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Against the broad backdrop of the expanding western frontier, noted Norwegian American scholar Odd S. Lovoll explores the country town through the lens of ethnicity in this pioneering study. Benson, Madison, and Starbuck, all located on the western Minnesota prairie, were settled primarily by Norwegians and served as urban centers--railroad hubs, destinations for trade, and social nexuses--for the farming communities that surround them. Lovoll's meticulous research into census data, careful reading of local newspapers, and extensive interviews with the descendants of Norwegian immigrants reveals strong ties to homeland that are visible today in each town's social, political, and religious character. A pioneering study of one of the state's major ethnic groups--Norwegian Americans--and their social, cultural, political and religious development in the agricultural communities of rural Minnesota.

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