MinnesotaBrown’s Top Posts of 2021

Happy New Year! If you’re reading this, you’re one of the hard cases. You didn’t find MinnesotaBrown.com by random happenstance. Rather, you’ve continued to check in on this site while I write “Power in the Wilderness” in my basement. I haven’t posted much here. I haven’t trended. Nor have I gone viral, except for a… Read More →

The poison in our standing water

Today, you can read my latest column for the Minnesota Reformer. The essay is entitled, “The poison in our standing water.” My work continues to transform as I ingest untold quantities of historical research for my book “Power in the Wilderness,” which I hope to finish quite soon. This piece analyzes Range history, Facebook’s power… Read More →

The 21st Century is a salvage operation

Junk is all over the news. Steel companies are buying scrap at big prices. And yet, recycling loses money for local governments across the country. The climate crisis is running headlong into our desire for more and more stuff. Worse, our economy currently depends upon us making and buying that stuff. My latest column for… Read More →

Power in the Wilderness podcast available on major platforms

Readers here have probably gotten used to the fact that I’m only posting my newspaper columns these days. I’ve been working on my book, “Power in the Wilderness.” This process grew complicated when I returned to campus for my full time teaching assignment. Months ago Karl Jacob and I promoted our podcast, also called “Power… Read More →

When giants walked upon the earth: Latest Reformer column gets personal

In 2008, I turned out 800 blog posts a year, an insane output devoted almost entirely to my hyperactive political opinions. If you’ve been reading my site these last few years you know that I’ve slowed way down. Part of that is just the normal sort of time commitments that turn many “bloggers” into “ex-bloggers.”… Read More →

Labor navigates northern Minnesota political crosswinds

My latest column for the Minnesota Reformer is out today. Let’s call it a Labor Day think piece. Northern Minnesota has been a wellspring of the American labor movement for more than a century. However, in more recent years, organized labor has shifted into the role of mature old power, increasingly wedded to politics and… Read More →

When the ‘Field of Dreams’ was in Hibbing

With the successful completion of Major League Baseball’s “Field of Dreams” game in Dyersville, Iowa, I am reminded of a Northern Minnesota connection to the story. But not the one you think.  Of course you may know that the 1989 movie “Field of Dreams” was based on the W.P. Kinsella novella “Shoeless Joe.” Fans of… Read More →

‘Generational amnesia’ helps us forget a past we would do well to remember

My latest for the Minnesota Reformer is out today: The piece, entitled “These Old Timers Have Nostalgia All Wrong,” takes you on another of my journeys between past, present and future. This one explores what we forget. Our boundless ability to shed the past causes us to fear the future far more than we should…. Read More →

‘Power in the Wilderness’ podcast Q&A July 20 in Hibbing

I’m writing a new book, “Power in the Wilderness.” At almost five years, this represents the biggest individual project I’ve ever attempted. During the process, filmmaker Karl Jacob and I decided to co-produce and host a podcast of the same name. We sought to drum up interest in my book and his film project about… Read More →

Truth about past nothing to fear

My latest column for the Minnesota Reformer is out. In “The history of what is not true” I add an entry to the recent debate over how Americans understand our past. Avoiding the well-worn tropes of the political controversy, I instead focus on my own research experience. About 100 years ago, powerful men created a… Read More →