Great Plains Book of the Month

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.

August Book of the Month

Voting in Indian Country: The View from the Trenches

By Jean Reith Schroedel

From the publisher:

Among the American public, there is a collective amnesia about the U.S. government's shameful policies toward the continent's original inhabitants and their descendants. Only rarely, such as during the Wounded Knee standoff in the 1970s and the recent Dakota Access Pipeline protests, do Native issues reach the public consciousness. But even during those times, there is little understanding of historical context—of the history of promises made and broken over seven generations—that shape current events. Voting in Indian Country uses conflicts over voting rights as a lens for understanding the centuries-long fight for Native self-determination. Weaving together history, politics, and law, Jean Reith Schroedel provides a view of this often-ignored struggle for social justice from the ground up.

Differentiating this volume from other voting rights books is its use of ethnographic data, including the case study of a county with a population evenly split between whites and Native Americans, as well as oral histories of the people who have chosen to fight for voting rights. The stories of these lawyers, activists, and plaintiffs illuminate both the complexity and the vividness of their experiences on the front lines and their understanding of a connection to broader Native struggles for self-determination—both to control the lands and resources promised to them in perpetuity through treaties and to freely exercise the political rights and liberties promised to all Americans.

Jean Reith Schroedel is the Thornton F. Bradshaw Professor of Public Policy at Claremont Graduate University. She is author of Evangelicals and Democracy in America: Religion and Politics.

“As a North Dakota State Representative, I have dealt with voting rights issues involving barriers towards our Tribal Nations and its members, and I can personally relate to Voting in Indian Country. Although this book covers and explains scientific data, it also brings in the importance of grassroots Native organizations pursuing equality at the ballot box. I highly recommend reading the book. It will open your eyes to our efforts here and now on the obstacles we face and what we are doing to correct the wrongs."
—Representative Ruth Buffalo, North Dakota House of Representatives

Carter cover

Past Great Plains Books of the Month:

American Serengeti: The Last Big Animals of the Great Plains, Dan Flores

A Chorus of Cranes: The Cranes of North America and the World, Paul Johnsgard

Encounter on the Great Plains: Scandinavian Settlers and the Dispossession of Dakota Indians, 1890-1930, Karen Hansen

Wild Again: The Struggle to Save the Black-Footed Ferret, David Jachowski

A Warrior of the People: How Susan La Flesche Overcame Racial and Gender Inequality to Become America's First Indian Doctor, Joe Starita

Natives of a Dry Place: Stories of Dakota Before the Oil Boom, Richard Edwards

Towards a Prairie Atonement, Trevor Herriot

Walking the Llano, Shelley Armitage

Barnstorming the Prairie, Jason Weems

Homesteading the PlainsRichard Edwards, Rebecca Wingo, Jacob Friefeld

Nebraska Poetry: A Sesquicentennial Anthology 1867-2017, Edited by Daniel Simon

This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm, Ted Genoways

Grasses of the Great Plains, By James Stubbendieck, Stephan L. Hatch, Cheryl D. Dunn

The Personal History of Rachel DuPree, Ann Weisgarber

The Trans-Mississippi and International Expositions of 1898–1899: Art, Anthropology, and Popular Culture at the Fin de Siècle by Wendy Katz

Jewels of the Plains: Wildflowers of the Great Plains Grasslands and Hills by Claude Barr and James Locklear

Chemical Lands: Pesticides, Aerial Spraying, and Health in North America's Grasslands Since 1945 by David Vail

Converting the Rosebud: Catholic Mission and the Lakota, 1886-1916 by Harvey Markowitz

The Sea of Grass: A Family Tale from the American Heartland by Walter Echo-Hawk

Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser. 

Great Plains Literature by Linda Ray Pratt

Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth by Sarah Smarsh

American Trinity: Jefferson, Custer, and the Spirit of the West by Larry Len Peterson

Native but Foreign: Indigenous Immigrants and Refugees in the North American Borderlands by Brenden Rensink

Slavery on the Periphery: The Kansas-Missouri Border in the Antebellum and Civil War Eras by Kristen Epps

Visions of the Tallgrass: Prairie Photographs by Harvey Payne

Flood on the Tracks: Living, Dying, and the Nature of Disaster in the Elkhorn River Basin by Todd Kerstetter

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann

kisiskâciwan: Indigenous Voices from Where the River Flows Swiftly by Jesse Rae Archibald-Barber

Pacing Dakota by Thomas Dean Isern

Theodore Roosevelt & Bison Restoration on the Great Plains by Keith Aune and Glenn Plumb

American Eclipse: A Nation’s Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World by David Baron

Sovereign Schools: How Shoshones and Arapahos Created a High School on the Wind River Reservation by Martha Louise Hipp

Hit by a Farm: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Barn by Catherine Friend

The Chisholm Trail: Joseph McCoy's Great Gamble by James Sherow

First Americans: US Patriotism in Indian Country After World War I by Thomas Grillot

A Thirsty Land by Seamus McGraw

Keetsahnak/Our Missing And Murdered Indigenous Sisters by Kim Anderson, Maria Campbell, and Christi Belcourt, eds.

Forty Acres and a Fool: How to Live in the Country and Still Keep Your Sanity by Roger Welsch

Perfectly Golden: Adaptable Recipes for Sweet and Simple Treats by Angela Garbacz

Once Upon a Town: The Miracle of the North Platte Canteen by Bob Greene

Wilber "Bullet" Rogan and the Kansas City Monarchs by Phil S. Dixon

Standing Up to Colonial Power: The Lives of Henry Roe and Elizabeth Cloud by Renya K. Ramirez

Our History is the Future: Standing Rock Versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance by Nick Estes

Great Plains Politics by Peter Longo

Bury My Heart at Chuck E. Cheese's by Tiffany Midge

Nebraska: Poems by Kwame Dawes

World War II Nebraska by Melissa Amateis

Man Killed by Pheasant and Other Kinships: A Memoir by John Price

WHEREAS by Layli Long Soldier

The Road to Chinese Exclusion: The Denver Riot, 1880 Election, and Rise of the West by Liping Zhu

Tulsa, 1921: Reporting a Massacre by Randy Krehbiel with Black Wall Street 100: An American City Grapples with its Historical Racial Trauma by Hannibal Johnson and The Nation Must Awake: My Witness to the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 by Mary E. Jones Parrish

Those of the Gray Wind: The Sandhill Cranes, Earth, Water, and Sky: A Naturalist's Stories and Sketches, and Dragons and Unicorns: A Natural History by Paul Johnsgard

Ours by Every Law of Right and Justice: Women and the Vote in the Prairie Provinces by Sarah Carter