"Anyone who wants to have a better understanding of the development of the American west in the twentieth century should read this book."—Canadian Journal of History
"This is an important book because it dares to take on--with much success--a topic, a region, and indeed a state of mind, none of which can be defined without considerable ambiguity or controversy. Hurt approaches the Great Plains primarily through social history, but also incorporates environmental, economic, and political history masterfully in this synthesis." --David Vaught, author of After the Gold Rush: Tarnished Dreams in the Sacramento Valley
"Hurt’s new book presents a vast array of information about the 20th-century Great Plains and includes a wealth of notes to sources that will lead many readers into a rich literature and perhaps inspire more research and publishing about the Plains. The Big Empty will ultimately take its place alongside other classic works of history about the Great Plains, including James Malin’s The Grassland of North America, Walter Prescott Webb’s The Great Plains and Everett Dick’s The Sod House Frontier." –Prairie Fire
From the Inside Flap
This narrative shows that even though Great Plains history is fraught with personal and group tensions, violence, and distress, the twentieth century also brought about compelling social, economic, and political change.