Cattle Kingdom by Christopher Knowlton
The Hidden History of the Cowboy West

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Though without the encompassing narrative fire of a Stegner or McMurtry, a pleasing contribution to the history of the post–Civil War frontier.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

 A revolutionary new appraisal of the Old West and the America it made

The open range cattle era lasted barely a quarter-century, but it left America irrevocably changed. These few decades following the Civil War brought America its greatest boom-and-bust cycle until the Depression, the invention of the assembly line, and the dawn of the conservation movement. It inspired legends, such as that icon of rugged individualism, the cowboy. Yet this extraordinary time and its import have remained unexamined for decades.

Cattle Kingdom reveals the truth of how the West rose and fell, and how its legacy defines us today. The tale takes us from dust-choked cattle drives to the unlikely splendors of boomtowns like Abilene, Kansas, and Cheyenne, Wyoming. We venture from the Texas Panhandle to the Dakota Badlands to the Chicago stockyards. We meet a diverse array of players—from the expert cowboy Teddy Blue to the failed rancher and future president Teddy Roosevelt. Knowlton shows us how they and others like them could achieve so many outsized feats: killing millions of bison in a decade, building the first opera house on the open range, driving cattle by the thousand, and much more. Cattle Kingdom is a revelatory new view of the Old West.
 

About Christopher Knowlton

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CHRISTOPHER KNOWLTON is a former staff writer and London bureau chief for Fortune magazine. He spent fifteen years on Wall Street, most of them as president of Knowlton Brothers, Inc., an investment management firm. He is a trustee of the Teton Raptor Center and the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. He and his wife, Pippa, live in Jackson, Wyoming. Author Image 1
 
Published May 30, 2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 448 pages
Genres: History, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Cattle Kingdom
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Above average
on Mar 07 2017

Though without the encompassing narrative fire of a Stegner or McMurtry, a pleasing contribution to the history of the post–Civil War frontier.

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Edward dolnick on Jun 02 2017

...this lively history evokes the headiest days of the housing bubble of the early 2000s or the tulip mania that hypnotized Holland in the 1600s.

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