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Events and Learning Cohorts

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Read Wisconsin — A Long Way Round: Through the Heartland by the River — by John Hildebrand

Tue 07.25.23 @ 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM CDT

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Join us for our third gathering of “Read Wisconsin,” an event featuring books by Wisconsinites or about Wisconsin. On hand will be appetizers and rich conversation featuring a Christian perspective. During this gathering, we will enlarge our understanding of the state of Wisconsin and, in particular, its natural environment and history—both a central focus in John Hildebrand’s considerable body of work.

Inspired by tales of a mythic Round River, a circular stream where “what goes around comes around,” author John Hildebrand set off to rediscover his home state of Wisconsin—a state in the midst of an identity crisis, torn by new political divisions and the old gulf between city and countryside. Published in 2019 by University of Wisconsin Press, Hildebrand’s explorations resulted in the highly-reviewed book, Long Way Around: Through the Heartland by the River. Cobbling rivers together, from the burly Mississippi to the slender wilds of Tyler Forks, Hildebrand navigates the beautiful but complicated territory of home. In once prosperous small towns, he discovers unsung heroes—lockmasters, river rats, hotelkeepers, mechanics, environmentalists, tribal leaders, and perennial mayors—struggling to keep their communities afloat. While history doesn’t flow in a circle, it doesn’t always move in a straight line either. Hildebrand charts the improbable ox-bows along its course. Long Way Round shows us the open road as a river with possibility around the next bend. (Description from book overview.)


Please plan to read the book prior to our gathering. If you do not own a copy of Long Way Around we recommend you borrow it from the library or purchase it from your favorite vendor.


Cameron Anderson is Associate Director of Upper House and one of the instructors of the Upper House Fellows Program Living the Good Life track.

Jean Collins is Director of Administration for Upper House as well as a mentor in the Upper House Intern Program.

John Hildebrand has a naturalist bent. Now an emeritus professor of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (UWEC), he is the author of numerous books, including The Heart of Things: A Midwestern Almanac (Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2014); Reading the River: A Voyage Down the Yukon (University of Wisconsin Press, 1997); and Mapping the Farm: The Chronicle of a Family (Knopf, 1995), His work has appeared in such magazines as Harper’s, Audubon, Outside, Sports Illustrated, Manoa, and The Missouri Review, as well as several anthologies. As a professor at UWEC, Hildebrand specialized in nonfiction writing and literature, the short story, and American literature. He received the Maxwell Schoenfeld Distinguished Professorship and the Excellence in Scholarship Award from UWEC, as well as a Bush Artist Fellowship, a Wisconsin Arts Board Fellowship, a Minnesota Book Award, the BANTA Award from the Wisconsin Literary Association, and a Friends of American Writers Literary Award.




Tue 07.25.23
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM CDT
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Cam Anderson


Upper House
365 East Campus Mall, Suite 200
Madison, WI 53715 United States
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