Synopses & Reviews
Kansas is steeped in the lore and legends of the Old West-from Dodge City to the Dust Bowl days. But, as these authors show, that leaves out a lot of state history.
Drawing on scholarship that has transformed our understanding of the history of both state and region, Kansas and the West introduces readers to a wide range of people, places, and themes that demonstrate the complex relationships among race, class, gender, and environment. In so doing, it also puts to rest many of the myths that have dominated western history for so long, reflecting both the positive and the negative consequences of human actions over 150 years of Kansas history.
The collection gathers eighteen key writings that take readers through three eras. The dispossession and resettlement of Native Americans is seen in such pieces as Elliot West's "Story of Three Families" and Richard White's "Cultural Landscape of the Pawnees." The nineteenth-century evolution from "Bleeding Kansas" to a modern state is seen in works ranging from writings on the Civil War era by Bill Cecil-Fronsman and Richard Sheridan to observations on road improvements by Paul Sutter. And selected aspects of Kansas in the twentieth century are seen in such contributions as Donald Worster's controversial views on the Dust Bowl, Mary Dudziak's article on desegregation in 1950s Topeka, and a look at labor in the beefpacking industry by Donald Stull and Michael Broadway.
By incorporating voices from history that have too long been lost in the din of tradition—especially the voices of Native Americans and blacks, women and laborers—Kansas and the West provides a provocative and much-needed new view of the state's past. A book that will prove fascinating for general readers, instructive for students, and an invaluable touchstone for scholars, it brings us different stories, new actors, and fresh images that challenge some of our most cherished views of the West—and in the process shows us that complexity and diversity have always characterized what we have habitually thought of as "simpler times."
Table of Contents
Introduction: Rethinking the Past, Reimagining the Future, Rita Napier
Part One. Native Americans, Dispossession, and Resettlement
The Story of Three Families, Elliott West
The Cultural Landscape of the Pawnees, Richard White
The Chippewa and Munsee Indians: Acculturation and Survival in Kansas, 1850s-1870, Joseph B. Herring
The Prairie Potawatomie: Resistance to Allotment, Anonymous
The Germans of Atchison, 1854-1859: Development of an Ethnic Community, Eleanor Turk
The Elegant Dugout: Domesticity and Moveable Culture in the United States, 1870-1900, Angel Kwolek-Folland
Part Two. Kansas in the Nineteenth Century: From "Bleeding Kansas" to Modernity
"Death to All Yankees and Traitors in Kansas": The Squatter Sovereign and the Defense of Slavery in Kansas, Bill Cecil-Fronsman
From Slavery in Missouri to Freedom in Kansas: The Influx of Black Fugitives and Contrabands into Kansas, 1854-1865, Richard Sheridan
The Popular Ideology of Segregated Schooling: Attitudes Toward the Education of Blacks in Kansas, 1854-1900, James C. Carper
Non-Partisan and All-Partisan: Rethinking Woman Suffrage and Party Politics in Gilded Age Kansas, Michael Goldberg
The Leviathan with Tentacles of Steel: Railroads in the Minds of Kansas Populists, Thomas Frank
Paved with Good Intentions: Good Roads, the Automobile, and the Rhetoric of Rural Improvement in Kansas Farmer, 1890-1914, Paul Sutter
Part Three: Twentieth-Century Kansas
Acculturation and Assimilation: Mexican Immigrants in Kansas, 1900 to World War II, Robert Oppenheimer
An "Army of Amazons": The Language of Protest in a Kansas Mining Community, 1921-1922, Ann Schofield
The Dirty Thirties: A Study in Agricultural Capitalism, Donald Worster
The Women's Land Army During World War II, Caron Smith
The Limits of Good Faith: Desegregation in Topeka, Kansas, 1950-1956, Mary L. Dudziak
The Effects of Restructuring on Beefpacking in Kansas, Donald D. Stull and Michael J. Broadway
List of Contributors