LOVE SONG TO THE PLAINS by Mari Sandoz

LOVE SONG TO THE PLAINS

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Written by the author of Old Jules, Crazy Horse, The Cattlemen, etc., this latest volume in the Regions of America series (Carl Carmer, editor) is less a love song to the Plains than one to the author's home state of Nebraska. It is a spotty book, excellent in parts, irritating in others. The territory supposedly covered, ""The Great Plains"", which stretch from the Missouri and the Mississippi to the Rockies, from Texas to Canada, is never defined, and at times the author attributes conditions common to Nebraska (grass high as a horse's belly, etc.) to the Plains as a whole, including the semi-deserts of eastern Colorado and Wyoming. There are also gaps and repetitions. The author writes at some length of St. Louis fur traders. Chouteau, Manuel Lisa, etc., and of Astor's American Fur company, but barely mentions by name Astor's great rival until 1834, the Rocky Mountain Fur Company. When writing about Nebraska, however, the author is at her best, which is very good indeed; she gives vivid details of pioneer life, of blizzards, grasshoppers, and Indians, on which she is an authority; her account of Fort. Atkinson in the early 1820's is one of the best things in the book. Too often, however, the book gives the Impression of being thrown together from bits and pieces -- but surely the author of The Cattlemen, which holds the whole West in its pages, is entitled to an occasional off-book. This particular off-book will disappoint seasoned historians, but it should appeal to Nebraskans, and its author's name should assure it a place in public and lending libraries.

ISBN: 0803251726
Publisher: Harper