Bad Land by Jonathan Raban
An American Romance

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Synopsis

Seduced by the government's offer of 320 acres per homesteader, Americans and Europeans rushed to Montana and the Dakotas to fulfill their own American dream in the first decade of this century. Raban's stunning evocation of the harrowing, desperate reality behind the homesteader's dream strips away the myth--while preserving the romance--that has shrouded our understanding of our own heartland.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Jonathan Raban

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Jonathan Raban is the author, most recently, of the novels Surveillance and Waxwings; his nonfiction includes Passage to Juneau and Bad Land. His honors include the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/West Creative Nonfiction Award, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers' Award, and the Governor's Award of the State of Washington. He lives in Seattle.
 
Published July 20, 2011 by Vintage. 340 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction, Romance, Travel, Education & Reference, Horror. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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As settlers gradually deserted Ismay, they left behind signs of their failure, so that when Raban passed through, ``for every surviving ranch, I passed a dozen ruined houses.'' Yet Ismay, conceived by advertising, still could not resist making a bundle off a promotion, as seen in a hilarious reco...

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Publishers Weekly

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Raban (Old Glory), an Englishman now settled in Seattle, has written a vivid and utterly idiosyncratic social history of the homesteading movement in eastern Montana that went boom and bust during the first three decades of this century.

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Publishers Weekly

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This account of the author's travels through homesteaded Montana won the NBCC nonfiction prize.

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People

Subtitled An American Romance, this engaging history of Montana, like many a love affair, is a story of dreams, deceit and heartbreak.

Jan 27 1997 | Read Full Review of Bad Land: An American Romance

London Review of Books

If I thought that was the business I was in, I’d slit my throat.’ Bad Land, Raban’s new book about Montana, examines the present remains and historical origins of the last great wave of American western settlement, the migration of homesteaders to eastern Montana in the first decade of this century.

May 24 2012 | Read Full Review of Bad Land: An American Romance

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