Dana Yost.

Yost re-issues local book, with changes

Even though Dana Yost’s book about his hometown of Minneota was published in 2017, he continued to research certain parts of it and recently has put together a revised and updated version.

“1940: Journal of a Midwestern Town; Story of an Era” is now available in its original version or the updated version for the same price as the original book.

The updated/revised version is tagged with a label reading “Revised & Updated” across the top of the front cover and came out in early December.

Both versions are available at the Minneota Public Library, Minneota Mascot, through Ellis Press (ellispress.com) or on amazon.com.

Yost said the reasons for revisions and updated information was twofold.

“The chapter that has the most new information is the one about Gunnar and Ingibjorg Bjornson’s war-time trip to Iceland in May-July 1940,” he said. “I had continued to research the trip, and obtained more information.”

The other reason came about when people came forward with additional information about family members.

“A few times I was approached by people with more background information on their family members who I had mentioned in the book.In a few instances, I found something in my notes that I wanted to add that wasn’t in the first edition.”

While Yost added additional information in a couple of chapters, he also made several cuts and merged and shortened two other chapters. He also merged the preface and introduction into one shorter, cleaner chapter.

So even though there are a few less pages in the revised and updated version, Yost feels these changes make for a cleaner and more interesting read.

“In the Bjornson Iceland trip chapter, I added information that I obtained from declassified State Department cables about events in Iceland, additional papers and letters from the Bjornson family, and copies of newspapers and other documents from the Icelandic National Archives and Retykjavik Municipal Archives.”

Yost also feels the new information gives more context to the seriousness of the time period that the Bjornsons were in Iceland.

“The second biggest addition was to the biographical description for the life of Class of 1940 graduate Vivian Lund,” he added.

“Her son, who was researching her life himself, got in touch with me and gave me a lot of fascinating information about her.” With little information on hand about Lund, Yost was only able to give a brief biographical sketch of her in the original book.

“Now it’s more substantial; she deserves it,” Yost noted.

“She lived an extraordinary life.” Some other updates or changes included new information he recently acquired and added to various chapters. Some of these updates are minor, but Yost felt they needed to be added.

“One example is that I might mention that a person has passed away since the first edition was published,” he explained.

Another valuable addition to the revised book includes a “powerful letter” that a female journalist from London wrote to her friend, Minneota native Lucille Deen, describing life in London during the Blitz.

There are also four more photo pages in the latest release of the book, Yost said. And chapter notes are now included at the end of each chapter, as opposed to the notes previously being at the end of the book.

“I really hope people spend some time looking at the chapter notes,” said Yost. “I think there is some good information in them.”

The price of the revised/updated book is $21; the same as the original version. Approximately $11 of each sale (other than those ordered on Amazon) goes to the Friends of the Minneota Public Library.

“One of the strong suits of the book remains the stories it tells about the people of Minneota,” Yost said.

“Human interest stories weave throughout all the local history and the big national and international history.”

“That’s my favorite thing: the people in the book,” Yost concluded. “And I would like to give thanks to Sandy Josephson and Jon Guttormsson for continuing to be sounding boards and great sources of information.”

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