Thomas D. Isern

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Born
in Barton County KS, The United States
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Member Since
October 2011


Professor of History & University Distinguished Professor, North Dakota State University
Author & presenter of Plains Folk on Prairie Public radio
Married to historian & editor Suzzanne Kelley
Home in North Dakota, farm in Kansas
Bethany Swede
OSU Cowboy
NDSU Bison
Originator of the following Goodreads Listopia lists:
*The Dakota War in Dakota Territory
*German-Russian Country

Join Prof. Isern for the Willow Creek Folk School, Fridays at 8pm CDT, on the Facebook timeline of Plains Folk.
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Thomas D. Isern 11/21/19. Lack of focus in writing lately! The fall has been a bit of a shambles, too much travel, much of it unexpected, and lately I've been trying …more11/21/19. Lack of focus in writing lately! The fall has been a bit of a shambles, too much travel, much of it unexpected, and lately I've been trying to get current with my course at NDSU. Gotta get some final materials in to Texas A & M University Press for the forthcoming work on the Canadian prairies. Then, in addition to the short-form stuff--including Plains Folk columns--I need to get moving on Thinking About the Great Plains, an edited work.

10/6/18 Having a sweet time this weekend finishing up a paper for presentation at the Western History Association meeting in San Antone in a couple of weeks. (Yes, I have apologized to the commentator for being so late.) I had the material in hand, mostly worked out while walking the dogs down the section roads, but there were a couple of sticking points. So last night I opened a bottle of good Ismay Scotch and sorted them out in my head. (The sticking points, not the dogs.) Now I'm thinking we should move the session of papers to up the Riverwalk to Schilo's German deli. Just seems to me the back room at Schilo's would be the perfect venue for what I have to say. With a round of Doppelbock for everyone!

7/18/18 Books, of course! Absorbed in the marketing of my new work from NDSU Press, Pacing Dakota - doing a lot of what I call gonzo marketing, author-involved, turning up where you least expect. Now I need also to bring Of Land and Sky, the work for Texas A & M, to a front burner and do my part to move production along. Simmering on the hard drive are Thinking about the Great Plains, an edited work, as well as another book of essays, A Prairie Practice: Doing History in Grassy Places. Then there is all the short-form work, which is ongoing - just recorded a couple of essays for Prairie Public this afternoon.(less)
Average rating: 4.24 · 51 ratings · 11 reviews · 15 distinct worksSimilar authors
Pacing Dakota

4.44 avg rating — 18 ratings — published 2018 — 2 editions
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Dakota Circle: Excursions o...

4.50 avg rating — 8 ratings — published 2000
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Bull Threshers and Bindlest...

really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 6 ratings — published 1990
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Custom Combining On The Gre...

3.50 avg rating — 2 ratings — published 1981 — 2 editions
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Kansas Land

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 2 ratings — published 1988
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Heritage Themes of the Nort...

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Touring German-Russian Coun...

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The Welk Homestead: A Sourc...

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The Antelope Valley Station...

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Plains Folk: A Commonplace ...

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3.80 avg rating — 5 ratings — published 1987
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More books by Thomas D. Isern…

Dan Crist's Bachelor Song

You can do some interesting research even while holed up in isolation. Exploiting an array of digitized sources, I have been tracking down and documenting a ballad in the "Little Old Sod Shanty on the Claim" tradition and its author, one Dan Crist. Crist, who came from Anderson County, Kansas, to make the 1892 run into the Cheyenne-Arapaho Reservation, sang his ballad for a literary meeting in Kin Read more of this blog post »
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Published on July 03, 2020 11:57

Upcoming Events

Willow Creek Folk School No. 23
Author appearance, September 25, 2020 08:00PM
Livestream on Plains Folk Timeline (facebook.com/plainsfolk), US

https://www.facebook.com/events/259086261861352
Great Plains Folksong - chat & performance - with Prof. Tom Isern of NDSU - stre ...more

One Book One ND
Author appearance, May 30, 2021 04:00PM
Zoom, ND, US

https://www.humanitiesnd.org/one-book-one-nd.html?blm_aid=19636
Author event sponsored by Humanities North Dakota: "In an effort to create a sha ...more


Let the Herd Be Heard (Nonfiction)
1 chapters   —   updated Sep 21, 2020 12:23PM
Description: Team talk for the NDSU Bison football program, 11 September 2020
To Renew the Commitment (Nonfiction)
1 chapters   —   updated Feb 16, 2018 09:15AM
Description: Remarks for reception at NDSU Archives, 15 February 2018
Remarks on the Life and Work of Michael Miller (Select)
1 chapters   —   updated Dec 27, 2017 11:01AM
Description: Remarks for the celebration of fifty years of service to NDSU Libraries by Michael Miller McGovern Alumni Center, 27 October 2017
Butterfly Dreaming (Nonfiction)
1 chapters   —   updated Sep 12, 2017 01:18PM
Description: Remarks for groundbreaking, Catherine Cater Hall, North Dakota State University, 12 September 2017
Pacing Dakota (History)
1 chapters   —   updated Aug 28, 2017 10:42AM
Description: Opening pages of the prologue to Pacing Dakota, book-length manuscript recently completed
More of Thomas’s writing…

Thomas’s Recent Updates

Thomas Isern is now friends with Terry Shoptaugh
Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
Thomas Isern wants to read
American Nations by Colin Woodard
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Pacing Dakota by Thomas D. Isern
"This brought back a lot of memories of the many bike tours I took while I lived in ND for 25 years. Those tours took me to places I would probably have never gone, I'd heard a lot of the stories the author repeats in this book. He really has a great " Read more of this review »
Thomas Isern is on page 24 of 129 of Buffalo Bird Woman's Garden: My early-Sunday-morning devotion this week has been to calculate the size the the field described by Maxi'diwiac. See - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1W...
Buffalo Bird Woman's Garden by Gilbert Livingstone Wilson
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Bull Threshers and Bindlestiffs by Thomas D. Isern
"My dad grew up as WWII was taking his older brothers off to war or they were starting their own careers. So he, as a farm boy, lived through the end of the harvesting and threshing life and the start of the combine on our farm. As a farm boy myself, " Read more of this review »
Thomas Isern wants to read
Land-Grant Colleges and Popular Revolt by Nathan M Sorber
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Thomas Isern started reading
Buffalo Bird Woman's Garden by Gilbert Livingstone Wilson
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Thomas Isern rated a book it was amazing
The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich
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Reviewed as an upcoming feature in Plains Folk on Prairie Public radio. Truly a roots novel, and a resistance story, too. Into the historical developments of termination and relocation Erdrich embeds another engaging cast of characters. Memorable.
Thomas Isern is currently reading
The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee by David Treuer
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More of Thomas's books…
“Mountains are all right, I guess, because you can get on top of them and get a good view of the plains.”
Thomas D. Isern

“In Conclusion, let us inquire what has been and what is to be the Meaning of the Great Plains in American Life”
Walter P. Webb

“We agreed that no one who had not grown up in a little prairie town could know anything about it. It was a kind of freemasonry, we said.”
Willa Cather

“Once in his life a man ought to concentrate his mind upon the remembered earth. He ought to give himself up to a particular landscape in his experience; to look at it from as many angles as he can, to wonder about it, to dwell upon it. He ought to imagine that he touches it with his hands at every season and listens to the sounds that are made upon it. He ought to imagine the creatures there and all the faintest motions of the wind. He ought to recollect the glare of the moon and the colors of the dawn and dusk.”
N. Scott Momaday

“For history is a pontoon bridge. Every man walks and works at its building end, and has come as far as he has over the pontoons laid by others he may never have heard of.”
Wallace Stegner

“Why not a new village of farmers, citizens of the world through schools and radio and space-consuming transportation, grouped together in friendly sociability, building directly upon the soil?”
Angie Debo

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