Monday, June 23, 2014

Book Review: I Go to America: Swedish American Women and the Life of Mina Anderson

I Go to America: Swedish American Women and the Life of Mina Anderson by Joy K. Lintelman is an interesting account of the immigration of Swedish women in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  Lintelman weaves together the life of Mina Anderson with the history of the immigration in such a way that provides a fascinating look at this point in history.  She supplements some of the history with details from the lives of other Swedish female immigrants as well.

I have to say there are two things I really enjoyed about this book.  First, Lintelman is careful to base most of the book off of primary sources such as diaries, letters, and other personal accounts.  This lent a personal touch and a great balance of color to the history of this piece of immigration to the United States.  The other thing I really liked is that she balanced the drier factual history pieces nicely with the personal stories of Mina and other Swedish women.  These two elements were, for the most part, woven together well in telling the immigration story for these women.

I think my one criticism of this book is that there were a few parts where the history got pretty detailed and dry – hence long as well.  I think there were some details that could have been edited out without losing anything of the overall story.

That being said, I would certainly add this to your list of books to read.  I was surprised by some of the things I learned in this book.  And it is a well written history book that is pretty easy for the most part to get through.