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Encyclopedia of the Great Plains
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0803247877, Hardcover)
The Encyclopedia of the Great Plains is a cooperative project of the Center for Great Plains Studies and the University of Nebraska Press, with the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the University of Nebraska Foundation, and the Nebraska Humanities Council.
The Great Plains is a vast expanse of grasslands stretching from the Rocky Mountains to the Missouri River and from the Rio Grande to the coniferous forests of Canada--an area more than eighteen hundred miles from north to south and more than five hundred miles from east to west. The Great Plains region includes all or parts of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.
The region, once labeled “the Great American Desert,” is now more often called the “heartland,” or, sometimes, “the breadbasket of the world.” Its immense distances, flowing grasslands, sparse population, enveloping horizons, and dominating sky convey a sense of expansiveness, even emptiness or loneliness, a reaction to too much space and one's own meager presence in it.
The Plains region is the home of the Dust Bowl, the massacre at Wounded Knee, the North-West Rebellion, the Tulsa race riot, the Lincoln County War, the purported Roswell alien landing, and the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. From it have emerged furs, cattle, corn, wheat, oil, gas, and coal, as well as jazz, literature, and political reform. It has been inhabited for more than twelve thousand years, since Paleo-Indians hunted mammoth and bison. More recent emigrants came from eastern North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia, resulting in a complex and distinctive ethnic mosaic.
With 1,316 entries contributed by more than one thousand scholars, this groundbreaking reference work captures what is vital and interesting about the Great Plains--from its temperamental climate to its images and icons, its historical character, its folklore, and its politics. Thoroughly illustrated, annotated, and indexed, this remarkable compendium of information and analysis will prove the definitive and indispensable resource on the Great Plains for many years to come.
Listen to an interview with David J. Wishart from Nebraska Public Radio
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:04 -0400)
"Wishart and the staff of the Center for Great Plains Studies have compiled a wide-ranging (pun intended) encyclopedia of this important region. Their objective was to 'give definition to a region that has traditionally been poorly defined, ' and they have admirably succeeded. Twenty-seven thematic chapters (agriculture, folkways, Native Americans, water) offer overview essays followed by alphabetically arranged entries. Many map and black-and-white photographs supplement the text."--"Reference that rocks," American Libraries, May 2005.
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