Remaking the heartland

Middle America since the 1950s

Research output: Book/ReportBook

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherPrinceton University Press
Number of pages358
ISBN (Electronic)9781400836246
ISBN (Print)9780691158020
StatePublished - Dec 28 2010
EventRemaking the heartland -
Duration: Dec 28 2010 → …

Fingerprint

Great Depression
town
small town
social institution
economic factors
social factors
modernization
manufacturing
farm
farmer
resident
1950s
market
interview
evidence
education
time
Agribusiness
Observer
Redefinition

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)

Cite this

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Remaking the heartland : Middle America since the 1950s. / Wuthnow, Robert J.

Princeton University Press, 2010. 358 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

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Wuthnow RJ. Remaking the heartland: Middle America since the 1950s. Princeton University Press, 2010. 358 p.