This book is not a tourist book of the Great Plains but rather some interesting vignettes of the area as perceived by the author, Ian Frazier,about a vast expanse of 'big sky' territory.
Although not a history book, Frazier, weaves some interesting historical facts on a variety of people, places and subjects. Thus, we read about the great Indian warrior, Crazy Horse (a firm Frazier favourite), his adversary, Custer,and outlaws such as Billy the Kid and latter-day villains such as Bonnie and Clyde who all made appearances across the grand stage of the prairies.
We also learn of the impact of the railways and the effect of migration on the region with the rail companies preferring German workers over the French or Italians.
The miltary might of the USA is also portrayed as the author describes how parts of this seemingly tranquil territory has the capacity to effectively demolish the rest of the world, if American fire-power was ever fully unleashed. However, one thing the Russians were able to penetrate the US with was the humble tumbleweed. Frazier describes how they came originally from the Russian steppes. The author is something of a tumbling tumbleweed himself, moving as effortlessly from place to place in his rambles over this quintessential part of America.
Such a book can only give a flavour of the many states that constitute the Great Plains region.What Frazier has done for this far-away reader is to interest me in reading the history of the region in greater detail. Perhaps Walter Prescott Webb's similarly named book, (The Great Plains), will provide the detail missing from Frazier's cameo piece.