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Ohio's history penned by Miami's Andrew Cayton

01/08/2003

Ohio is celebrating its bicentennial in 2003 and Miami University historian Andrew Cayton is helping to tell Ohio's story.

Cayton was commissioned by the Ohio State University Press to write Ohio: The History of a People ($34.95) for the state's bicentennial celebration.

The 472-page book presents the state’s history as a collective biography of its inhabitants, using memoirs, diaries, letters, novels and paintings. Ohio, Cayton says, is the mingled voices of farm families, steelworkers, ministers, writers, teachers, reformers and football coaches. It is the tales of German Jews, Italian and Polish immigrants, Southern blacks and Appalachian whites.

Reviewers have responded with praise. Alan Miller of the Columbus Dispatch, described the book as “rare among Ohio history books...because it is inclusive and steeped in rich content. With drama and whimsy, (Cayton) uses the words of individuals-from presidents to common folks-to paint a picture of how the state grew. ... The story should be read by all Ohioans."

Randy McNutt of the Cincinnati Enquirer called the book a “compelling, well-written narrative.”

Cayton, who Miami named "Distinguished Professor of History" in 2000, is also providing editorial supervision to Ohio Bicentennial Minutes, which are being heard on participating radio stations throughout the state, including WCPN (Cleveland), WCBE (Columbus) and WGUC (Cincinnati).

The segments, produced by WMUB-FM, Miami’s public radio station, with major support from the Ohio Humanities Council, provide glimpses into the history and culture of Ohio, from movie stars to presidents and from the Wright Brothers to the pop-top can.

Ohio: The History of a People is available at bookstores throughout the state or from the Ohio State University Press, 1-614-292-6930.

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