The State Historical Society of Iowa will resume its book club in February | Books


The State Historical Society of Iowa Book Club will return this year with a new lineup of entertaining and thought-provoking books and authors.

The Iowa History Book Club will kick off its second year in February when Art Cullen, Pulitzer Prize-winning editor and co-owner of the Storm Lake Times, talks about his book “Storm Lake: Change, Resilience and Hope in America’s Heartland”. according to a press release from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. The Cullen family and their newspaper are also the subjects of “Storm Lake,” an award-winning documentary film about their fight to save Iowa’s small town newspapers.

Later in 2022, the book club will present “Mormons at the Missouri” by Richard Bennett in April, “American Dreamer: A Life of Henry A. Wallace” by John C. Culver and John Hyde in September, and “Dakota in Exile by Linda Clemmons. in December. Each online discussion will be led by Andrew Klumpp, editor of The Annals of Iowa, the quarterly journal published by the State Historical Society, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs.

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“We were thrilled with the response to last year’s book and author program, and we’re delivering another set of top-notch offerings this year,” Klumpp said in the press release. “I want to thank all of our star guests for their hard work and invite all Iowans to join us.”

All programs will be hosted online at 7 p.m. Thursday evening and recorded via Zoom, then posted afterwards on iowaculture.gov. Registration is free but required for each event and can be done by going to iowaculture.gov/iowa-history-book-club and clicking “Register” under that session’s listing. Questions can be submitted with the online registration form or during the event itself. Books can be purchased online or borrowed from most libraries.

In addition to the book club, the State Historical Society of Iowa announced nine new Iowa History 101 online presentations by the end of March, which is Iowa History Month. Each 60-minute program focuses on the lives of Iowans, their stories, and the past through a cultural history lens. For more information, visit iowaculture.gov.

The full 2022 Iowa History Book Club schedule follows:

February 3: “Storm Lake: Change, Resilience and Hope in the Heart of America” With author Art Cullen.

In this candid and timely book, Art Cullen, the publisher of the Storm Lake Times who won a 2017 Pulitzer Prize for bringing attention to Iowa’s polluted rivers, describes how the heartland of the country has changed dramatically over the of her career. In a story where politics, agriculture, conservation, and immigration converge, Cullen offers an unsentimental ode to rural America and the resilient inhabitants of a vibrant community of 11,000 in northwest America. ‘Iowa.

April 14: “Mormons in Missouri” With author Richard Bennett.

The historic trek that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints took from Illinois, through southern Iowa, and to the Salt Lake Valley was an enduring accomplishment of the migration of American overland trails, but their wintering at the Missouri River near present Council Bluffs was also a feat of faith and perseverance. In this book, Richard E. Bennett, who taught Church history and doctrine for more than 20 years at Brigham Young University, presents new facts and insights that challenge old assumptions—especially that life on the frontier encouraged American individualism.

September 22: “American Dreamer: A Life of Henry A. Wallace”

With Tim Walch, Director Emeritus of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library & Museum.

Henry Agard Wallace was a pioneering politician, farmer, economist, author and businessman – loved and reviled, and revealed in this first full biography. To tell the remarkable story of the Iowa-born Secretary of Agriculture, Vice President and genuine American dreamer, the late U.S. Senator John C. Culver and journalist John Hyde combed through thousands of pages of documents , letters, diaries and family papers, as well as previously unavailable files sealed in the archives of the Soviet Union. Tim Walch will join Andrew Klumpp to discuss Culver and Hyde’s award-winning biography of this monumental figure in Iowa and national politics.

December 1: “Dakota in exile” With author Linda Clemmons.

Robert Hopkins was a man caught between two worlds. As a member of the Dakota Nation, he was accused of taking up arms against American soldiers when war broke out with the Dakotas in 1862. However, as a Christian convert and preacher, Hopkins’ allegiance often questioned by her compatriot Dakota. His personal and business connections spared him execution after the 1862 dispute, but he was wrongfully imprisoned in Davenport while his family was forced to move to a reservation in Dakota Territory. To tell this difficult chapter in American history, Linda Clemmons, professor of history at Illinois State University, examined personal letters, newspaper accounts and federal documents that create a multi-faceted narrative that complicates our understanding of the Midwest and speaks to the resilience of Dakota and other Indigenous peoples.

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