I had just picked up my paddle the other night to canoe under the full moon when my phone rang. It was my old friend Tim J. who wanted to talk to me about Minnesota’s 150 best books.
First, let me urge y’all to communicate on this topic by leaving a reply on the blog. Don’t e-mail me, don’t phone me, and don’t give me your opinion at a party. Share your thoughts with everyone. I am as infallible as a 14th Century Pope. Criticize me, argue with me, agree with me, surprise me. I don’t care but do it publicly. Leave your opinion because we value your take on Minnesota books.
Back to Tim. He had a brilliant suggestion and another suggestion for a subtopic that is outside the scope of this list. His subtopic is academic textbooks by Minnesota Professors that have had a wide – sometimes worldwide – impact on their disciplines. Tim, feel free to list some of the textbooks you mentioned, and others feel free to weigh in. My thought is that most of the books on the 150 list will be non-academic books, more accessible to the general public, and more uniquely Minnesota than universals like math or chemistry.
His brilliant suggestion? It is a book I have known about and picked up for the MHS Library twenty years ago, but hadn’t considered for the list until Tim made his case for its inclusion here.
Vernon E. Johnson I’ll Quit Tomorrow. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1973.
This book had a huge impact on our culture. Johnson’s experimental work with alcoholics began in the early 1960s. The treatment program he developed at his Minneapolis based Johnson Institute is outlined in detail in I’ll Quit Tomorrow. This program became known as the Minnesota Model. Since then Minnesota has become jokingly known as the Land of Ten Thousand Treatment Centers, although a recent article on MinnPost.com pointed out that Minnesota ranks 48th out of 50 states in the number of adults in treatment, and blames rate freezes and regulatory changes for the tough times experienced by local social service providers. Still this is both an important part of our economy and a significant part of Minnesota’s cultural image.
Patrick Coleman, Acquisitions Librarian