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Kansas Notable Author coming to library
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Kansas Notable Author Lynda Beck Fenwick will visit the Great Bend Public Library at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18.

Fenwick is the author of “Prairie Bachelor: The Story of a Kansas Homesteader and the Populist Movement,” a Kansas Notable book for 2021. She based her book on the 480-page journal of Stafford County homesteader Isaac Beckley Werner.

Fenwick will talk about her book and her findings while researching it, finding the Populist thinking that would eventually take hold in numerous ways, big and small, in American life. It would make a mark the imprint of which can be seen in the nation’s political culture to this day.

Expanding her search to local cemeteries, courthouses, museums and fields where homesteaders once staked their claims, Fenwick reveals a farming community much denser than today’s, where Prohibition, women’s rights, and income inequality were shared concerns, and where enduring problems, like substance abuse, immigration, and racial bias, made an early appearance.

The Populist Movement both arose from and focused upon these issues, as Werner’s journal demonstrates; and in his world of farmers, small-town businessmen, engaged women, and working people, Fenwick will discuss how her book shows the lived reality of a rural populism that would forever alter the American political scene.