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November 17 “History Talks” Presentation on Plains Political Traditions

For November, the South Dakota State Historical Society’s virtual “History Talks” speaker series features historians Sean Flynn and Paul Higbee. The duo are contributors to the new book, “The Plains Political Tradition: Essays on South Dakota Political Culture, volume 4,” edited by Jon K. Lauck and Paula M. Nelson.

This free virtual event will be held on November 17th at 7 pm central on Zoom. To register, go to “History Talks” is a monthly program of the South Dakota Historical Society Press and the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation.

The book includes ten essays on diverse aspects of the region’s political history, from nonindigenous settlement patterns to campaign strategies to the shaping of state budgets. These essays reflect a broad definition of political culture and encompass a wide variety of eyewitness as well as scholarly perspectives that help readers to better understand South Dakota’s singular historical experience.

Higbee and Flynn examine two mid-twentieth century South Dakota politicians who figured largely in national politics. Flynn’s article, “The Eastern Establishment on Trial: Karl Mundt, ‘Inland’ Republicanism, and the Hiss Case,” showcases Mundt’s central role on the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC). Higbee’s subject is Mundt’s congressional colleague Francis Case, whose interest in bringing water to the arid plains was also held by Texas Democrat Lyndon Johnson. By comparing the two politicians in his article, “Two Senators and South Dakota Politics in Comparative Perspective,” Higbee highlights the ways in which Case shaped modern politics in South Dakota.

“The Plains Political Tradition, volume 4” can be ordered for $29.95, plus shipping and tax, at Booksellers may contact to place orders for their business. For more information about the South Dakota Historical Society Press and its books, please visit and follow @sdhspress on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

The South Dakota State Historical Society is a division of the Department of Education. The State Historical Society, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution since 2013, is headquartered at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. The center houses the society’s world-class museum, the archives, and the historic preservation, publishing, and administrative/development offices. For questions or memberships, call 605-773-3458 or visit for more information. The society also has an archaeology office in Rapid City; call 605-394-1936 for more information.