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The Promise Fulfilled

A Portrait of Norwegian Americans Today

2007
Author:

Odd S. Lovoll

The Promise Fulfilled

The story of contemporary life in this vital community.

The Promise Fulfilled is an enlightening—and not uncritical—presentation of Norwegian-American history, continuing the story begun in the best-selling The Promise of America. Prominent historian Odd S. Lovoll details where Norwegian Americans live, what kinds of jobs they hold, how their ethnic heritage is passed on, and to what extent their dreams of life in the United States have been fulfilled.

Odd Lovoll provides fascinating and important insights about the distinctive presence in American life of Norwegian immigrants and their ancestors. Then again, I might be biased.

Walter F. Mondale, Norwegian American and former U.S. Vice President

Continuing the story begun in his best-selling The Promise of America, prominent historian Odd S. Lovoll details where Norwegian Americans live and to what extent their dreams and expectations in the United States have been achieved. From traditional lutefisk dinners to civic activism, Lovoll uncovers the festive spirit of contemporary Norwegian American culture. This vibrant ethnic community maintains ties through genealogy, family reunions, and a shared culinary and arts and crafts heritage. Lovoll’s lucid, engaging, and nuanced history is essential reading—and a popular gift—for anyone interested in Scandinavian culture.

Awards

A Choice Outstanding Academic Title

The Promise Fulfilled

Odd S. Lovoll immigrated to the United States from Norway in 1946 and was educated at Norwegian and U.S. universities. He is professor emeritus of history and is author of The Promise of America: A History of the Norwegian-American People, revised edition (Minnesota, 1999).

The Promise Fulfilled

Odd Lovoll provides fascinating and important insights about the distinctive presence in American life of Norwegian immigrants and their ancestors. Then again, I might be biased.

Walter F. Mondale, Norwegian American and former U.S. Vice President

Drawing on historical documents, an extensive questionnaire survey, and hundreds of follow-up interviews, Lovoll’s truly pioneering work traces seven generations of Norwegian American social history, culminating in a thorough examination of the status and sense of ethnic heritage of today’s Norwegian Americans. It significantly complements Lovoll’s earlier authoritative work, The Promise of America, and represents the most detailed study of any American immigrant group in this regard. Marvelously readable.

Choice

The Promise Fulfilled is a fascinating and enlightening read from cover to cover.

The Norseman

Gives us a more complete and realistic evaluation of what America meant to all those immigrants who left Europe in search of a new and better life.

Historisk tidsskrift

Richly illustrated and attractive, The Promise Fulfilled represents solid, systematic research and can be appreciated by scholar and non-scholar alike. Lovoll has challenged us to frame new questions and to map the ethnic identities and expressions of others in the great American experiment.

Wisconsin Magazine of History

The Promise Fulfilled is a truly groundbreaking investigation of the meaning of ethnicity among immigrant descendants. No previous comprehensive survey of latter-day ethnicity has bee published for any ethnic group in America . . . Lovoll leaves virtually no stone unturned. He shows how time and environment have affected old traditions in America . . . Lovoll’s study is a model of its kind, which one hopes may inspire similar studies of other ethnic groups. This review can only begin to do justice to the wealth of fascinating detail which a master historian here presents in his characteristically lucid prose.

Scandinavian Studies

Odd S. Lovoll’s goal of illuminating the Norwegian-American ethnocentric experience for scholars and nonscholars alike has been met in this culminating work of his career.

The Journal of American History