Friday, July 10, 2009 By Aaron Brown
This trip is also significant because it is my first book event held near the Cuyuna iron range. What we know as "The Iron Range" here in northern Minnesota is actually a series of iron formations. The largest, most famous and (well, usually) still active range is the Mesabi. The Vermilion was the first range to be explored and mined up by Ely. The Cuyuna is kind of the odd stepchild iron range, partly because its culture has been shaped differently because of its central Minnesota location and because there hasn't been any mining there in decades. But the Cuyuna deserves a lot of credit and attention as many important labor battles and historical events took place there in the development of the larger Iron Range region. My family spent some key years mining there as well, so it will be a treat to return to my roots.
"Overburden: Modern Life on the Iron Range" is a heartfelt, humorous collection of essays about life as an under-30 in an older, industrial place. It recently won the Northeastern Minnesota Book Award and has been well-received both by those who know the Range and those knew nothing about it. You can read reviews and more at my book news page.
Oh, I'm betting there are political operatives out there receiving Google alerts on terms like Minnesota, politics, governor, 2010, DFL, convention, Tom Bakk, Chris Coleman, Mark Dayton, Matt Entenza, Susan Gaertner, Steve Kelley, Margaret Kelliher, John Marty, Tom Rukavina, R.T. Rybak or Paul Thissen. (I would have also included GOPers but I don't have them memorized in alphabetical order). This book will explain the politics and personality of the Iron Range for you and all of your field workers during the crucial caucus and primary season. They should all have their own copy, though, as should your candidate. It also makes a great thank you gift for your high roller donors. I'm also willing to say that, with some engineering and a can-do attitude, your campaign bus could be rigged to run on clean-burning copies of "Overburden: Modern Life on the Iron Range."