cover of book

The Other Missouri History: Populists, Prostitutes, and Regular Folk
edited by Thomas M. Spencer
introduction by Thomas M. Spencer
University of Missouri Press, 2005
eISBN: 978-0-8262-6430-5 | Paper: 978-0-8262-1565-9
Library of Congress Classification F466.5.O86 2004
Dewey Decimal Classification 977.8


The essays in The Other Missouri History explore a wide range of topics in Missouri social history. By dealing with the lives of ordinary Missourians, these pieces examine the effects of significant social and economic change at all levels of society. With a broader scope in Missouri history than previous studies, this book demonstrates how Missourians have been affected by issues of race, class, and gender.

Gregg Andrews's essay, “The Racial Politics of Reconstruction in Ralls County, 1865–1870,” examines how race shaped the political culture in Ralls County during the Reconstruction Era. Andrews argues that race-baiting was used prominently by editors of the Ralls County Record to discredit Radicals in the county and was perhaps the most powerful political weapon that conservatives and later Democrats could use to gain the allegiance of voters.

Farmers are another popular topic for those practicing the “other Missouri history.” Michael J. Steiner's “The Failure of Alliance/Populism in Northern Missouri” provides insight into the economic and rhetorical reasons for the failure of Populism in Missouri. Steiner contends that white farmers in northern Missouri were happy with the status quo and rejected calls for radical reform and major change in the agricultural economy.

Women began to become active in public life during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Janice Brandon-Falcone's “Constance Runcie and the Runcie Club of St. Joseph” examines the first two decades of an important women's club that still exists in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Also included in The Other Missouri History are essays by Deborah J. Henry, Daniel A. Graff, Bonnie Stepenoff, Robert Faust, and Amber R. Clifford.

Because of the diverse issues addressed, this volume will appeal to general readers of Missouri and Midwestern history, as well as to those who teach courses in history and have sought a supplemental text.

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