The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 84, July 1980 - April, 1981 Page: 113
park but also stimulate interest in more research into its physical and
University of Arizona HARWOOD P. HINTON
The Great Plains: Environment and Culture. Edited by Brian W.
Blouet and Frederick C. Luebke. (Lincoln: University of Ne-
braska Press, 1979. Pp. xxviii+ 246. Preface, introduction, illustra-
tions, maps, tables. $15.95.)
The twelve essays comprising this book were presented as papers at
the Cultural Heritage of the Plains Symposium, held April 13-15,
1977, at the Nebraska Center for Continuing Education, the Univer-
sity of Nebraska-Lincoln. "One of the major purposes of the confer-
ence was to launch the newly created Center for Great Plains Studies,"
say the editors, "and to establish ... a series of annual symposia treating
plains problems and topics" (p. vii). Since their state is so closely
associated with the Great Plains, both historiographically and physi-
ographically, Texans should welcome this major commitment to plains
studies by a leading state university.
Frederick C. Luebke's introduction includes a remarkably good
short survey of Great Plains historiography which provides an excellent
starting place for newcomers to the field and develops a frame of refer-
ence for the following essays. The essays themselves are drawn from the
disciplines of anthropology, history, geography, and sociology, and
utilize both environmental and cultural approaches. Individual read-
ers will inevitably react with varying enthusiasm to the essays according
to their own tastes and interests. All are well written and edited and
thoroughly documented; and they cover a stimulating diversity of
topics ranging, for example, from Waldo Wedel's "Holocene Cultural
Adaptations in the Republican River Basin," to David Trask's "Ne-
braska Populism as a Response to Environmental and Political Prob-
lems," to H. Roger Grant's "The Standardized Railroad Station on the
Great Plains, 1870-1920," to Mary W. M. Hargreaves's "Space: Its
Institutional Impact on the Development of the Great Plains."
The geographical emphasis of these essays is strongly on Kansas, Ne-
braska, and the Dakotas, and they have relatively little to say, therefore,
directly to Texas's plains experience. But given the environmental
unity of the Great Plains and their extensive presence in Texas, almost
all essays carry implications important to the state and suggest ap-
plicable avenues of research.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 84, July 1980 - April, 1981, periodical, 1980/1981; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101225/m1/133/ocr/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.