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Long Way Round
Through the Heartland by River

“While history doesn’t flow in a circle, it doesn’t always move in a straight line either. Hildebrand charts the improbable ox-bows along its course. Long Way Round shows us the open road as a river with possibility around the next bend.”
—David Allan Cates, author of Tom Connor’s Gift

Inspired by tales of a mythic Round River, a circular stream where “what goes around comes around,” John Hildebrand sets off to rediscover his home state.

Wisconsin is in the midst of an identity crisis, torn by new political divisions and the old gulf between city and countryside. Cobbling rivers together, from the burly Mississippi to the slender wilds of Tyler Forks, Hildebrand navigates the beautiful but complicated territory of home. In once prosperous small towns, he discovers unsung heroes—lockmasters, river rats, hotelkeepers, mechanics, environmentalists, tribal leaders, and perennial mayors—struggling to keep their communities afloat.

While history doesn’t flow in a circle, it doesn’t always move in a straight line either. Hildebrand charts the improbable ox-bows along its course. Long Way Round shows us the open road as a river with possibility around the next bend.

 

John Hildebrand is the author of numerous books, including the award-winning Mapping the Farm: The Chronicle of a Family and, more recently, The Heart of Things: A Midwestern Almanac. His essays have appeared in Harper’s, Audubon, and Sports Illustrated. He teaches at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire.

 

 

Praise

“In a narrative that is rhythmic and thoughtful, Hildebrand captures the natural beauty and idiosyncrasies of Wisconsin small towns with ease. Much like a canoe trip with an old friend, Long Way Round is an enjoyable and worthwhile read.”
Booklist

“A timely and relevant exploration of contemporary social dynamics in Wisconsin. In contrast to simplified narratives and stereotypes often bandied about, the more measured, nuanced, personal, and creative treatment Hildebrand brings to the table is important in Wisconsin and beyond.”
—Keefe Keeley, coeditor of The Driftless Reader

 

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Of Related Interest


Cover

Place Names of Wisconsin
Edward Callary

Cover

The Driftless Reader
Edited by Curt Meine and Keefe Keeley

Cover showing red brick buildings against a blue sky

Larger images

October 2019
LC: 2019008122 F
272 pp. 5.5 x 8.5
2 b/w illus.

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Casebound $26.95 t
ISBN 9780299324803
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