America in the Forties
The Letters of Ole Munch Ræder
America in the Forties: Letters of Ole Munch Ræder was first published in 1929. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
These lively, well-informed letters with their shrewd comment on the American scene are an important addition to Americana. Between De Tocqueville and Bryce there were few more competently trained observers than the author, Munch Ræder, a distinguished Norwegian jurist sent by his government in 1847 to study American legal institutions.
Ræder traveled widely and wrote home to a Christiania newspaper his observations on many topics: American politics and social customs, the working of the “melting pot,” slavery, westward expansion, transportation, Chicago with a budding reputation as a tough town, New York where hogs on the open streets had been forbidden. Not without interest is the reaction of the United States to the European revolution of 1848 and Munch Ræder’s own dream of a Pan-Scandinavian Union.
Dr. Gunnar J. Malmin has supplied an excellent translation of the necessary notes. Through the aid of descendants of Munch Ræder, he has added letters not published in the original Christiana journal.