Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in GREAT PLAINS QUARTERLY 11:4 (Fall 1991). Copyright © 1991 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


Ranch life doesn't lend itself well to paper. The lifestyle of the cowboy or cowgirl is not something that can be reproduced easily. The subtleties of nature, its weather, beauty, ruthlessness, and its serenity are too complex for most authors to conquer easily. Too often ranching books become simple recitals of where, when, how much, how large, how many, how bad, or how good. John Lincoln's Rich Grass and Sweet Water is one of the few books that is able to portray successfully the life of the cowman.