How Norway Taught Me to Balance My Hyphenated-Americanness

A Minnesotan Grapples With Identity in His Scandinavian "Homeland"

During the year I spent studying at the university in Trondheim, Norway, I sometimes learned more about my own country than Norway. One day, in my immigration studies class, my professor David Mauk, who hailed from Ohio, asked, “What does it mean to be American?”

I braced myself to hear the usual stereotypes from the news from the Norwegian students in my class. Then the professor clarified, “What to you is truly good about America?”

Even though I’m an American, I was stumped. I mentioned the clichés of “liberty,” “melting pot,” …

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How the Politics of Resentment Corrupted Wisconsin’s Culture of Nice

Savvy Candidates Spent the Last Decade Pitting Rural Voters Against City Folks

The April 5 presidential primaries in Wisconsin are expected to be close in both parties, and critical to deciding the Republican contest between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. And the …

The Quirky Heartbeat of Middle America

Photographer Alec Soth Dropped in on Moose Lodges, Local Dances, and Megachurches—and Was Relieved to Find We’re All a Bit Strange

In 2012, photographer Alec Soth decided he wanted to study the way that Americans gather. So, like a community newspaper photographer, he dropped in on Loyal Order of the Moose …

Wisconsin, Monster Capital of America?

Forget Football and Cheese. My Home State Should Be Famous for Its Shaggy Werewolves and Shape-Shifting Schoolteachers.

The Pine Barrens of New Jersey may reverberate with the fetid screams of the cloven-hooved demon known as the Jersey Devil. The redwood forests of the Pacific Northwest may shake …

Did the Midwest Win the Civil War?

States Like Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin Fed and Armed the Union—and Sent Men to Die for Their Country, Too

Fort Sumter. Bull Run. Antietam. Vicksburg. Gettysburg. Appomattox Courthouse.

These are the places you usually think of when you think about the Civil War. Not Milwaukee, Detroit, Indianapolis, Chicago, Minneapolis-St. Paul, …