Old book teaches perils of power

Used paperback book stores smell like cigarettes and coffee, the boiled essence of a schoolhouse cloakroom and the back alley behind a restaurant. If you lick one of the books — and you shouldn’t — I suspect it would taste salty. This is merely a hypothesis. It was at just such a store in the… Read More →

FARGO, Season 4: “The Pretend War”

Northern Minnesota author Aaron J. Brown reviews each episode of “Fargo” with an eye for unique details from the place where the show is set. The ratings range from INTERESTING  (bad), to COULD BE WORSE (not so good) to PRETTY GOOD (not so bad), and OH, YA! (real good then). Beware the spoilers. Episode 4:… Read More →

Empty theatrics dictate 2020 politics on the Iron Range

For one remarkable fall afternoon the President of the United States and his Democratic challenger converged on the political battlefield of northern Minnesota. The Sept. 18 appearances of President Donald Trump at the Bemidji airport and former Vice President Joe Biden at a union training center near Duluth fed the hungry narrative that Minnesota may… Read More →

Iron Range becomes ‘living political meme’ in 2020 race

As I’ve written already, the Iron Range finds itself at the center of the 2020 campaign these days. This happened mostly because of the attention being paid to us by President Trump. But does Trump really have all the answers for the Range or is this just part of a symbolic gambit in his “turn… Read More →

FARGO, Season 4: “Raddoppiarlo”

Northern Minnesota author Aaron J. Brown reviews each episode of “Fargo” with an eye for unique details from the place where the show is set. The ratings range from INTERESTING  (bad), to COULD BE WORSE (not so good) to PRETTY GOOD (not so bad), and OH, YA! (real good then). Beware the spoilers. Episode 3:… Read More →

Cleveland Cliffs resets the Mesabi Iron Range

Before March 2, 1901 northern Minnesota served as a battleground for two immutable titans of industry, Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller. At stake was control of the world’s richest untapped source of iron ore and the nation-building steel it could produce. The scene grew chaotic with new mines opening, closing, and changing hands all… Read More →

FARGO, Season 4: “The Land of Taking and Killing”

Northern Minnesota author Aaron J. Brown reviews each episode of “Fargo” with an eye for unique details from the place where the show is set. The ratings range from INTERESTING  (bad), to COULD BE WORSE (not so good) to PRETTY GOOD (not so bad), and OH, YA! (real good then). Beware the spoilers. Episode 2:… Read More →

FARGO, Season 4: “Welcome to Alternate Economy”

Northern Minnesota author Aaron J. Brown reviews each episode of “Fargo” with an eye for unique details from the Midwest. The ratings range from INTERESTING  (bad), to COULD BE WORSE (not so good) to PRETTY GOOD (not so bad), and OH, YA! (real good then). Beware the spoilers. Episode 1: Welcome to the Alternate Economy… Read More →

Breaking barriers and saving lives during Hibbing’s most trying times

During my book research I stumbled across the story of Hattie Mosley. I wasn’t the first to note this fascinating woman’s life. She was elected to the Hibbing Historical Society’s Hall of Service and Achievement a decade ago. But few in her Iron Range hometown know anything about her. In 1918, Hibbing battled a flu… Read More →

Cleveland Cliffs acquires ArcelorMittal USA

Cleveland Cliffs becomes North America’s largest producer of iron ore and flat-rolled steel after acquiring the assets of ArcelorMittal USA. Reuters reported over the weekend that ArcelorMittal and Cleveland Cliffs were negotiating an asset merger that would dramatically affect the taconite industry on Minnesota’s Mesabi Iron Range. The deal merges ArcelorMittal’s American operations with those… Read More →