Plains Political Tradition vol. 4 available for pre-order

The Plains Political Tradition: Essays on South Dakota Political Culture, Volume 4 is now available for pre-order from the South Dakota Historical Society Press and will be released on September 20, 2022.

It continues a series that was initiated in 2012 by editors John E. Miller and Jon K. Lauck. Miller passed away in 2020, and Lauck has continued the work of recruiting authors and editing the edition’s ten essays, this time co-editor Paula M. Nelson. The new volume is dedicated to Miller’s memory.

As with the previous editions, the new volume includes fascinating essays on aspects of South Dakota’s political history. This edition includes some of the state’s most important political figures, with essays focused on General William H. H. Beadle, Peter Norbeck, W. J. Bulow, Karl Mundt, Francis Case, and George S. Mickelson.

I wrote an essay entitled “William J. Bulow: The Conservative Democrat Who Time Passed By.” This essay draws heavily on Bulow’s unpublished autobiography, which I have edited for publication and which was excerpted last spring by the South Dakota History journal. That excerpt focused primarily on Bulow’s four years as governor, while this article is more focused on his twelve years as U.S. Senator, in particular his position as a conservative Democrat who opposed FDR’s New Deal and was an isolationist in the years prior to Pearl Harbor.

The new volume includes ten essays:

  • “The Origins and Distribution of South Dakota’s Non-Indigenous Population, 1870–1890” by Greg Rose
  • “Printing History in the Making: Political Culture in South Dakota’s German-Language Press, 1880–1915” by Randi Ramsden
  • “General William H.H. Beadle: Abolitionist, Soldier, Statesman, Educator” by Justin Blessinger
  • “Safeguarding the Interests of the People: Governor Peter Norbeck and Conservative Reform” by Daryl Webb
  • “William J. Bulow: The Conservative Democrat Who Time Passed By” by Tonnis H. Venhuizen
  • “The Eastern Establishment on Trial: Congressman Karl Mundt, ‘Inland’ Republicanism, and the Hiss Case” by Sean J. Flynn
  • “Two Senators and South Dakota Politics in Comparative Perspective: Lyndon Baines Johnson versus Francis Case” by Paul Higbee
  • “The Political Strategies of George Mickelson” by Paul Wilson
  • “Political ‘Nobodies’ Out of Political ‘Nowhere’: From Where Have South Dakota’s Political Leaders Come?” by Marshall Damgaard
  • “The Politics of the South Dakota Budget Process” by Michael Card

The SDHS Press still also offers the earlier editions of Plains Political Tradition: Volume 1, Volume 2 (which includes by article “Leaders in the Land of Infinite Variety: A Collective Portrait of South Dakota’s Governors”), and Volume 3. They can also be found on Amazon and at other fine booksellers.