Dregni, Eric 1968-
Dregni, Eric 1968-
Writer, researcher, journalist, translator, musician, and curator. El Dorado Conquistador Museum, Minneapolis, MN, curator; Vinnie and the Stardusters, guitarist.
Fulbright fellow, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 2004.
NONFICTION; WITH BROTHER, MICHAEL DREGNI
Illustrated Motorscooter Buyer's Guide, Motorbooks International (Osceola, WI), 1993.
Scooters!, foreword by Robert H. Ammon, Motorbooks International (Osceola, WI), 1995.
The Scooter Bible: From Cushman to Vespa, the Ultimate History and Buyer's Guide, Whitehorse Press (Center Conway, NH), 2005.
(With Karl Hagstrom Miller) Ads That Put America on Wheels, Motorbooks International (Osceola, WI), 1996.
Scooter Mania!, MBI Publishing (Osceola, WI), 1998.
Minnesota Marvels: Roadside Attractions in the Land of Lakes, University of Minnesota Press (Minneapolis, MN), 2001.
Let's Go Bowling, MBI Publishing (St. Paul, MN), 2005.
Scooters: Everything You Need to Know, photography by Pixel Pete, Motorbooks (St. Paul, MN), 2005.
(With brother, Jonathan Dregni) Follies of Science: Twentieth Century Visions of Our Fantastic Future, Speck Press (Denver, CO), 2006.
Midwest Marvels: Roadside Attractions across Iowa, Minnesota, the Dakotas, and Wisconsin, University of Minnesota Press (Minneapolis, MN), 2006.
Zamboni: The Coolest Machines on Ice, MBI Publishing and Voyageur Press (St Paul, MI), 2006.
Eric Dregni is a researcher, museum curator, and journalist who is also a self-confessed fanatic for motor scooters. The author of several books on scooters, some with his brother Michael, Dregni "demonstrates why the vehicles can seem both nerdy and cool" at the same time, commented Laura Yenn in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Dregni applies this whimsical approach to topics in his other books as well. In Follies of Science: Twentieth Century Visions of Our Fantastic Future, written with his other brother, Jonathan Dregni, he muses on past predictions of what the technological world of tomorrow would look like in the year 2006. The Dregnis consider and comment upon numerous inventions and advancements that were anticipated by writers of yesterday in science publications, such as Popular Mechanics, and science-fiction magazines, including Amazing Stories. They note that items such as antimatter-powered batteries, flying cities, skis with tank treads, and mechanical secretaries did not come into being. Some inventions that did come to pass "probably shouldn't have. But the book shouldn't be read as a cautionary tale," noted Derek Hansell in another St. Paul Pioneer Press review. Scientific extrapolation involves both utopian and dystopian outlooks, the Dregnis believe, and consideration must be given to how technology affects the social, political, and human elements of the world. The outlandish and the practical often coexist in the development of technology, and even some of the stranger suggestions of past writers show an appreciation for how technology can enhance and elevate the way humans live and interact. A reviewer in the Futurist observed that the Dregnis' book is for the "futurist with a sense of humor."
Dregni's quirky outlook pans across the breadth of Midwestern America in Midwest Marvels: Roadside Attractions across Iowa, Minnesota, the Dakotas, and Wisconsin. He describes the unusual, sometimes bizarre, often funny displays, monuments, structures, statues, and other attractions that can make a trip through the Midwest a surrealistic delight. He describes the many examples of taxidermy, including sparring squirrels, at the Moccasin Bar in Haywood, Wisconsin. He visits the Mustard Museum in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, and the Effigy Mounds of Marquett, Iowa. He documents giant roadside statues of cows, lumberjacks, fish, gorillas, and more. Among the stranger entries are more subdued attractions such as Mount Rushmore and Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural wonder, Taliesin. The book serves as a detailed travel guide with directions, plus "useful information about attractive features, history, locations, hours, prices of admission, and local color stories," noted an Internet Bookwatch reviewer. Library Journal contributor Susan Belsky commended Dregni's "in-depth coverage of the local wonders."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
ColoradoBiz, December, 2006, Eric Peterson, review of Follies of Science: Twentieth Century Visions of Our Fantastic Future, p. 59.
Europe Intelligence Wire, February 16, 2006, review of Scooters: Everything You Need to Know.
Futurist, January-February, 2007, review of Follies of Science, p. 48.
Internet Bookwatch, August, 2006, review of Midwest Marvels: Roadside Attractions across Iowa, Minnesota, the Dakotas, and Wisconsin.
Library Journal, June 15, 2006, Susan Belsky, review of Midwest Marvels, p. 91.
Reference & Research Book News, August, 2006, review of Midwest Marvels.
Saint Paul Pioneer Press, September 17, 2006, Laura Yuen, "High Priests of Scooter World Deliver the Word," interview with Michael and Eric Dregni; November 14, 2006, Derek Hansell, "Minnesotans' Book Offers a Look Back at the Future," review of Follies of Science,
Skeptical Inquirer, January-February, 2007, Kendrick Frazier, review of Follies of Science, p. 61.