Official Website of NEW South Dakota Author
Don Barnett served as mayor of Rapid City from 1971 to 1975 when disaster and civil unrest threatened to tear the city apart. With his riveting insider’s view, Barnett tells the story of the flood of 1972, which claimed the lives of 238 people and displaced more than a thousand families. Months later, tensions between the Native and non-Native communities in western South Dakota exploded as the American Indian Movement protested injustice and racism in the city. Thorns & Roses is a must read for anyone current and former residents of Rapid City and others interested in this important chapter in American History.
Harold Higgins, retired president and publisher, St. Paul (MN) Pioneer Press,
and chairman of the board, Northwest Publishing.
“A harrowing true story about a young Army veteran who becomes mayor of his hometown. Immediately he was faced with a devastating fatal flood that killed hundreds and destroyed a large swath of his city. Rebuilding had barely begun when race relations with Native American citizens violently boiled over . . . "
Map Credit: Owen J. Larimer, USGS (1973)