Published On: March 9, 2020
Napoleon Bonaparte once told his courtiers that true leadership required the ability to inspire those who would follow. A leader is a dealer in hope, he insisted. This kind of leadership inspired farmers of North Dakota to form the Nonpartisan League in 1915. Inspired by charismatic leaders including a stem-winding speaker who told his lieutenants to lie to the farmers when it helped the cause, a future governor who would survive a series of scandals, and a talented lawyer who was perpetually threatened by debt the League sparked similar actions in neighboring states. The League s best times were brief, but what they achieved influenced national legislation and programs that aid American farmers to this day.
Drawing on newspapers, interviews and collections of private papers, Sons of the Wild Jackass uses ground-level perspectives to tell the story of the League.