Like Maple Syrup, Vermont’s Identity Is Complex and Messy

My Research on "Sugaring" Connects Me With Stories of a Rustic, Self-Reliant State

When people all over the country think of Vermont, they think of maple. No matter the reasons that people come here—skiing and leaf-peeping are two—they often take some Vermont home, literally, distilled into a bottle of syrup.

How, exactly, did Vermont come to mean maple?

I live in Vermont, and I do research on the making of maple syrup. It’s called sugaring or sugarmaking around here, which is a throwback to the time when most of the maple sap collected was boiled down until it was cakes of hard, dry sugar. …

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What Hawaii Taught This Midwesterner About Her Own Identity

A Nebraska Historian Explores a State's Racial Hierarchy Through the Lives of Missionary Children

I was 16 when I first visited the islands. A skinny, white girl with a bad perm, I became red as a lobster after spending one week on Maui.

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The Black-Owned Alabama Plantation That Taught Me the Value of Home

After Emancipation, Ex-Slaves Took Over the Cotton Fields. Today Their Descendants Still Cherish the Land.

By the time I was eight years old, in 1948, my parents, my sister, and I had lived in five different states and had moved more often than that. My …

Latino? Sí. Latin American? Not So Much.

A Panel of Angelenos Wrestles with the Changing Identity of Los Angeles

Los Angeles has a Spanish-language name, a distinctly Latino ambience, and a mayor who puffs up with pride whenever he talks about his family’s Mexican roots.

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Why We French Canadians Are Neither French nor Canadian

An Intimate Family History of New England's Franco-Americans

Whenever my family visits Québec, people other than our relatives are surprised to hear Americans—even our grandchildren, ages five and six—speak fluent French. They’re amazed to learn that French is …

Why Poor Americans Are So Patriotic

Even in Hard Times, Pride in Country Offers Comfort, Security, and the Hope That Life Will Get Better

Why do the worst-off American citizens love their country so much?

Patriotism may be defined as a belief in the greatness, if not superiority, of one’s country relative to others. Depending …