanced story."-- James R. Shortridge, Material Culture
Anyone interested in the economic development of the Midwest and a counterintuitive approach to the region's future should read Wuthnow's account, which can, once again, spur us to take the region's history seriously.
"Anyone interested in the economic development of the Midwest and a counterintuitive approach to the regions future should read Wuthnows account, which can, once again, spur us to take the regions history seriously."-- Jon Lauck, Omaha World-Herald
Honorable Mention for the 2011 PROSE Award in Sociology & Social Work, Association of American Publishers
[ Remaking the Heartland ] is a well-written, detailed, and persuasive account of change in the region.
"[ Remaking the Heartland ] is a well-written, detailed, and persuasive account of change in the region."-- J. L. Anderson, American Historical Review
The book is as much history as social science, and the writing flows seamlessly from personal observation to archival material, and from case studies to broad generalization. The total package is impressive: insights from some two hundred in-depth interviews supplemented by information from local newspapers, company reports, and an original content analysis of changing values via the Farm Journal magazine. Wuthnow is also a skilled writer who displays just the right blend of affection and detachment while leading readers through a nuanced story.
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, October 2011
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
For many Americans, the Midwest is a vast unknown. InRemaking the Heartland, Robert Wuthnow sets to rectify this. He shows how the region has undergone extraordinary social transformations over the past half-century, and proven itself surprisingly resilient in the face of such hardships as the Great Depression and the movement of residents to other parts of the country. He examines the heartland's reinvention throughout the decades and traces the social and economic factors that have helped it to survive and prosper.Wuthnow points to the critical strength of the region's social institutions established between 1870 and 1950--the market towns, farmsteads, one-room schoolhouses, townships, rural cooperatives, and manufacturing centers that have adapted with the changing times. He focuses on farmers' struggles to recover from the Great Depression well into the 1950s, the cultural redefinition and modernization of the region's image that occurred during the 1950s and 1960s, the growth of secondary and higher education, the decline of small towns, the redeployment of agribusiness, and the rapid expansion of edge cities. Drawing his arguments from extensive interviews and evidence from the towns and counties of the Midwest, Wuthnow provides a unique perspective as both an objective observer and someone who grew up there.Remaking the Heartlandoffers an accessible look at the humble yet strong foundations that have allowed the region to endure undiminished.
Main Description
For many Americans, the Midwest is a vast unknown. In Remaking the Heartland, Robert Wuthnow sets out to rectify this. He shows how the region has undergone extraordinary social transformations over the past half-century and proven itself surprisingly resilient in the face of such hardships as the Great Depression and the movement of residents to other parts of the country. He examines the heartland's reinvention throughout the decades and traces the social and economic factors that have helped it to survive and prosper. Wuthnow points to the critical strength of the region's social institutions established between 1870 and 1950--the market towns, farmsteads, one-room schoolhouses, townships, rural cooperatives, and manufacturing centers that have adapted with the changing times. He focuses on farmers' struggles to recover from the Great Depression well into the 1950s, the cultural redefinition and modernization of the region's image that occurred during the 1950s and 1960s, the growth of secondary and higher education, the decline of small towns, the redeployment of agribusiness, and the rapid expansion of edge cities. Drawing his arguments from extensive interviews and evidence from the towns and counties of the Midwest, Wuthnow provides a unique perspective as both an objective observer and someone who grew up there. Remaking the Heartland offers an accessible look at the humble yet strong foundations that have allowed the region to endure undiminished.
Main Description
For many Americans, the Midwest is a vast unknown. In Remaking the Heartland , Robert Wuthnow sets out to rectify this. He shows how the region has undergone extraordinary social transformations over the past half-century and proven itself surprisingly resilient in the face of such hardships as the Great Depression and the movement of residents to other parts of the country. He examines the heartland's reinvention throughout the decades and traces the social and economic factors that have helped it to survive and prosper. Wuthnow points to the critical strength of the region's social institutions established between 1870 and 1950--the market towns, farmsteads, one-room schoolhouses, townships, rural cooperatives, and manufacturing centers that have adapted with the changing times. He focuses on farmers' struggles to recover from the Great Depression well into the 1950s, the cultural redefinition and modernization of the region's image that occurred during the 1950s and 1960s, the growth of secondary and higher education, the decline of small towns, the redeployment of agribusiness, and the rapid expansion of edge cities. Drawing his arguments from extensive interviews and evidence from the towns and counties of the Midwest, Wuthnow provides a unique perspective as both an objective observer and someone who grew up there. Remaking the Heartland offers an accessible look at the humble yet strong foundations that have allowed the region to endure undiminished.
Bowker Data Service Summary
'Remaking the Heartland' offers a survey of the American Midwest, examining the factors that have helped it endure such hardships as the Great Depression & late 20th century rural depopulation, without losing its reputation as a land of honesty, decency & hard work.
Table of Contents
List of Tablesp. vii
Prefacep. ix
Introductionp. 1
Here in the Middlep. 7
Recovering from the Great Depressionp. 22
Reinventing the Rustic Lifep. 57
Education in Middle Americap. 92
The Decline of Small Communitiesp. 126
The Changing Face of Agribusinessp. 171
From Towns to Sprawling Suburbsp. 214
Afterwordp. 254
Appendixp. 261
Notesp. 285
Selected Bibliographyp. 335
Indexp. 349
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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