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Swedes in Minnesota


A concise history of Swedes in Minnesota and the enormous influence that they have had on our state's politics, history, and culture.

No ethnic group is so identified with a single state as the Swedes are with Minnesota. Anne Gillespie Lewis explores how this came to be and what impact Swedes have had on the state they would make their own. She discusses churches, lodges, Swedish language newspapers, and entertainment, and she profiles individuals and groups of immigrants and their descendants. Through anecdotes, letters, and interviews from the immigrants themselves and from their grandchildren, she tells the story of the great Swedish migration. For the many Minnesotans of Swedish ancestry, Lewis provides a remarkably concise portrait of an ethnic group striving to become American while struggling to maintain its ties to tradition.