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Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



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1 Burnside Pacific Northwest- Montana

Bad Land: An American Romance

by

Bad Land: An American Romance Cover

 

Awards

National Book Critics Circle Award for General Nonfiction, 1996
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 Award

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In 1909 maps still identified eastern Montana as the Great American Desert. But in that year Congress, lobbied heavily by railroad companies, offered 320-acre tracts 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 effort 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.

Review:

"No 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 World

Review:

"Exceptional....A beautifully told historical meditation." Time

Review:

"Championship prose....In fifty years don't be surprised if Bad Land is a landmark." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"[V]ivid and utterly idiosyncratic....This seemingly informal yet careful blend of chronicle and personal reportage is social history at its best." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"[A]s good a book as I have read about rural America in a very long time....[It] reminds the reader how much America has always been nourished by the optimism of its immigrants." Verlyn Klinkenborg, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"A stunning triumph." Newsday

Review:

"Raban crafts this sad tale magnificently, contrasting the emigrant's hope and determination with the bad faith of those who led them blindly into this forbidding landscape. It's a bitter, compellingly-told tale." Dwight Garner, Salon

Review:

"Raban shows a travel writer's eye and a social critic's sensibilities while probing the land, homesteaders' journals and letters, and the reminiscences of their descendants. Recommended." Library Journal

Review:

"[A] masterpiece in which we clearly see the vivid paradoxes of America's history and Raban on his own personal journey, as one of our wisest and most articulate travellers." Paul Theroux, author of My Other Life

Review:

"Because Mr. Raban is both English and a marvelous observer, he sees aspects of the plains invisible to the native-born. At once expansive and intimate, Bad Land is a valuable addition to the literature of the West." Ian Frazier, author of Great Plains

Review:

"Bad Land is uncommon in its conception and its exquisite perceptiveness....Raban is searching and compassionate, even mirthful, as captivated by his story as an African explorer." Richard Ford, author of Independence Day

Synopsis:

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 Award

"No 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 World

In 1909 maps still identified eastern Montana as the Great American Desert.  But in that year Congress, lobbied heavily by railroad companies, offered 320-acre tracts 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 effort 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. "

--Time

"Championship prose. . . .  In fifty years don't be surprised if Bad Land is a landmark."

--Los Angeles Times

About the Author

Jonathan Raban is the author of Soft City, Arabia, Old Glory, Foreign Land, For Love and Money, Coasting, and Hunting Mr. Heartbreak. He won the W.H. Heinemann Award for Literature in 1982 and the Thomas Cook Award in 1981 and 1991. He has also edited the Oxford Book of the Sea. He lives in Seattle.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780679759065
Author:
Raban, Jonathan
Publisher:
Vintage Books USA
Author:
Raban, Jonathan
Location:
New York :
Subject:
History
Subject:
American
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
United States - 19th Century/Old West
Subject:
West (u.s.)
Subject:
Frontier and pioneer life
Subject:
Montana
Subject:
Frontier and pioneer life -- West (U.S.)
Subject:
United States - State & Local - General
Subject:
Government - U.S. Government
Subject:
West (U.S.) Description and travel.
Subject:
US History-19th Century
Copyright:
Edition Number:
Reprint ed.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage Departures
Publication Date:
October 1997
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
2 MAPS
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
7.94x5.26x.98 in. .69 lbs.

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Related Subjects

» History and Social Science » Americana » General
» History and Social Science » Americana » Western States
» History and Social Science » Pacific Northwest » Montana
» History and Social Science » Pacific Northwest » Washington » General
» History and Social Science » Politics » General
» History and Social Science » US History » 19th Century

Bad Land: An American Romance Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.50 In Stock
Product details 384 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9780679759065 Reviews:
"Review" by , "No one has evoked with greater power the marriage of land and sky that gives this country both its beauty and its terror."
"Review" by , "Exceptional....A beautifully told historical meditation."
"Review" by , "Championship prose....In fifty years don't be surprised if Bad Land is a landmark."
"Review" by , "[V]ivid and utterly idiosyncratic....This seemingly informal yet careful blend of chronicle and personal reportage is social history at its best."
"Review" by , "[A]s good a book as I have read about rural America in a very long time....[It] reminds the reader how much America has always been nourished by the optimism of its immigrants."
"Review" by , "A stunning triumph."
"Review" by , "Raban crafts this sad tale magnificently, contrasting the emigrant's hope and determination with the bad faith of those who led them blindly into this forbidding landscape. It's a bitter, compellingly-told tale."
"Review" by , "Raban shows a travel writer's eye and a social critic's sensibilities while probing the land, homesteaders' journals and letters, and the reminiscences of their descendants. Recommended."
"Review" by , "[A] masterpiece in which we clearly see the vivid paradoxes of America's history and Raban on his own personal journey, as one of our wisest and most articulate travellers."
"Review" by , "Because Mr. Raban is both English and a marvelous observer, he sees aspects of the plains invisible to the native-born. At once expansive and intimate, Bad Land is a valuable addition to the literature of the West."
"Review" by , "Bad Land is uncommon in its conception and its exquisite perceptiveness....Raban is searching and compassionate, even mirthful, as captivated by his story as an African explorer."
"Synopsis" by , 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 Award

"No 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 World

In 1909 maps still identified eastern Montana as the Great American Desert.  But in that year Congress, lobbied heavily by railroad companies, offered 320-acre tracts 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 effort 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. "

--Time

"Championship prose. . . .  In fifty years don't be surprised if Bad Land is a landmark."

--Los Angeles Times

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