Book Review: Ohio States

Ohio States: A Twentieth-Century Midwestern, by Jeffrey Hammond. Kent: Kent State University Press, 2002. pp. X, 195. $14.95

It may seem a bit out of place for a journal of history to review what is essentially a literary work, but a strict distinction between “literary” and “historical” can be a false dichotomy when discussing worthwhile reading on Ohio.  Books such as John Baskin’s New Burlington: The Life and Death of an American Village and Terry Ryan’s The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio have demonstrated that compelling accounts of late 20th-century Ohio are as likely to come from professional journalists and writers as they are from professional historians.  Jeffrey Hammond’s Ohio States–a collection of charming and thoughtful essays on growing up in Findlay, Ohio in the 1950s and 1960s–is an important entry into this admittedly small genre.  Deceptively modest and straightforward in approach, this extremely well-written work touches on issues of religion, politics, race, gender, and even philosophy en route to a deeper understanding of people, life, and what it means to be an Ohioan. Continue reading Book Review: Ohio States