This is a paid piece from the Augustana University Center for Western Studies.

Simplified: A new book gives the first novel-length look at South Dakota history in more than a decade, and it was published right here in Sioux Falls by the Augustana University Center for Western Studies (CWS).

Why it matters

  • The center released "Old Trails and New Roads in South Dakota History" late last month. The book is a collection of essays by 13 historians and authors, edited by historian Jon K. Lauck.
  • It's the first new book interpreting the state's history since 2005, when the center published "A New South Dakota History," edited by CWS Executive Director Harry Thompson.
  • The CWS has been publishing books about South Dakota and the Northern Plains since 1978.
"The Center for Western Studies has long been dedicated to preserving South Dakota's history, and we're so excited to bring these new perspectives from so many talented writers," said Kamryn Miller, education assistant at the CWS.

Tell me more about the book

The collection of essays starts with a look at Lakota power in the Northern Plains from Pekka Hämäläinen, Rhodes professor of history at the University of Oxford

  • With their mastery of the horse, the Lakota mounted “an expansive and constantly shapeshifting Indigenous regime that controlled human fates in the North American interior for generations," per the essay.

Other topics covered include:

  • how the boundaries of South Dakota were determined,
  • the impact of extreme weather,
  • and the role railroads played in developing the state.

The publication was made possible thanks to a generous gift from Janet Hovey Johnson and Reliabank.

Where can I buy the new book?

You can find it on Amazon or at Barnes & Noble.

If you want to purchase locally, you can pick up a copy at Zandbroz, the Old Courthouse Museum and the CWS.