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The cover of the book "Twin Cities by Trolley"

Book reviews winter 2008

New titles with a connection to the U

By Gayla Marty

From M, winter 2008

Twin Cities by Trolley

By John W. Diers and Aaron Isaacs

From 1889, when the first electric streetcar debuted in Minneapolis on Christmas Eve, until the last car pulled into Snelling Shops in 1954, Twin City Rapid Transit shaped the area from Lake Minnetonka to the St. Croix River. At its peak in the '20s, 900 streetcars carried more than 2 million passengers a year on 523 miles of track. One of the busiest lines served the Twin Cities campus. Packed with photos, maps, and a guide to 50 lines--many that live on as bus routes--this detailed account sets the stage for the resurgence of rail. University of Minnesota Press, 2007; ISBN 978-0-8166-4358-5; $39.95 hc

Gopher Gold

By Tim Brady

When students got so mad at the first University president in 1882 that they tore the gates off his house, Folwell and a couple of professors drew their guns. Local journalist Tim Brady tells the best tales of the old U, peppered with drama, humor, and plenty of photos. Meet colorful characters who blazed trails in women's suffrage, desegregation, world wars, and post-war culture--up to the Gophers' trips to the Rosebowl in the early '60s. Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2007; ISBN 978-0-87351-601-3; $24.95 hc

Weird Minnesota

By Eric Dregni

Grad student Eric Dregni has not only a gift for storytelling but the "weird eye," which he turns on his home state. Local legends, ancient mysteries, odd properties, heroes and villains, ghosts and gophers show up in living color--Paul Bunyan and Hermann the German, eccentric collections, woodtick races, an underground wedding chapel, giant animal sculptures, and much more. Sterling Publishing, 2006; ISBN 978-1-4027-3908-8; $19.95 hc

MORE INFO: Contact the University of Minnesota Bookstores, located in Coffman Memorial Union and the St. Paul Student Center, at 612-626-0559 or Look for faculty authors at