"OUT OF THE NORTHWOODS" UNCOVERS PAUL BUNYAN’S WISCONSIN ROOTS
The Wisconsin Historical Society Press announces the release of "Out of the Northwoods: The Many Lives of Paul Bunyan" (ISBN: 978-0-87020-437-1; $24.95) by Michael Edmonds. "Out of the Northwoods" defends Paul Bunyan's Wisconsin roots through bibliographic mystery and the social history of 19th century lumberjacks.
"The real Paul Bunyan of lumber camp storytelling lives through Michael Edmond's superbly researched, richly illustrated, and engagingly written study. The last and best word on Bunyan!"
— James P. Leary, professor and director of the Folklore Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Everyone has heard the tale of the lumberjack hero Paul Bunyan and his big blue ox, but "Out of the Northwoods" tells the true tale of who Paul Bunyan was and his roots in the Wisconsin northwoods. It includes eyewitness accounts of how the first Bunyan stories were shared on frigid winter nights around logging camp stoves in the Wisconsin pinery. It describes where tales began, how they moved out of the forest and into print, and why publication changed them forever.
By sifting through the unpublished manuscripts of early editors of the tales, Michael Edmonds unearths dozens of authentic Bunyan stories told aloud by lumberjacks between 1885 and 1915. Edmonds recounts a saga of lies, hoaxes, thefts and greed that transformed the private jokes of working-class loggers into mass-market picture books for toddlers. The central characters include a genial northern Wisconsin con-man who claimed he invented the lumberjack hero, a spunky University of Wisconsin co-ed who collected the tales in logging camps in 1915, and a mild-mannered curator of the Wisconsin Historical Museum who lifted federal documents to keep the truth alive.
An appendix includes more than 100 original tales about Bunyan, his camps, his crew and his adventures taken directly from loggers early in the last century.
Media: For review copies of the book, author or book photos, or book event information, please contact Melanie Roth, Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 816 State St., Madison, Wis. 53706; (608) 264-6465; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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