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Author to speak on WWI events in Goodhue County

Fred Johnson, author and historian, will talk about his new book, "Patriot Hearts: World War I Pride and Prejudice in a Minnesota County," from 10-11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, in the Foot Room at the Red Wing Public Library.

The war years produced bloody conflict abroad, but it also created divisive ethnic and political tensions at home as well.

Johnson's book retells a largely forgotten 1917-18 Minnesota story in microcosm, using Goodhue County as an example of serious cases of civil rights suppression that occurred here, in what has been described as the state's most ethnically and politically polarized county.

The story covers verbal and physical attacks on German Americans and political rivals, residents indicted for treason, coercive Liberty Bond sales and the imposition of martial law.

Johnson, who has written 12 books about Minnesota history, will autograph copies of the book. It will be for sale at the library. Program sponsors are the library, the Red Wing Shoe Co. Foundation and the Goodhue County Historical Society, which published "Patriot Hearts" in June.