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Learning to love ‘Iowa’s ugliest building’

The English-Philosophy Building at the University of Iowa is, you will note upon entry, old. It is not old in the way a faraway Romanian village is old (solitary, self-sustaining); nor old in the way the Electoral College is old (baffling, malevolent); least of all in the way Meryl Streep is old (eternal, unfading). The EPB is the old of the ungraceful elderly. […]

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‘Bright Radical Star’: When John Brown came to Iowa

Halfway to Springdale, Iowa — a town about 15 miles east of Iowa City — on a snow-laden December evening in 1857, Owen Brown decided to journal. “Very cold night,” he wrote, “prairie wolves howl nobly.” He recounted the “hot discussion” had on the road that day: about the Bible, war, racial prejudice and abolition […]

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