Howard Zinn and Lois Mottonen Fistfight in the Equality State

by Rodger McDaniel with Lois Mottonen

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?

Book Information

  • $15 paperback
  • 172 pages, 5.5″ x 8.5″
  • Black and white photographs
  • Published December 2018
  • ISBN 9780989640572
  • Subject: History, Wyoming



Howard Zinn & Lois Mottonen Fistfight in the Equality State is an excellent book. I appreciate your publishing McDaniel & Lois’s work. This read was one of the highlights of my year. It’s quite a relief to have validation in my own rebuking of Wyoming’s motto, motives, and hypocrisies. Mottonen writes a first hand account of all the issues which I consider preposterous in this state. It’s reassuring to read a factual memoir of an honorable woman’s Wyoming experience. From the daughter of a poor, uneducated, European immigrant and long-time volunteer for the exploited and underprivileged; Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Tina Jayroe