Inglorious lives of our ancestors.

Actually, I suspect that there would be a lot of similarity between the beer vs. wine vs. vodka map, and a map of what type of spirits are regularly produced/consumed in the different regions. That is, the beer belt and vodka belt share a taste for grain-based spirits (whiskey, korn, vodka, and flavored ones like gin), while the wine belt favors brandies (grape brandy and also others, like calvados, kirschwasser, etc.).
 
I was briefly picturing The Little House On the Prairie when I read the OP and compared it with the classic Swedish novel suite of four books called The Emigrants that were also filmed. They were written about the 25 % of the Swedish population who left our country for the USA in the mid 1800's and forward into the early 1900's, covering many hardships.

I think that if we don't romanticize things we exaggerate aspects that stand out or we wish to portray. The seventies was not at all love, peace, drugs and political issues for my parents in Sweden, even though it was the zeitgeist.
 

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