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Historian and author Jon Lauck was interviewed on KCUR-FM, NPR in Kansas City, on Tues., Oct. 10 about his new book on the Midwest. The book, entitled From Warm Center to Ragged Edge: The Erosion of Midwestern Literary and Historical Regionalism, has been widely praised by the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Milwaukee Journal, Omaha World Herald, Minneapolis Star Tribune, and Kirkus Reviews. Lauck’s book calls for a revival of studies of the Midwest.
Lauck's interview previews his appearance at the Iowa City Book Festival where he will be speaking at 4 p.m. on October 14. The location will be the Iowa City Public Library at 123 South Linn Street in Iowa City.
Lauck lived in Iowa City from 1993-1997 and earned his Ph.D. in history from the University of Iowa in 1997. Lauck’s new book From Warm Center is published by the University of Iowa Press.
During the half-century after the Civil War, Lauck explains, intellectuals and politicians assumed the Midwest to be the font and heart of American culture. Despite the persistence of strong currents of Midwestern regionalism during the 1920s and 1930s, the region went into eclipse during the post-World War II era. In the apt language of Minnesota's F. Scott Fitzgerald, the Midwest slid from being the “warm center” of the republic to its “ragged edge.”
Jon K. Lauck is the founding president of the Midwestern History Association, the associate editor and book review editor of the Middle West Review, the host of the “Heartland History” podcast, and an adjunct professor of history and political science at the University of South Dakota. Lauck is the author or editor of several other books, including The Lost Region: Toward a Revival of Midwestern History (University of Iowa Press, 2013).