Peoples of Indiana

  • Purchases may be made via a visit to our office, by telephone (317-232-2535), fax (317-232-3728), or e-mail (ihb @ More info on purchasing here.

Latinos in the Midwest

Rubén O. Martinez

Over the past twenty years, the Latino population in the Midwest has grown rapidly, both in urban and rural areas. As elsewhere in the country, shifting demographics in the region have given rise to controversy and mixed reception. Where some communities have greeted Latinos openly, others have been more guarded. In spite of their increasing presence, Latinos remain the most marginalized major population group in the country. In coming years, the projected growth of this population will require greater attention from policymakers concerned with helping to incorporate them into the nation’s core institutions. This eye-opening collection of essays examines the many ways in which an increase in the Latino population has impacted the Midwest — culturally, economically, educationally, and politically. Drawing on studies, personal histories, legal rulings, and other sources, this book takes an interdisciplinary approach to an increasingly important topic in American society and offers a glimpse into the nation’s demographic future.

paper / 450 pp. / 2012 / ISBN 9781609172138 / $34.95
Order no. 2997

Heartland Utopias

Robert P. Sutton

Sutton offers a regional approach to the study of utopian movements, focusing specifically on the “heartland,” which he defines to include the Old Northwest Territory, the Dakotas, and Missouri. In the number of utopian settlements, the heartland region is surpassed only by New England. Heartland Utopias provides a scholarly overview of 19th century utopian communities in the heartland from the first Shaker village near Dayton, Ohio, built in 1807, to the 1903 incorporation and ensuing stormy history of The House of David in Benton Harbor, Michigan.  During these years, charismatic individuals built three different kinds of utopias: perfectionist, whose members thought they could achieve impec-cancy almost immediately by living communally; cooperative, whose members believed that communalism would improve the moral and economic condition of its members and at the same time be the alternative to exploitative capitalism; and social and communist, whose members believed that democracy and equality could never be achieved without living in an “association,” as with the socialists, or in a “community of good,” as with the Icarians.

While these communities have individually been the topics of past studies, Sutton’s work is the first comprehensive examination of all of the most important heartland communities. Major emphasis, with separate chapters, is given to the following major utopian settlements: the Shakers, the New Harmony, a number of separatist communities, the Fourierist phalanxes, the Icarians, the Hutterites, and the Chicago-area utopian societies. Many of the communities that Sutton discusses still exist today. American historians, regional historians, and students of utopian and communal studies will be interested in this well-organized and readable survey.

cloth / 224 pp. / 2009 / ISBN 9780875804019 / $32.00
Order no. 2998

19 Stars of Indiana: Exceptional Hoosier Men

Michael S. Maurer

19 Stars of Indiana: Exceptional Hoosier Men by Michael S. Maurer

The nineteen outstanding contemporary Hoosier men--one for each star in the Indiana state flag--profiled by Michael S. Maurer in his new book 19 Stars of Indiana: Exceptional Hoosier Men, are leaders and pioneers who have excelled in a variety of pursuits, including law, business, philanthropy, government, medicine, music, art, athletics, religion, and education. The book, published in association with IBJ Media, Indianapolis, and the Indiana Historical Society, features the inspiring stories of Hoosiers shot out of a fighter jet, liberating a concentration camp, subject to court martial, knocked cold in front of twenty thousand fans, facing bigotry, and caught in the middle of ethnic slaughter--lives full of excitement, adventure, and achievement.

cloth / 232 pp. / 2010 / ISBN 978-0-87195-291-2 / $24.95
Order No. 2790

Maria's Journey

Ramón Arredondo and Trisha (Hull) Arredondo

Maria's Journey by Ramón Arredondo and Trisha (Hull) Arredondo

Born into the Mexican Revolution, Maria Perez entered an arranged marriage at age fourteen to Miguel Arredondo. The couple and their tiny daughter immigrated to the United States in the 1920s, living in a boxcar while Miguel worked for a Texas railroad and eventually settling in East Chicago, Indiana, where Miguel worked for Inland Steel. Their true story includes much of early-twentieth-century America: the rise of unions, the plunge into the Great Depression, the patriotism of World War II, and the starkness of McCarthyism. It is flavored by delivery men hawking fruit and ice, street sports, and Saturday matinees that began with newsreels. Immigration status colors every scene, adding to their story deportation and citizenship, generational problems unique to new immigrants, and a miraculous message of hope.

paper / 260 pp. / 2010 / ISBN 978-0-87195-286-8 / $19.95
Order No. 967

Indianapolis Italians

James J. Divita

Indianapolis Italians

In 1910, Indianapolis had the smallest foreign stock population of any city north of the Ohio River, and city historians merely ignored the presence of the ethnic communities. In the 1920s, the Hoosier capital supposedly lacked a cosmopolitan character, and the Ku Klux Klan gloried in the slogan "100% American." However, the size of a community does not indicate its significance in municipal life. Rather, immigrants and their descendants make a difference because of their talents and available local opportunities.

Residents of Italian origin have contributed mightily to Indianapolis's economy, culture, and professional and religious life. The first to arrive were the Sicilians who developed the city's fruit and vegetable trade and the Friulani who engaged in terrazzo-mosaic tile work. Early immigrants became grocers, shoemakers, tailors, and barbers. Later, primarily after World War II, many American-born of Italian descent moved into Indianapolis, excelling in business and professional fields, including law, medicine, and education. The community has continued to grow, adding to its numbers the Italian-born but married to American military or engaged in skilled labor in carpentry, tailoring, salesmanship, and food preparation.

paper / 127 pp. / ISBN 0-7385-4095-1 / $19.99
Order No. 2628

The Irish

William W. Giffin

The Irish

The history of the Irish in Indiana is intricately woven into the fabric of the state’s history. The Irish first arrived in Indiana along with the fur traders in the 1700s. In the 1800s many Irish immigrants struggled to create new lives as the built Indiana’s early canals, roads, and railroads. As Indiana progressed, so did the Irish. Today, Hoosiers of Irish origin can be found in all facets of Indiana society from business and medicine to law and politics. From humble beginnings, Indiana’s Irish have become an integral part of the state’s tapestry while continuing to celebrate their Celtic past.

paper / 137 pp. / ISBN 0-87195-193-2/$13.95
Order No. 2593

An Amish Patchwork: Indiana's Old Orders in the Modern World

Thomas J. Meyers & Steven M. Nolt

Indiana is home to the world’s third-largest Amish population. Indiana’s 19 Old Order Amish and two Old Order Mennonite communities show a surprising diversity despite all that unites them as a distinct culture. This contemporary portrait of Indiana’s Amish is the first book-length overview of Amish in the state. Thomas J. Meyers and Steven M. Nolt present an overview of the beliefs and values of the Amish, their migration history, and the differences between the state’s two major Amish ethnic groups (Pennsylvania Dutch and Swiss). They also talk about Indiana’s Old Order Mennonites, a group too often confused with the Amish. Meyers and Nolt situate the Amish in their Indiana context, noting an involvement with Indiana’s industrial economy that may surprise some. They also treat Amish interaction with state government over private schooling and other matters, and the relationship of the Amish to their neighbors and the tourist industry.

paper / 2004 / 208 pp / 9780253217554 / $19.95
Order no. 563

Shipshewana: An Indiana Amish Community

Dorothy O. Pratt


While most books about the Amish focus on the Pennsylvania settlements or on the religious history of the sect, this book is a cultural history of one Indiana Amish community and its success in resisting assimilation into the larger culture. Founded in 1841, Shipshewana benefited from LaGrange County's relative isolation. As Pratt shows, this isolation was key to the community's success. The Amish were able to develop a stable farming economy and a social structure based on their own terms. Crisis and abuse from the outer world have tended only to confirm the desire of the Amish to remain a people apart, and lends a special poignancy to this engrossing tale of resistance to the modern world.

cloth / 209 pp. / 2004 / ISBN 0-253-34518-9 / $29.95
Order No. 2485

German Settlers of South Bend

Gabrielle Robinson

German Settlers of South Bend

The predominant immigrant group from the 1840s to the 1870s, the Germans helped build South Bend from an isolated trading post into a thriving industrial city. They also played a key role in transforming the surrounding wilderness into rich and fertile farmland.

Voices of America series from Arcadia Press.

paper / 128 pp. / 2003 / ISBN 0-7385-2340-2 / $19.99
Order No. 2445

Middletown Jews: The Tenuous Survival of an American Jewish Community

Dan Rottenberg and Dwight W. Hoover, eds.

In Middletown, the landmark 1927 study of a typical American town (Muncie, Indiana), the authors commented, "The Jewish population of Middletown is so small as to be numerically negligible... [and makes] the Jewish issue slight." But WAS the "Jewish issue" slight? What did it mean to be a Jew in Muncie? That is the issue that this book seeks to answer. The Jewish experience in Muncie reflects what many similar communities experienced in hundreds of Middletowns across the midwest. "Middletown Jews... takes us, through nineteen fascinating interviews done in 1979, into the lives led by mainly first generation American Jews in a small mid-western city." ―San Diego Jewish Times

paper / 142 pp. / 1997 / ISBN 0-253-33243-5/$12.95
Order No. 2317

Latino Heartland: Of Borders and Belonging in the Midwest

Sujey Vega

Latino Heartland offers an ethnography of the Latino and non-Latino residents of a small Indiana town, showing how national debate pitted neighbor against neighbor—and the strategies some used to combat such animosity. It conveys the lived impact of divisive political rhetoric on immigration and how race, gender, class, and ethnicity inform community belonging in the twenty-first century.

paper /  304 pp. / 2015 / 9781479896042 / $35.62
Order no. 1575

New Faces at the Crossroads: The World in Central Indiana

John Sherman, text
Jeffrey A. Wolin, photographs & interviews

New Faces at the Crossroads

Until recently, central Indiana has not truly reflected the sheer diversity of races, religions, cultures, and ethnic backgrounds of the rest of the world. In recent decades and especially in the first years of the 21st century, however, cities, towns, and rural areas of the central portion of the Hoosier state have welcomed an increasing number of new residents who constitute a surprisingly broad and diverse cross section of world citizens.

To capture and celebrate these changes, New Faces at the Crossroads features portraits of 30 recent newcomers from around the world by award-winning photographer Jeffrey A. Wolin, accompanied by stories of why they came to the area and their perspectives on living there. Together with John Sherman's text describing changes and additions to the region's population, these striking photographs show that central Indiana is no longer just the Crossroads of America: It is the crossroads of the world.

cloth / 96 pp. / 2007 / ISBN 978-0-253-35068-8 / $29.95 $17.97
Order No. 2670