75 Significant Books, Part One

75thStacked_smallAs the largest and most diversified press between Chicago and California, the University of Nebraska Press is best known for publishing works in Native studies, history, sports, anthropology, geography, American studies, and creative works.

In celebration of the press’s seventy-fifth anniversary, the staff has selected seventy-five of the four thousand books UNP has published since 1941 to represent what is most distinctive and significant about our list. We have included books we originally published under the Nebraska imprint, the Bison Books imprint, the Potomac Books imprint, and the Jewish Publication Society collaborative agreement. When we have selected a book series we have listed the year the first book in the series was published.

Here are the first eight significant books.

  1. Roundup: A Nebraska Reader (1957) complied and edited by Virginia Faulkner. The ninety-odd pieces were selected for their richness in human interest, historical significance, and entertainment value. This is a collection of native Nebraska writers convincing its readers that there is indeed no place like Nebraska.
  2. Nebraska Folklore (1959)  by Louise Pound. Put together the year after Pound’s death, this collection is made up of her best works in folklore. Going beyond Nebraska, the book ends with studies of the origins of American cowboy and folk songs and of the use of dialect in folklore.
  3. Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglalas Sioux (1961) by John G. Neihardt. The story of the Oglala Lakota visionary and healer Nicholas Black Elk (1863–1950) and his people during momentous twilight years of the nineteenth century.
  4. Crazy Horse: The Strange Man of the Oglalas (1961) by Mari Sandoz. The classic story of legendary Sioux military leader Crazy Horse.
  5. The Collected Poems of Weldon Kees (1962) edited by Donald Justice. A showcases of the dark brilliance and absorbing vision of one of America’s most fascinating artistic and literary figures, Weldon Kees (1914–55).
  6. A Cycle of the West (1963) by John G. Neihardt. A sweeping saga of the American West and Neihardt’s exhilarating vision of frontier history. It celebrates the land and legends of the Old West in five narrative poems: The Song of Three Friends (1919), The Song of Hugh Glass (1915), The Song of Jed Smith (1941), The Song of the Indian Wars (1925), and The Song of the Messiah (1935).
  7. The World of Yesterday (1964) by Stefan Zweig. The autobiography of Austrian writer Zweig detailing his life as a young artist at the turn of the century.
  8. A Primer for Poets (1965) by Karl Shapiro.