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The Driftless Reader
Edited by Curt Meine and Keefe Keeley

Home to the little house in the big woods, the prairie school, and the organic valley

Ancient glaciers passed by the Driftless Area and waterways vein its interior, forming an enchanting, enigmatic landscape of sharp ridgetops and deep valleys. Across time, this rugged topography has been home to an astonishing variety of people: Sauk, Dakota, and Ho-Chunk villagers, Norwegian farmers and Mexican mercado owners, Dominican nuns and Buddhist monks, river raftsmen and Shakespearean actors, Cornish miners and African American barn builders, organic entrepreneurs and Hmong truck gardeners.

The Driftless Reader gathers writings that highlight the unique natural and cultural history, landscape, and literature of this region that encompasses southwestern Wisconsin and adjacent Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois. The more than eighty selected texts include writings by Black Hawk, Mark Twain, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Frank Lloyd Wright, Aldo Leopold, David Rhodes, and many other Native people, explorers, scientists, historians, farmers, songwriters, journalists, and poets. Paintings, photographs, maps, and other images complement the texts, providing a deeper appreciation of this region's layered natural and human history.

Highlights include excerpts and art from:

Carol Ryrie Brink
William Cronon
John T. Curtis
August Derleth
Richard Eberhart
Hamlin Garland
Pedro Guerrero
Hoowaneka (Little Elk)
Juliet Kinzie
Patty Loew
Ben Logan
Truman Lowe
Jacques Marquette
Ken McCullough
Edna Meudt
Mountain Wolf Woman
John Muir
Zebulon Pike
Henry Schoolcraft
Clifford D. Simak
Wallace Stegner
Pearl Swiggum
Henry David Thoreau
Mark Twain
Frank Utpatel
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Mark Wunderlich

Curt Meine and Keefe KeeleyCurt Meine is a conservation biologist and writer affiliated with the Aldo Leopold Foundation, Center for Humans and Nature, International Crane Foundation, and University of Wisconsin–Madison. His many books include Aldo Leopold: His Life and Work and Wallace Stegner and the Continental Vision. Keefe Keeley, a native of the Kickapoo Valley, is executive director of the Savanna Institute, working with farmers on sustainable agro-ecosystems in the Upper Midwest.





“A timely resource for anyone interested in the natural and cultural history of the Driftless Area. The varied texts create a kaleidoscopic portrait that shifts and reassembles with each new view that is offered.”
—Beth Lynch, Luther College

“As unique as the Driftless bioregion is, so are the writings, old and new, of our region. This land speaks clearly through these words to reflect our collective love of the Driftless, our common sense, our community spirit, and the unique characters we are.”
—George Siemon, chief executive, Organic Valley/CROPP Cooperative


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Media & bookseller inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at publicity@wwwtest.uwpress.wisc.edu or (608) 263-0734. (If you want to examine a book for possible course use, please see our Course Books page. If you want to examine a book for possible rights licensing, please see Rights & Permissions.)



Of Related Interest


The Land Remembers
The Story of a Farm and Its People
Ben Logan, with an introduction by Curt Meine


Crossing the Driftless
A Canoe Trip through a Midwestern Landscape
Lynne Diebel

The Driftless Reader
Larger images

September, 2017
LC: 2017010429 F
392 pp. 6 x 9
16 color and 38 b/w illus.
Book icon
Cloth $26.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-31480-4
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