Have you ever wondered why Minnesota's forests grow in the north and not in the west? Why gaming casinos are prospering? Why producers raise chickens instead of cows? Why some towns grow while others fail? Minnesota's natural wonders have had an effect on and been changed by the people who call this complex mosaic of lakes and forests, rivers and fields home. Through engaging, in-depth text and copious illustrations, John Fraser Hart and Susy Svatek Ziegler explore the human and environmental characteristics that define the state in this book. Illustrated with hundreds of maps and color photographs that reveal the changing character of Minnesota, this stunning geography traces the development of the state's natural environment, how the land formations, plants, and animals became a part of its fabric, and how they have changed over time. Focusing on small towns, the authors document patterns of growth and decline, offering striking commentary on these once-key bastions of Minnesota-ness. Turning to the Twin Cities, they analyse the expanding urban arc and the surprising growth of a baby boomer retirement belt.
This book explores how the lives and livelihoods of Minnesotans have affected what the state has become and what it one day will be.
John Fraser Hart is a professor of geography at the University of Minnesota and a Guggenheim Fellow. Susy Svatek Ziegler is an assistant professor of geography at the University of Minnesota and a Fulbright Scholar.