Professor Robert Wright Authors Book on SD Economic History

"Little Business on the Prairie: Entrepreneurship, Prosperity, and Challenge in South Dakota," is the latest book by economic historian and Augustana's Nef Family Chair of Political Economy Dr. Robert Wright.

"Little Business on the Prairie: Entrepreneurship, Prosperity, and Challenge in South Dakota,” the latest book by Dr. Robert Wright, Augustana's Nef Family Chair of Political Economy, examines South Dakota's economic history through the lenses of its public policies, politics, and institutions of governance.

Published by the Center for Western Studies, the book demonstrates that even an economy a long distance from major markets and low population density, will still thrive if it is governed efficiently.

“The entrepreneurial energy of scores of South Dakotans first got me interested in the subject,” Wright said. “The students in my history of entrepreneurship course further stimulated and encouraged me. Along with some important community members like Joe Kirby, they helped me to hit upon the notion that the Dakotas were really two Dakotas in three different ways — North and South; East and West; and most important Euroamerican and Native — and that, another author once wrote, made all the difference.”

Wright is currently working on another book in the “Slavery Since Emancipation” series.

About the Author

Robert E. Wright is the Nef Family Chair of Political Economy at Augustana College, where he has taught courses in business, economics, government, and history since 2009. He is the co-author or co-editor of more than 20 books, including most recently Corporation Nation (2014), Guide to U.S. Economic Policy (2014), and Genealogy of American Finance (2015). Dr. Wright has taught at Temple University, the University of Virginia, and New York University's Stern School of Business before coming to Augustana. He is currently editor of the Cambridge University Press monograph series "Slaveries Since Emancipation" and a member of the board of Historians Against Slavery. His articles on current trends in business have appeared in Barron’s, the Los Angeles Times,, and Moody’s  He has been a guest on National Public Radio, C-SPAN, the BBC, The Lou Dobbs Show, and Larry Kane: Voice of Reason.