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 →

FARGO, Season 4 Preview

The FX show “Fargo” returns for its long-delayed fourth season this Sunday, Sept. 27 at 8 p.m. CST. This season features comedian Chris Rock in a starring role within a large ensemble cast. The premise sounds good: two warring organized crime families — one Italian, one Black — face off in 1950s Kansas City. They… Read More →

‘Power in the Wilderness’ book one step closer to reality

Longtime readers know that I’ve been generating fewer posts these last couple years because of an enormous research and writing project. Today I have some exciting news to share. Last week I signed a book deal. The University of Minnesota Press will publish “Power in the Wilderness” sometime in early- to mid-2022. I’m due to… Read More →

PBS NewsHour digs into Iron Range political dynamic

Last week I talked about the increased attention paid to the Iron Range amid Minnesota’s newfound treatment as a swing state. This week, much more of the same.  Even as polls continue to show a consistent, significant lead for Joe Biden, media pontificators (and supporters of President Donald Trump) continue to argue a different narrative…. Read More →

National media do the Minnesota swing

On Nov. 3, voters will elect either incumbent Donald Trump or challenger Joe Biden as President of the United States. Biden holds a wide lead in the popular vote according to national polling, but it’s actually the Electoral College vote that determines the winner. That’s why American presidential elections become a mishmash of individual state… Read More →

Labor Daze on the Iron Range

I feel bad that I’m not posting more often about what’s going on around the Iron Range these days. Hip deep in writing my book and teaching remotely I just don’t have time to whip up posts like I once did. As a result these events keep happening and the social arbiter of it all… Read More →

Duluth senate primary will document changing DFL coalition

It’s primary election day in Minnesota. And while there are some interesting races around the state — notably the 5th Congressional District DFL race for Congress in Minneapolis — only one merits significant attention here in the North. In the State Senate District 7 DFL contest Sen. Erik Simonson of Duluth faces a spirited challenge… Read More →

The politics of unemployment

My latest for the Minnesota Reformer is up. Here’s a taste: The extension of mining unemployment benefits is an ever-present Iron Range campaign issue and legislative priority. Now it could prove to be the biggest national campaign issue in the entire 2020 race.  Welcome to Thunderdome! I’m afraid to report the real winners are in… Read More →