Cloth $27.50 ISBN: 9781930066878 Published April 2009

My Kind of Midwest

Omaha to Ohio

John A. Jakle

John A. Jakle

Distributed for Columbia College Chicago Press

128 pages | 40 color plates, 1 map | 6-3/4 x 9
Cloth $27.50 ISBN: 9781930066878 Published April 2009
“Will it play in Peoria?” That question—only half-joking—hovers over everything from politics to television, an acknowledgment that the Midwest is perhaps the most emblematic regions of the United States today. Stereotypes both good and bad abound about Midwesterners, but in this incisive yet poignant book, John Jakle reveals a rich and telling portrait of the contemporary Midwest and its people.

In engaging prose, Jakle chronicles his childhood and adult life in the Midwest interwoven with a look at the region’s geographic and cultural history. My Kind of Midwest reveals that the region is more than just a group of “flyover states,” as Jakle tells a engaging narrative that recounts his youthful explorations of the flourishing cities of Detroit and Chicago in the 1940s; the rapid growth and importance of gateway cities such as Omaha, Kansas City, and Cincinnati along the Ohio, Mississippi, and Missouri rivers; and the integral role of tourism to Midwestern states’ economies.

An intimate and compelling narrative of one man’s connection to the American landscape, My Kind of Midwest will be essential reading for all those with ties to the heartland.
Karl Raitz, University of Kentucky

My Kind of Midwest is an original take on a uniquely American region. I can think of no other book with which it compares. Jakle not only describes the essence of the Midwest as a place informed by his own life experiences, but he also explains how human geography can effectively evoke the reality of a region as large and complex as the Midwest.”

James R. Shortridge, University of Kansas

“As someone whose age, regional background, and professional interests are similar to the author’s, My Kind of Midwest was somewhat eerie to read. Move the setting a few hundred miles west and Jakle’s life seems to be mine—even down to the part about two daughters. Jakle has captured his (and my) home place well, and all of his arguments and observations ring absolutely true. The book is both warm and wise.”




The Midwest is My Kind of Place


A Hoosier Holiday


Some Family History of My Own


Travel as a Learning Experience


A Geographer in the Midwest


The Midwest as a Region


Rethinking the Midwest




Gallery: The Midwest in Pictures





Suggested Readings




About the Author

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