• Published December 2018 by WordsWorth Publishing in Cody, Wyoming


    Howard Zinn and Lois Mottonen Fistfight in the Equality State
    by Rodger McDaniel with Lois Mottonen





    Back Cover/Description:

    Howard Zinn...meet Wyoming. The two will become acquainted through the life story of Lois Mottonen. Professor Zinn's "A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present," is an honest look at U.S. history, the sort of which Lois Mottonen took of Wyoming.

    Sherman Alexie's classic, "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven," provided readers a glimpse into the importance of symbols and images in building a non-existent reality.

    This book, "Howard Zinn and Lois Mottonen Fistfight in the Equality State," is an attempt tell a Zinn-like history of how Wyoming's women, working people and racial, ethnic, and religious are treated. It exposes the truth about the cultural wars that undermine the myth that Wyoming is the Equality State in the context of the experiences of the Mottonen family who lived in Wyoming from the beginning,

    While wishing for a better Wyoming, Lois's memoir poses the troubling question Sherman Alexie asked in his 2017 poem entitled "Hymn."

    But, how much do you love the strange and the stranger?
    Hey, Caveman, do you see only danger
    When you peer into the night? Are you afraid
    Of the country that exists outside your cave?
    Hey, Caveman, when are you going to evolve?
    Are you still afraid of the way the earth revolves
    Around the sun and not the other way around?
    Are you terrified of the ever-shifting ground?

    My Shorter Review of the Book (11/2019)

    A startling memoir of a remarkable woman who was born, raised, educated, and employed in Wyoming. In 2017, at the age of 88, Lois Mottonen died. But before she did, she told McDaniel her stories.

    Most of Wyoming’s human rights history is not flattering and much of it is disturbing. Mottonen, who experienced many different aspects of life in Wyoming, shares event after poignant event—accompanied by fact after painful fact. Specifically of the different and varied injustices that Wyoming bestows on anyone who is a non-“white, male, Christian, heterosexual” (p. 127).

    I myself have been living in Wyoming for four years and reading this was verification for what I see, and have problems with, constantly. Wyoming’s undeserving motto is a farce in comparison with its laws, policies, priorities, and politicians.

    Well-written and chronologically organized, the astute use of the historical record as backup for Mottonen’s experiences leaves no room for argument or subjectivity. It is simply a succinct work revealing Wyoming's unethical motives and agendas from its inception as a state to the present day…and just happens to be a fascinating read.

    I read some chapters over and over because I could not believe someone actually lived, captured, and published the cruel reality of being a minority in Wyoming with such detail and such innocence.

    Written from the viewpoint of a trusted, honored, and admired Wyoming woman, this is a no holds barred witness account of the unfair and corrupt behaviors of those in power who continue—to this day—to exploit its most vulnerable residents. I think Howard Zinn would be proud to have his name associated with this book.


    My Longer, Detailed ReviewCR

This portfolio last updated: 20-Jul-2022 4:53 PM