Midwest futures

Phil Christman

Book - 2020

"What does the future hold for the Midwest? A vast stretch of fertile farmland bordering one of the largest concentrations of fresh water in the world, the Midwestern US seems ideally situated for the coming challenges of climate change. But it also sits at the epicenter of a massive economic collapse that many of its citizens are still struggling to overcome. The question of what the Midwest is (and what it will become) is nothing new. As Phil Christman writes in this idiosyncratic new boo...k, ambiguity might be the region's defining characteristic. Taking a cue from Jefferson's grid, the famous rectangular survey of the Old Northwest Territory that turned everything from Ohio to Wisconsin into square-mile lots, Christman breaks his exploration of Midwestern identity, past and present, into 36 brief, interconnected essays. The result is a sometimes sardonic, often uproarious, and consistently thought-provoking look at a misunderstood place and the people who call it home."--Amazon.com

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Subjects
Genres
Essays
Published
Cleveland, Ohio : Belt Publishing 2020.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
154 pages ; 20 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 140-154).
ISBN
9781948742610
1948742616
Main Author
Phil Christman (author)
Review by Publisher Summary 1

A virtuoso book-length essay on Midwestern identity and the future of the region

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A virtuoso book about midwestern identity and the future of the region. Named a Commonweal Notable Book of 2020, a finalist for a Midwest Independent Book award, and winner of the Independent Publisher Awards’ 2020 Bronze Medal for Great Lakes Nonfiction.

The Midwest: Is it middle? Or is it Western? As Phil Christman writes in this idiosyncratic, critically acclaimed essay collection, these and other ambiguities might well be the region’s defining characteristic. Deftly combining history, criticism, and memoir, Christman breaks his exploration of midwestern identity, past and present, into a suite of thirty-six brief, interconnected essays. Ranging across material questions of religion, race, class, climate, and Midwestern myth making, the result is a sometimes sardonic, often uproarious, and consistently thought-provoking look at a misunderstood place and the people who call it home.

As James Fallows of The Atlantic noted, it’s “A combination of history, memoir, reportage, and lit-crit that taught me a lot about a region I’ve reported on.… Check it out.”

For anyone who has ever wondered why being from the Midwest is synonymous with “normalcy,” even when nothing could be further from the truth. 

A virtuoso book-length essay on Midwestern identity and the future of the region. Named a Commonweal Notable Book of 2020, a finalist for a Midwest Independent Book award, and winner of the Independent Publisher Awards' 2020 Bronze Medal for Great Lakes Nonfiction.

The Midwest: Is it middle? Or is it Western? As Phil Christman writes in this idiosyncratic, celebrated book, these and other ambiguities might well be the region's defining characteristic. Deftly combining history, criticism, and memoir, Christman breaks his exploration of Midwestern identity, past and present, into a suite of thirty-six brief, interconnected essays. Ranging across material questions of religion, race, class, climate, and Midwestern myth making, the result is a sometimes sardonic, often uproarious, and consistently thought-provoking look at a misunderstood place and the people who call it home.

For anyone who has ever wondered why being from the Midwest is synonymous with "normalcy," even when that's obviously not the case.