Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Great Plains Quarterly 16:1 (Winter 1996). Copyright © 1996 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Institutional histories are often dull and lifeless- but not this one. From its preface to its final chapter celebrating the university's 125th year, this impressive history of the University of Nebraska entertains with colorful vignettes of its facuity, staff, and administrative leaders. With candor, curmudgeons are called curmudgeons, the less than able are identified, and the irascible remain irascible in the story's able telling.

Students of higher education will find this a rich study. Nebraska alumni will respond to its anecdotes with vivid memories, and many readers will enjoy the lively, sometimes opinionated analyses. All will find it a detailed but spirited review of the events, policies, politics, and people that transformed a fledgling prairie university into the major research university it is today.