Each month the Center for Great Plains Studies features one book as its "Great Plains Book of the Month." We carefully choose books that are accessible and on topics of interest and importance for our region. They may be on any subject, of any genre, published within the last couple of years; occasionally we may feature a book published by or written at the Center. Mainly we want to bring attention to what we consider exceptional works both to learn from and enjoy.
March Book of the Month
Encounter on the Great Plains: Scandinavian Settlers and the Dispossession of Dakota Indians, 1890-1930
Karen V. Hansen explores the epic issues of co-existence between immigrant settlers and Dakota Indians and the effect of racial hierarchies, both legal and cultural, on marginalized peoples. Hansen offers a wealth of intimate detail about daily lives and community events, showing how both Dakotas and Scandinavians resisted assimilation and used their rights as new citizens to combat attacks on their cultures. As our GPQ reviewer noted, this book is “one of the most innovative books on the Great Plains since Pekka Hamalainen’s Comanche Empire. In detailing the rich sociocultural interactions between Scandinavian settlers and the Dakota Nation, Hansen moves beyond simply recounting how the Dakota Nation lost land in the Great Plains. This monograph gives voice to those who lived together on Sprit Lake.”
Book Review: Great Plains Quarterly, by Mikal Eckstrom
Details: History/United States/Immigration, 2013
Publisher: Oxford University Press
“How did it happen that Scandinavian immigrants and their descendants came to live together on a Dakota Indian reservation? Here is the story, profoundly human, of dispossession and occupation: deftly nuanced, deeply sourced, engagingly written. A first-rate history.”
—Walter Nugent, author of 'Into the West: The Story of Its People'