Maharidge and his photographerlived in Denison for one year interacting with the people of the town and observing events that transpired. The story Maharidge wrote demonstrates the strained relationships between the Anglo citizens and the growing Latino population. In addition, Denison was suffering the changes in farming and agriculture and from the loss of jobs to overseas businesses, thereby creating a real loss in local business. In the 1980’s the meat-processing plant froze wages and remained static. He wrote about alone Lutheran woman who taught English to Latino immigrants. The author continues to trace the lives of the citizens, their trials and tribulations that lie behind the picture of the ideal Midwest town.
Maharidge chose Denison because it was the perfect example of the changes that were occurring in the nation as small towns struggle to stay alive during some hard economic times. Denison, Iowa is an interesting, thought-provoking book that takes a detailed view of the demographics and in the culture that coincides in a troubled small community.
Other books by Dale Maharidge:
In October, I will be reviewing Denison, Iowa by Dale Maharidge. Maharidge’s first book, Journey to Nowhere: The Saga of the New Underclass, moved Bruce Springsteen to write songs the songs “New Timer” and “Young’s Town.” In 1990, Maharidge won the Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction for And Their Children After Them. Maharidge is a professor at Columbia School of Journalism.
In this nonfiction book, Maharidge discusses the lives of people and their adaptation to a changing culture in a Midwest town during the era of Pax Americana. Pax Americana is a historical concept of liberal peace in the Western world due to the “power” of the United States around the turn of the 20th century.