Sunday, July 12, 2009


(The following was published in the Newsleader on July 17, 2009)

This week's blog is going to be something of a departure from my normal writing. In the past this blog has been dedicated to my rants about politics and the general state of our lives today. Today however, I will be reviewing a book.

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Turner Publishing Co. of Nashville, Tennessee and asked to consider reading and reviewing a new book they were soon to release and posting that review on my blog. Now you may ask the same question I did, why was I chosen for this task? I would like to tell you that they had read my previous writing and were impressed by the intellect, humor, and wit contained therein. I would like to tell you that, but that would be untrue. They probably chose me because I live in Minnesota and am registered as a Minnesota blogger. At any rate I agreed to the job and they sent me the book.

The book is entitled "HISTORIC PHOTOS OF MINNESOTA". The author is Minneapolis resident Susan Marks whose previous book was "Finding Betty Crocker; The Secret Life Of America's First Lady Of Food".

The book begins with the premise that, like in most states, many historic photos exist but they are very difficult to find and enjoy. Susan set about finding these pictures and providing the history of each photo. The book then is a so-called coffee table tome which offers the reader pictures and history of Minnesota. The photos date back to the early 1800s and carry forward to the late 1900s.

In reading this volume I was amazed by the thoroughness and accuracy of the comments. One learns a great deal about the history of this great state and is further educated by the pictures. I don't know when photography first came on the scene, but I am sure that some of the earliest attempts are included in "HISTORIC PHOTOS OF MINNESOTA
". You will see images of Native Americans who were the first settlers of Minnesota and you will see the European influx which followed. As I consider those first European settlers, I can certainly understand why Minnesota was chosen as their new home if they arrived in the spring or summer. What astounds me is that they stayed past their first winter, but I digress. Seriously they did find their new home and came in great numbers. As the book attests, Minnesota today reflects this heritage proudly.

"HISTORIC PHOTOS OF MINNESOTA" belongs in every Minnesota home and in every school in the state. The history of this state is beautifully and accurately depicted in both the pictures and words. Susan Marks has done a magnificent job of rounding up the contents of this handsome book.

I intend to donate my copy of this lovely book to the Sartell Senior Connection and have it placed in their drop-in center for senior citizens. I can imagine many hours being spent by older Minnesotans reminiscing about the early days as they read it. I know it will be a hit.

My congratulations to Susan Marks and to Turner Publishing Co. for their accomplishment. I recommend "HISTORIC PHOTOS OF MINNESOTA" to all Minnesotans and to others who have an interest in the formulative years of this great state.

Ron Scarbro July 12, 2009


Our Wildest Dreams said...

Thank you for this review of my book, Historic Photos of Minnesota. This project started out as an author-for-hire situation and wound up being a labor of love.

Bo Lumpkin said...

You make the book sound interesting even to a redneck from Mississippi. I love history and old pictures of the U.S. Thanks for the review. You might have found a new calling in addition to your insight into the human condition.

Ron Scarbro said...

Thanks for your kind comments. I do think I will just stick to my curmudgeon griping though. I am working now on July's moron of the month.