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Minneapolis is Minneapolis because of the water—because of the Mississippi River, and St. Anthony Falls, and the beautiful lakes that dot the city's neighborhoods. Energized by the power of a magnificent waterfall that was harnessed with stolen technology, it became a major, even global, city.
In this succinct and thought-provoking book, Tom Weber provides an urban biography of the City of Lakes. The confluence of the Mississippi and the Minnesota River is a sacred place for Dakota people, who have lived here for millennia. Since the city's beginnings in the 1850s, Minneapolis has experienced continual collapses and rebuilding. Some collapses were real, as when the Falls were nearly destroyed; some are metaphorical, as when corruption and the mob threatened to overtake the life of the city. Weber also explores the effects of the rebuilding and who was in charge: who was left in, and who was left out.
In this updated paperback edition, a new conclusion recounts the context for and the worldwide reaction to the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer in May of 2020. In the midst of a pandemic, the city was thrust into the global spotlight, and a spotlight was turned once again on the legacies of racism and inequality that brought Minneapolis to the breaking point.
Cities, like people, are always changing, and the history of that change is the city's biography. This book illuminates the unique character of Minneapolis, weaving in the hidden stories of place, politics, and identity that continue to shape its residents' lives.