John Biewen on THIS AMERICAN LIFE: “Little War on the Prairie”

Posted on November 25th, 2012 by

So, what can you do with a philosophy major? You can create an episode of the award-winning radio documentary program THIS AMERICAN LIFE, about  the Dakota Conflict, and the resultant mass execution of Dakota men that took place in Mankato. Here’s the description on the TAL website:

Growing up in Mankato, Minnesota, John Biewen says, nobody ever talked about the most important historical event ever to happen there: in 1862, it was the site of the largest mass execution in U.S. history. Thirty-eight Dakota Indians were hanged after a war with white settlers. John went back to Minnesota to figure out what really happened 150 years ago, and why Minnesotans didn’t talk about it much after.

John, a 1981 graduate of this fine college (and a college pal of Your Narrator), worked for many years for MPR as a part of its Main Street Radio team and American Radio Works. For the past several years, he has been working as Audio Director at the Duke University Center for Documentary Studies.



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