In 1985 the South Dakota Legislature voted to put all 105 of them, plus the governor, on chartered planes to Washington, D.C., to lobby Congress for action on the Farm Crisis. (Got all that?)
As my students work on their final Citizen-Historian Project (read more here), I feel like it’s only fair that I participate with them. So let’s hit the Internet, hit our bikes, and log some New Deal sites around Minneapolis for the Living New Deal project!
Far from being an isolated or parochial political movement, the progressive populists of the 1980s Farm Crisis had a wide-ranging vision to reform American agriculture and foreign policy. And to find out how? Go to Ames! Or click “Read More”!
Two of the biggest symbols in my dissertation are Paul Wellstone’s green bus and Russ Feingold’s painted garage. But they tapped into a deeper tradition of symbols and rhetoric in Midwestern liberalism, and I needed to go to southern Illinois to trace that backwards.
Abortion, tensions with Native Americans, anti-labor sentiments, and rurality…and northern Wisconsin stayed in the Democratic column from 1969 until 2011. Why? I headed to Stevens Point, in part, to fill in my dissertation with two striking figures in Wisconsin political history, Dave Obey and Lee Dreyfus, known for different reasons: longevity and disruption, respectively.
Recapping my three trips (from November 2017 to August 2018) to Fargo and Moorhead, I’m committing one of the sins that I swore I wouldn’t commit during the fits and starts of this Barnstorming series — lumping interstate city clusters together. I held off for Duluth-Superior, in part because of the wide disparity in political experience between the Twin Ports (and in part because I wrote nothing for Duluth…yet). But we turn to sugar beet country, and time and tide…
We talk a lot in today’s day and age about the rural-urban divides that plague American politics. But where do those divides come from? Can we pinpoint their genesis?
All these posts throughout my little “Barnstorming” series had me curious where I’d been (and how much I’d written): twenty-seven cities, thirty-plus archives, and almost 22,000 miles on my Ford Focus later. [Update: Happy 2019! I’ve added a few cities and a couple blog posts. Oh, and the car is about 500 miles shy of 70,000 that I’ve put on since May 2017. Enjoy!]
Travel to Des Moines, meet a politician you’re writing a dissertation about, visit the mecca of modern Midwestern marketing. It was a good two weeks.
I was supposed to take a trip to Bismarck this summer after my journey through Grand Forks into Canada, but travel and driving fatigue led me to skip it in favor of a week in River Falls. My punishment was leaving for Bismarck at 3:15am on January 2.