There is an excellent book about the grasslands in North America, focusing largely on the Great Plains. It’s called Grassland – The History, Biology, Politics, and Promise of the American Prairie by Richard Manning. That’s a lot of heady topics to cover, but Manning does an excelent job, and the book is full of insights into the beautiful, yet troubled nature of the Great Plains. I take the following excerpt from Chapter One – The Promise of Grass:
Grass has relevance to each of our lives, although almost none of us lives in the sweep of plain between the Mississippi and the Rocky Mountains and the smaller grassland domains west of the Rockies. We are all creatures of grass, if only because grassland defines a world that we are not and so defines us like the black defines the day. It is silent; we are not. It is free, and we are not. It is large to a degree we cannot comprehend, so much so that we as a nation have spent 150 years in an assault on its whole, trying to reduce it to bits that fit our grasp.