Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Great Plains Quarterly SUMMER 1988 .Copyright 1988 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska—Lincoln.


The author of Emil Loriks: Builder of a New Economic Order wrote the book in order to do justice to the life of her fellow South Dakotan Emil Loriks (1895-1985). Elizabeth Williams, an instructor of journalism and speech at South Dakota State University, has succeeded in producing a eulogy of an interesting and active farm leader. Her biographical portrait loudly praises Loriks for the variety of roles he played: as state legislator and Farm Holiday leader from 1927-34, as unsuccessful liberal Democratic candidate running against Republican Karl Mundt in 1938, as South Dakota Farmer's Union president during the later Depression, as farm cooperative leader throughout the war years and 1950s, and finally as head of the Farmer's Union Grain Terminal Association (GT A) from 1957 until his retirement in 1967. From beginning to end the book valiantly tries to turn the unpretentious Loriks into a truly heroic figure. Unfortunately, in the course of her lionizing, Williams does not add much to the general picture of South Dakota life and agriculture during our turbulent century.