The Great Divide by Gary Ferguson
The Rocky Mountains in the American Mind

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FOR MOST 0F OUR NATION'S HISTORY, Americans have identified with the "purple mountain majesties" of the Rockies. Trappers and debutantes, miners and missionaries, artists and drinkers, escaped slaves, independent women abandoning hoopskirts, and assorted black sheep of respectable families have all sought refuge and inspiration there. This spectacular landscape has always offered a sense of freedom from crowds and conformity--a world, as Frederic Remington described it, "beyond derby hats and mortgages bearing eight percent." Gary Ferguson spins magnificent tales about the vivid characters who have peopled this majestic region, from the original Indian inhabitants and their interactions with European explorers, to the delirious victims of gold rush fever, to hippies in the Sixties, to today's adventure travelers in high-tech outerwear toting satellite phones into the wild. Throughout, he explores the ebbs and flows ol America's attitude toward the vast expanses that embody our sense of freedom.
 

About Gary Ferguson

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Gary Ferguson has written more than a dozen books on nature and science. His 1997 book, "The Sylvan Path: A Journey Through America's Forests "(released in trade paperback as "Through the Woods"), was a winner of the prestigious Lowell Thomas Awards, "Spirits of the Wild: The World's Great Nature Myths "was selected by the New York City Public Library as one of the best books of 1996. He is a frequent speaker and lecturer on a variety of social conservation issues, and his nature-oriented essays can be heard on National Public Radio affiliates throughout the country. He and his wife, Jane, live in Red Lodge, Montana. For more information, visit Gary at his web site: www.wildwords.net.
 
Published August 16, 2004 by W. W. Norton & Company. 288 pages
Genres: History, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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Ferguson has a fine appreciation for the feel of the Mountain West and the sometimes tetchy sensibilities of its inhabitants—case in point a Montana politico who, upset at Redbook magazine’s use of the phrase “Big Sky Country” for the whole of the region, wrote a letter to the editor reminding re...

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