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Folksongs of Another America


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About the Author

James P. Leary is the Birgit Baldwin Professor of Scandinavian Studies, professor in the Department of Comparative Literature and Folklore Studies, and a co-founder of the Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures at the University of Wisconsin Madison. His documentary recordings and films include Accordions in the Cutover; Ach Ya!: Traditional German-American Music from Wisconsin (with Philip Martin); Midwest Ramblin': The Goose Island Ramblers; Down Home Dairyland (with Richard March);and The Art of Ironworking. His books include Wisconsin Folklore, So Ole Says to Lena, and Polkabilly: How the Goose Island Ramblers Redefined American Folk Music (winner of the Chicago Folklore Prize). He is co-editor of the Journal of American Folklore.


The astonishing range of music collected here reveals the deeply hued cultures of the Midwest before and after World War II, when these field recordings were made. Folksongs of Another America deftly combines dynamic media CDs, a DVD, and a richly annotated book to go with them to tell a multifaceted story. Though brimming with scholarship, the book's crisp, clear prose reveals the music and the people who made it."" - Henry Sapoznik, author of Klezmer! Jewish Music from Old World to Our World

""Folksongs of Another America is a groundbreaking work, covering musical and cultural ground woefully overlooked by American music scholars."" - Kip Lornell, author of Exploring American Folk Music

""Attains the highest standards of folklore studies. . . . A landmark presentation of traditional music of the Upper Midwest."" - Journal of Folklore Research

""Grammy nod for the polka prof: Leary has spent the last ten years . . . on [this] enormous, Grammy worthy undertaking."" - Isthmus, Madison WI

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