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About the Book About the Author Programs and Special Events Discussion Groups Information about Chief Standing Bear Information about The Ponca Tribe Information about the the Ponca's Trail of Tears Information about U.S. Indian Policy of the late 1800s Information about Thomas Henry Tibbles Information about General George Crook Information about Judge Elmer Dundy Information about Bright Eyes Information about The Indian Territory Information about Omaha in the late 1800s Information about U.S. Law in the 1800s and the Natives Follow the Lincoln City Libraries Twitter feed for One Book updates! Become a Fan of the One Book One Lincoln Facebook page
One Book - One Lincoln - 2010

A Journey for Justice
In the Heart of America


The ninth One Book - One Lincoln community reading program began on September 13, 2010, with the announcement of Joe Starita's historical book, I Am a Man: Chief Standing Bear's Journey for Justice, as the selected title for 2010. The scheduled events of One Book -- One Lincoln -- 2010 will take place throughout September, October and early November.

I Am a Man by Joe Starita has been selected for the 2010 "One Book -- One Lincoln" program.

About One Book - One Lincoln - 2010

One Book - One Lincoln is a community reading program sponsored by Lincoln City Libraries. The program encourages all adults in Lincoln and Lancaster County to read and discuss the same book at the same time. The goal of the program is to encourage reading and dialogue by creating a community wide reading and discussion experience.

I Am a Man cover image The idea of city-wide reading programs started in Seattle in 1998 with the program "If All Seattle Read the Same Book" initiated by the Washington Center for the Book, located at the Seattle Public Library. The Library of Congress' Center for the Book reports that "One Book" programs are being introduced across the U.S.A. and around the world.

This is Lincoln's ninth year of the program. Since 2002, the citizens of Lincoln and the surrounding communities have been encouraged to read the same book each fall, and participate in special programming and book discussions. You can see an archive of the previous seven years worth of One Book - One Lincoln selections at our One Book main page.

Lincoln City Libraries Reference staff have compiled additional resources about I Am a Man and Joe Starita.

How can I participate?



We can provide a discussion leader for your group

So you want to have a One Book - One Lincoln discussion group, but you don't have a discussion leader? During September, October and November and beyond, Lincoln City Libraries staff will be available to organizations, businesses and clubs interested in hosting a discussion group. Visit our Finalists page, to request a book discussion leader via our online form, or for further information, call Lincoln City Libraries, 441-8562

What programs will there be?

Several special programs, including an appearance by author Joe Starita, are being scheduled at various locations during September, October or November with ties to the themes and events of I Am a Man. You can see descriptions at our Programs and Events page.

How was I Am a Man chosen?

A call for nominations from the community in January and February resulted in 230 nominations for 140 different titles being received. The general criteria for the title included:

  • Fiction or Non-Fiction
  • Of general interest to adults and young adults
  • Sparks thoughtful discussion
  • Easily available in paperback
  • Address universal themes of life
  • Readable

A selection committee with community-wide representation was formed to narrow the list down to twelve titles and ultimately the Five Finalists, which were announced to the public in May. Members of the selection committee included:

  • Gloria Strope, Chair
  • Bob Reeves
  • David Smith
  • Elaine Westbrook
  • Georgiana Lee
  • Jeff Kirkpatrick
  • Jerry Sellentin
  • Joan Ross
  • Julie Pokorny
  • Kate Janulewicz
  • Layne Pierce
  • Patty Beutler
  • Stephanie Geery-Zink
I Am a Man In 2010, for the first time, the public was invited to vote on which of the Five Finalists you would like to see as the ultimate selection for this year. The title you, the citizens of LIncoln, have selected is I Am a Man by Starita.

"In 1877, Chief Standing Bear's Ponca Indian tribe was forcibly removed from their Nebraska homeland and marched to what was then known as Indian Territory (now Oklahoma), in what became the tribe's own Trail of Tears. I Am a Man chronicles what happened when Standing Bear set off on a six-hundred-mile walk to return the body of his only son to their traditional burial ground. Along the way, it examines the complex relationship between the United States government and the small, peaceful tribe and the legal consequences of land swaps and broken treaties, while never losing sight of the heartbreaking journey the Ponca endured.

It is a story of survival — of a people left for dead who arose from the ashes of injustice, disease, neglect, starvation, humiliation, and termination. On another level, it is a story of life and death, despair and fortitude, freedom and patriotism. A story of Christian kindness and bureaucratic evil. And it is a story of hope — of a people still among us today, painstakingly preserving a cultural identity that had sustained them for centuries before their encounter with Lewis and Clark in the fall of 1804. Before it ends, Standing Bear's long journey home also explores fundamental issues of citizenship, constitutional protection, cultural identity, and the nature of democracy — issues that continue to resonate loudly in twenty-first-century America.

It is a story that questions whether native sovereignty, tribal-based societies, and cultural survival are compatible with American democracy. Standing Bear successfully used habeas corpus, the only liberty included in the original text of the Constitution, to gain access to a federal court and ultimately his freedom. This account aptly illuminates how the nation's delicate system of checks and balances worked almost exactly as the Founding Fathers envisioned, a system arguably out of whack and under siege today. Joe Starita's well-researched and insightful account reads like historical fiction as his careful characterizations and vivid descriptions bring this piece of American history brilliantly to life."

What other books were considered for 2010?

The other finalists in the top five for One Book - One Lincoln - 2010 were:

You can also Click Here for more detailed information about these, and the remainder of the top 12 finalists!

Elegance of the Hedgehog cover image    Tortilla Curtain cover image    Finding Nouf cover image    Loving Frank cover image   

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Back to the main One Book - One Lincoln - 2010 page

One Book - One Lincoln - 2009: The People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
One Book - One Lincoln - 2008: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
One Book - One Lincoln - 2007: The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan
One Book - One Lincoln - 2006: The Devil in the White City by Erik larson
One Book - One Lincoln - 2005: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
One Book - One Lincoln - 2004: Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
One Book - One Lincoln - 2003: Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
One Book - One Lincoln - 2002: Plainsong by Kent Haruf