Friday, October 16, 2009
Governor "Wild Bill" Langer was probably the most colorful politician in North Dakota's history once Teddy Roosevelt moved away. Langer notoriously called up the National Guard to prevent himself from being removed from office — he locked the doors, barred the windows, and issued declarations, one of which I've heard sounds a lot like assertion that North Dakota is a sovereign state immune from national laws, which may or may not be true. That's what I'm hoping to learn more about in this book, The Dakota Maverick: the Political life of William Langer. It's not a common book, having been published and printed right here in Fargo, so when I was recently at BDS Books, browsing their North Dakota section, I bought a copy with highlighting inside and missing its dust jacket, because the better copies were all running in the $15 to $30 range. Two weeks later, I'm at the thrift shop and run across the one pictured to the left: clean interior, with dustjacket, seventy-five cents. Oh well, now I've got two, one with the important parts already isolated for me, and one for the bookshelf.