Paul Hillmer is a professor of American history at CSP. He earned his Ph.D. in history from the University of Minnesota on 11 April, 2001. He wrote his dissertation on various progressive movements in Cleveland, Ohio connected to the city's YMCA.
His commissioned history,The Cleveland YMCA: Reflection on 150 Years to a Community, was published in 2004. He was then recruited by the Minneapolis YMCA to write a 140-year history of their youth development programs. The resulting book, Breaking New Ground, Building Strong Lives, was published in 2006.
By the spring of 2006 he returned to his long-shelved Hmong Oral History Project, started in 2001 with the invaluable assistance and leadership of Tou Thao, Peter Vang, Mai Neng Vang, Youa Vang, and others. He was awarded a "Save Our History" grant by the History Channel in July 2006, and used it to create a six-part documentary ("From Strangers to Neighbors") examining the Hmong people and their resettlement in the Twins Cities. His book, A People's History of the Hmong, published by Minnesota Historical Society Press, is based on the 200-plus interviews he and his students collected.
For more information on the book, visit the MHS Press web site.
For his January 2010 op-ed on Thailand's forced repatriation of Hmong to Laos, click here. For Amy Doeun's January 13 review in Hmong Times click here.
For Amy Goetzman's January 20 MinnPost review, click here.
For Chao Xiong's February 14 Star Tribune review, click here.
For David Mahoney's article in the Spring 2010 Minnesota Magazine, click here.
To watch a YouTube "preview trailer" for the book, click here.
For Diana Vang's May 5 TC Daily Planet review, click here.
See the June 2010 Choice review here.
See Jim Ragsdale's September 5 editorial in the Pioneer Press here .
A People's History of the Hmong has been named winner of a 2010 American Association of State and Local History (AASLH) Award of Merit and 2010 WOW Award by the Leadership in History Awards Committee.