(DOWNLOAD) [Bad Land An American Romance] AUTHOR Jonathan Raban

Rgotten the misguided scientific schemes promoted or dictated by federal outsiders and paternalistic politicians which in the end seemed chiefly to line the pockets of wealthy easterners In such light Global Warming can sound like ust the latest such scientific scheme to benefit outsidersAlthough Raban s penchant for arrresting turns of phrase may occasionally take his generalizations a little too far his portraits of individual players in this epic big sky drama are vivid personal and freuently sympathetic His freuent digressions into such areas as the science of dry farming authors representations of that world out west textbooks and turn of the century education political schemes may occasionally sprawl like the landscape The chapter on capturing the look of the land in the mind s eye and the camera lens worked particularly well for me though the failure to include illustrations seemed a missed opportunity Raban s carefully crafted prose gets the reader only so farI started the book put it down then took it up again a week or two later and found that it was growing on me I also found myself talking about it to others not something that happens with a lot of my idle reading When I first moved to South Dakota a bookseller friend recommended this book as an avenue to understanding the people and the place that has now been my home for to understanding the people and the place that has now been my home for a decade Raban writes as an outsider seeing the Great Plains through personal discovery of the land artifacts historical records and conversations So he walks through one of the prairie skeletons that dot the western prairies and describes what he sees the things left by the unfortunate prairie skeletons that dot the western prairies and describes what he sees the things left by the unfortunate back in the Thirties who despaired of making a living from the parched earth and left hurriedly He describes the lives of early settlers and the role that railroads ideas like dry earth farming and romantic notions of the West played in their decision to migrate He combs local historical records to learn about his subjectsThe book is haunting and as beautifully written as anything Raban has done that is to say well written indeed It especially helped me to understand the conservatism of those who stayed I picked this book up on the advice of the gossip monger of Terry Montana Terry is my favorite town ever but I can t live there because there are no obs and the wind would cause me to go insane run away and live in a creek bed with my horse and then drown in a sudden summer storm in a flash flood which would lead the creek to be known as lead the creek to be known as Crazy Woman CreekThe book a good telling of a myriad of experiences of the homesteaders of the early 20th century in the dryland region of Eastern Montana It s biased by the author in parts which led to some of the families it was written about being pretty angry at Mr RabanDid you know that of all the immigration throughout America s history the state that recieved the MOST immigrants was actually Montana And did you know that its homestead boom peaked relatively late with land still being settled for the first time in 1920No one lives there any Hardly anyone is left of the original homesteaders especially after the great Depression One of the reasons I love Terry so much is that the road out of town is Bad Route Road Also because there s so many abandoned homesteads and such a big sky and so much waving grass and the rivers are silty and the cactus stab through my cowgirl boots and there are secret graves of homesteaders cowboys and indians scattered about on private lands When Carrie and I were there the woman at the Prairie County Museum showed me a photo of the class of 1914 which was maybe 45 kids Then she showed me a picture of the class of 2004 which was 12 I m not sure how to feel about that should I be upset at the death of another community Or should I be happy the land is returning to wildness Or the failure of man and the triumph of nature Or the general de settlement of the plains. T to attract football fans and in the landscape in between Raban unearths a vanished episode of American history with its own ruins its own heroes and heroines its own hopeful myths and bitter memories Startlingly observed beautifully written this book is a contemporary classic of the American West Exceptional   A beautifully told historical meditation TimeChampionship prose   In fifty years don't be surprised if Bad Land is a landmark Los Angeles Time. ,



Man I put this book to rest at pg 140 really disappointed but I ust wasn t interested in it other than being about Montana and some random people and families connected to THE REGION I WASN T SURE region I wasn t sure the purpose was in writing it other than Raban putting This book has been on my radar since it was published in 1998 so yes that s a very long timeMr Raban goes to Montana and explores the promises that brought a generation of homesteaders to the state in the early 1900s how their dreams worked out badly for as we know now these poor souls were looking at the dust bowl and Great Depression in ust a generation It was a little weird for me to figure out he was British That was never mentioned directly and instead I was left to figure it out when he freuently compared the scenery to England instead of say Iowa It was odd not only to not have that addressed specifically but to have a Brit writing about something so incredibly AmericanBut that said it was a terrific book He really captured the hope and optimism while showing the marketing that was used to obscure the inevitable difficulties It kept bringing me back to memories of The Little House books of how hard and rewarding farming can be and how the hope for the future can conuer any ualms Mr Raban s love of the region is palpable and his respect the for people is admirable His writing is fluid and his descriptions are evocative I do wish there was a photo section not only of the geography but of the people who lived there and of the old photos he talks about finding but also from the famous photographers who were in the area and documented the lifeOverall I did like the book a lot while it left me wanting the images particularly it mostly left me wanting to visit the region I d love to see the buttes and the badlands he s talking about Anyone who s interested in the American West needs to read this book for a better understanding of our heartland If you ever wanted to know why the people of the Northwest and we RE NOT TALKING THE CITYFOLK IN SEATTLE THINK AND not talking the cityfolk in Seattle think and they way they do then this is the book you need to read to understand the history behind the politics and attitudes of today This is a fascinating look at the history of a particular period and area of our country and Bad Land pays big dividends for those who decide they want to know some things they otherwise might not One of my favorite non fiction books Early in the twentieth century homesteaders came to the dry Eastern plains of Montana from all over including Europe Scandinavia the East Coast of the United States They were drawn by government offers of free land and by artfully deceptive pamphlets with instruction on the new scientific method of dry farming After a few hopeful seasons the rain stopped the land dried up and these determined newcomers were ruined Some hung on to the land others fled west heartbroken and eager f Strange that there isn t a genre of literature devoted to place Sure there are travel books but these tend to suggest dalliances adventures that are measured in days passports tourism But I find myself increasingly drawn to books and authors that explore locations as biographers would explore lives delving into personalities histories parentage lovers abusers and the details that so many casual passers by might miss Jonathan Raban s exploration of the ruined Eastern stretches of Montana truly vivify that sparse and lonely place He describes the poetic ghostliness of the abandoned ranches towns and schoolhouses that dot the landscape and the forces that both drew settlers in and forced them out of their American Dream The way towns were created from dust and clapboard placed along regular intervals on the railway and then filled with dreamers who believed the glossy brochures they were sent about soil uality and abundance in the West He talks about the fickle nature of the rain in a place where even slight variations can tip A New York Times Editors' Choice for Book of the Year Winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award Winner of the PEN West Creative Nonfiction AwardNo one has evoked with greater power the marriage of land and sky that gives this country both its beauty and its terror Washington Post Book WorldIn 1909 maps still identified eastern Montana as the Great American Desert  But in that year Congress lobbied heavily by railroad companies offered 320 acre tr. He balance between subsistence and ruin He takes us to the farm where his father lived as a child still filled with the objects and memories his father was so keen to leave behind And he shows us the people who still cling with great tenacity to these vast and delicate soiled plainsI have been to Eastern Montana a few times but mostly explored cities and towns like Billings and Livingston I did drive through the empty uiet stretches near Kalispell and the Native American reservation there that hint of the desolation about which Raban speaks But reading his book makes me want to go back again to look closely and to photograph the little outposts that remain before they disappear completely Fascinating and well written The book follows closely a group of families that settled in the same area near Ismay MT Those that managed to stay and those that picked up and headed west It is now CLEAR THAT MOST OF THE AREA IS MUCH TOO that most of the area is much too to farm and is
livestock land he 
land He to their kids and grandkids reads their writings and uses a book of interviews of people from the area that was put together in 1972My sister gave this book to me She picked this book up because our mom was born in 1920 in Glasgow MT Different railroad the book follows the Milwaukie Road Glasgow is on the Great Northern same scene Our grandfather had arrived before the homestead act and worked for the railroad He worked for the land office and proved up on a claim Our grandmother came west from New York state to teach at the high school Her mom had let her come because her older brother was already established in Glasgow as an attorney Mom said that after a drought a flood and a year when everyone grew a bumper crop of feed corn and the bottom dropped out of the market grandpa pulled up stakes and headed east to St Paul in about 1925 Mom also said that her oldest sister was getting ready to go to high school and grandpa had said that he wanted something better for his daughters than to be farm or ranch wives He sold his land to a family that raised sheep If you like this book I would also recommend Miles from Nowhere and Nothing To Do But Stay in my list 35 stars Some beautiful thoughtful writing Some of it was also slow as molasses and I thought some connections the author made seemed tenuous if elegant but I learned a lot and am glad I read it In the early 20th century railroad companies and the US government teamed up to settle the area of eastern Montana then known on maps as the Great American Desert with homesteaders They touted the benefits of a new agricultural trend called dry farming That the latter was a mug s game was not immediately apparent since the railways began importing hopeful homesteaders during a brief series of years with higher than usual rainfall Over time however the region dried out "again and emptied itself of most of the homesteaders Evocative descriptions of the landscape interesting history "and emptied itself of most of the homesteaders Evocative descriptions of the landscape interesting history Raban wrote this 20 years ago though Goodreads claims 30 it resonates aptly in these days or political grudges and tribalism The author is a Brit writing as a somewhat arch occasionally patronizing but often elouent outsider about the trials challenges and defeats of homesteading eastern Montana in the early 1900s taking a long view of the aftermath of those earlier events Wannabee homesteaders fell for the line of government scientific and railroad colluders promoting the surefire scheme of dry farming Replace scientists with evangelical Christian preachers hoodwinking Swedish immigrants fifty years earlier and you ve got the life situation of my great great grandparents who got off the train in Salina in 1869 expecting central Kansas to be a land of milk and honey ust like V rmland For many who made the trek it did not end well Raban reconstructs the 1910s to 1930s struggles of several families but also tracks their descendents down through the 1990s Later generations have not fo. Acts of land to anyone bold or foolish enough to stake a claim to them Drawn by shamelessly inventive brochures countless homesteaders many of them immigrants went west to make their fortunes Most failed In Bad Land Jonathan Raban travels through the unforgiving country that was the scene of their dreams and undoing and makes their story come miraculously alive     In towns named Terry Calypso and Ismay which changed its name to Joe Montana in an effor. ,

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Bad Land An American Romance