An in-depth look at South Dakota, this book is an excellent guide for study or information. Starting with an introduction, and moving through the geography, history, government, people, achievements and landmarks, this volume provides a wealth of information and little known facts. Adding to the detail are the richly illustrated photographs, drawings and graphs. The state survey section provides information on statehood, the motto, capital, designated state symbols, a timeline, calendar of celebrations and notable natives of the state. This book would benefit a social studies curriculum for students and teachers alike. In addition, those planning a trip to South Dakota will find useful information.
- Greg M. Romaneck
If you have ever visited South Dakota you know how variable its landscape is. In the eastern parts of this Great Plains state the land is rolling and features seemingly endless views of the countryside. The central part of this state features some of the oddest terrain in all of North America. In South Dakota's central plain lies the Badlands, a landscape better suited to the moon than America. In the far western parts of South Dakota visitors can see Paha Sapa, or the Black Hills as the Lakota people originally named it. Throughout South Dakota visitors encounter historic places and parts of the American heritage that ring out with great power. Places such as Deadwood, Wounded Knee, and Mount Rushmore all strike a powerful chord of emotion when they are considered. In South Dakota writer Melissa McDaniel does an outstanding job of presenting the people, history, landscape, and cultural geography of this region. Time after time she takes a few extra words to bring an authentic feeling tone to what otherwise could have been a rather perfunctory handling of the subject matter. When discussing the plight of Lakota people on the Pine Ridge Reservation or describing the landscape of sadness at Wounded Knee or near Sitting Bull's isolated grave, the author writes in a way that both informs and touches her readers. This is a fascinating book and perhaps one of the finest efforts in this consistently first-rate series.