What Kansas Means to Me: Twentieth-Century Writers on the Sunflower State / Edition 1

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"To understand why people say 'Dear old Kansas!" is to understand that Kansas is no mere geographical expression, but a 'state of mind,' a religion, and a philosophy in one," writes historian Carl Becker in the classic 1910 essay that leads off this volume. Like Becker, the twelve other essayists and four poets try to map the spiritual topography of Kansas and explain why this particular patch of prairie is so dear. They share the conviction that Kansas represents something powerful, something significant, something noteworthy.

The seventeen selections are put into perspective by Thomas Fox Averill's headnotes and introductory essay, which makes its own contribution to our understanding of Kansas. The essays and poems (all previously published except for the last essay) are arranged chronologically, from the earliest (1910) to the most recent (1990).

Illustrated with woodcuts from the Prairie Print-makers.

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Editorial Reviews

Wichita Eagle
Every Kansan can enjoy and benefit from this delightful and stimulating collection.
Kansas History
A treasure for every Kansan. This beautiful book represents the views of some extraordinary writers with deep feelings for Kansas.
Kansas! Magazine
A sampler of the best writing on Kansas.
Topeka Capital-Journal
The book is richly illustrated with prints by Kansas artists, visual essays of simple power.
Kansas City Star
A must-have for Kansans in heart, mind, or spirit, if not in fact.
Journal of the West
Delightful reading.
Essays and poems by Kansas writers past and present, illustrated with 25 woodcuts from the Prairie Printmakers. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780700607105
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas
  • Publication date: 2/28/1995
  • Series: Kansas and the Region Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,458,889
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 7.56 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations


Introduction: Afflicted by Affection, Thomas Fox Averill

1. Kansas (1910), Carl L. Becker

2. Kansas: A Puritan Survival (1922), William Allen White

3. Kansas, the Essence of Typical

America (1926), W. G. Clugston

4. Sky-Mountain (1927), May Williams Ward

5. Bleeding Kansans (1939), Karl A. Menninger

6. The Cottonwood and the Prairie (1945), Zula Bennington Greene

7. Address to Kansans (1946), Kenneth Wiggins Porter

8. The Strength of Kansas (1949), Milton S. Eisenhower

9. Kansas and the Stream of American Destiny (1954), Allan Nevins

10. One Home (1960), William Stafford

11. A Level Land (1968), William Inge

12. Portrait of a Changing Kansas (excerpt) (1976), Kenneth S. Davis

13. Breathing Kansas (1979), Artful Goodtimes

14. Straight Roads (1982), Peg Wherry

15. Not in Kansas Anymore (1989), Robert Day

16. Touching the Sky (1989), Denise Low



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