Popularity causes welcome problem for Historical Society Press

Around 1930, Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote an autobiography about her and her family’s pioneer experience. No one would publish it. Wilder ended up using it as a source for her wildly successful Little House series. Turn the clock ahead 80 some years and things have changed dramatically. The autobiography was finally published late last year […]

Book Review: Dakota, Or What’s a Heaven For by Brenda K. Marshall

I’ll be honest. Brenda K. Marshall started out with a couple strikes against her. First, she is from North Dakota. Second, she has since moved to one of those areas where people tend to call this “Dakota,” without regard for north or south, and may either shake their heads or seem astonished to meet someone […]

Book Review: Six: A Football Coach’s Journey to a National Record by Marc A. Rasmussen

It sounds a bit like a script for a television show or film under the Disney umbrella. A small high school in a town of 250 people decides to start a football team. The goalpost crossbars are built out of two by fours. The players don’t wear jerseys. They wear sweatshirts with the numbers painted […]

Book Review: Principle Over Party by R. Alton Lee

Why do certain political ideas take root and gain acceptance while others advocated by the same party or movement do not? That question can’t help but come to mind reading R. Alton Lee’s Principle over Party: The Farmers’ Alliance and Populism in South Dakota, 1880-1900.

The Farmers’ Alliance and the political parties to which it […]

Book Review: Sitting Bull, Prisoner of War by Dennis C. Pope

Whether cast in terms of manifest destiny or, more crudely, “the Indian problem,” at its core the conflict between white and Native Americans was a clash of cultures. While not necessarily the centerpiece, Dakota Territory was frequently a stage upon which it played out. Despite the fact it focuses on a narrow slice of the […]

Book Review: Wild Bill Hickok & Calamity Jane: Deadwood Legends by James D. McLaird

“Legend” is a word tossed around too easily and misused too often. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, a legend is “an unverified story handed down from earlier times, especially one popularly believed to be historical.”

In titling his latest book, James D. McLaird demonstrates he knows what the word means. Wild Bill Hickok & […]