WTAMU’s Center for the Study of the American West awards 2021 Outstanding Western Book

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WTAMU Book Cover

CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — West Texas A&M University’s Center for the Study of the American West (CSAW) recently named Justin Gage’s “We Do Not Want the Gates Closed Between Us: Native Networks and the Spread of the Ghost Dance,” as its Outstanding Western Book of 2021.

According to a news release, Gage’s book focuses on Native American social and cultural networks on the Great Plains in the late 1800’s, especially on the years of the Ghost Dance and its violent suppression in 1890. Gage is a lecturer of history at the University of Arkansas and will discuss his book in a lecture at 7 p.m. Nov. 11 at the Alumni Banquet Hall at the university’s Canyon campus. Gage’s lecture will also be streamed. To register for the stream, visit bit.ly/csawbook21.

“Gage’s critically important book illuminates how Native Americans coordinated across reservation boundaries to deal with U.S. Indian policy during the early reservation period,” Tim Bowman, the head of the university’s department of history and associate professor of history, said in the release.

The release states that the Outstanding Western Book award has been given for the last three years through the Center for the Study of the American West. It is a juried prize recognizing works which “demonstrate excellent scholarly or creative insight concerning the American West or some aspect of its history, culture, society or environment.”

“CSAW is fortunate to have this opportunity and responsibility of recognizing new books of importance to our region and the greater American West,” Alex Hunt, the director of the center, a regents professor of history and Haley Endowed Professor of Western Studies, said in the release. “I was fascinated by Gage’s discussion of Kiowa, Comanche, and Southern Plains tribes. His book is the latest awardee in what I think over time will become a great list of important western scholarly and creative work.”

The runner-up for the 2021 award was David C. Beyreis’s “Blood in the Borderlands: Conflict, Kinship, and the Bent Family, 1821–1890,” the release stated.

Books surrounding the topic of the American West published in 2021 can be submitted for consideration for the 2022 award. The deadline to submit is Jan. 15 and more information can be found at bit.ly/csawbook.

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