'Giants in the Earth' by Ole Edvart Rolvaag Art, a listener from central Pennsylvania, recommends this story of a Norwegian pioneer's family: "Hardly a winter passes when I don't think about the struggles faced by the Per Hansa family in the bitter [Dakota Territory] winters."
NPR logo 'Giants in the Earth' by Ole Edvart Rolvaag

'Giants in the Earth' by Ole Edvart Rolvaag

Giants in the Earth

[This is] one of the few books I have read in my life that I have read twice and enjoyed each time.

As a school boy, I was both impressed and astonished by the depiction of the life of the pioneers who settled the upper Midwest. Hardly a winter passes when I don't think about the struggles faced by the Per Hansa family in the bitter [Dakota Territory] winters.

Now years later, as a great, great grandson of German immigrants who settled a farm in western Pennsylvania, I can identify with their struggle. Just visiting the farm and visualizing men and horses cutting and clearing trees and moving rocks from fields without the use of modern machinery promotes admiration for the generation who kick-started America on its road to greatness.

...Giants in the Earth is an apt title for the history of many Americans of all nationalities.

-- From Art, who listens to member station WITF in central Pennsylvania

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