Small-Town Dreams: Stories of Midwestern Boys Who Shaped America

John E. Miller discusses his book about how giants of American art, industry, and politics – the likes of Walt Disney, Henry Ford, George Washington Carver, and Ronald Reagan – were nurtured and shaped by their boyhoods in small Midwestern towns.
John E. Miller
Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Midwest’s small towns have produced the entrepreneurial likes of Henry Ford, George Washington Carver, and Walt Disney; artists and entertainers such as Thomas Hart Benton, Grant Wood, Carl Sandburg, and Johnny Carson; and political titans William McKinley, William Jennings Bryan, and Ronald Reagan.

In a discussion of his new book, Small Town Dreams: Stories of Midwestern Boys Who Shaped America, author John E. Miller explores the lives of those and other notables and the small-town environments from which they came. In their stories, as Miller tells them, all appear in a new light – unique in their backgrounds and accomplishments, united only in the way their lives reveal the persisting, shaping power of place.