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 Best Books About Montana #2, Donator Hal Neumann, 6/2/2006 5:10:53 AM
 RE: Best Books About Montana #2Donator Hal Neumann, 6/2/2006 5:13:24 AM
 RE: Best Books About Montana #2, Frank E. Ross, 6/2/2006 10:59:53 AM
 RE: Best Books About Montana #2, Frank E. Ross, 6/4/2006 3:11:47 AM
 RE: Best Books About Montana #2Donator Hal Neumann, 6/4/2006 5:18:55 AM
 RE: Best Books About Montana #2, Betty Emilsson, 6/4/2006 8:14:05 AM
 RE: Best Books About Montana #2, Frank E. Ross, 6/4/2006 7:14:17 PM
 RE: Best Books About Montana #2, Frank E. Ross, 6/4/2006 7:16:09 PM
 RE: Best Books About Montana #2Donator Hal Neumann, 6/5/2006 6:52:13 AM
 RE: Best Books About Montana #2, Big Dave, 6/5/2006 4:46:25 PM
 RE: Best Books About Montana #2Donator Gunnar Emilsson, 6/5/2006 8:20:50 PM
 RE: Best Books About Montana #2, Frank E. Ross, 6/5/2006 9:35:32 PM
 RE: Best Books About Montana #2Donator Hal Neumann, 6/7/2006 10:03:41 AM
 RE: Best Books About Montana #2, Frank E. Ross, 6/7/2006 11:11:01 AM
 RE: Best Books About Montana #2Donator Hal Neumann, 6/12/2006 8:20:21 AM
 RE: Best Books About Montana #2Donator Hal Neumann, 6/25/2006 4:56:44 AM
 RE: Best Books About Montana #2Donator Jack McRae, 6/25/2006 5:22:02 AM
 RE: Best Books About Montana #2Donator Amorette Allison, 6/25/2006 9:15:05 AM
 RE: Best Books About Montana #2Donator Hal Neumann, 6/25/2006 2:38:41 PM
 RE: Best Books About Montana #2Donator Hal Neumann, 3/26/2007 9:38:43 AM
 RE: Best Books About Montana #2Donator Gunnar Emilsson, 3/27/2007 10:11:31 AM
 Subject: Best Books About Montana #2
Author: Donator Hal Neumann  Posted: Fri Jun 2 5:10:53 AM MDT 2006 From: - CO
Let's try this again - Maybe the thread will stay focused on books this time around smile

Fritz, Harry W. "Essay On The West: The Best Books About Montana, Twenty-First-Century Edition," MONTANA: THE MAGAZINE OF WESTERN HISTORY, Autumn 2002.
http://www.findarticles.com/p/artic...s_200210/ai_n9085557

Your favorite five books about Montana?
(They certainly don't have to be books that appear in Fritz's list)
 Subject: RE: Best Books About Montana #2
Author: Donator Hal Neumann  Posted: Fri Jun 2 5:13:24 AM MDT 2006 From: - CO
We had some great books listed in the other thread before it drifted off.

Any additions to the list?
- - - - - - - - -

Dan Cushman. "Stay Away Joe"

Dan Cushman. "Montana, the Gold Frontier"

Donald MacMillan. "Smoke Wars: Anaconda Copper, Montana Air Pollution, and the Courts, 1890-1920"

Larry Colton. "Counting Coup"

Grant Marsh. "The Conquest of the Missouri"

Mary Clearman Blew. "All But The Waltz: A Memoir Of Five Generations In The Life Of A Montana Family"

E.C. Abbott and Helena Huntington Smith. "We Pointed Them North: Recollections Of A Cowpuncher"

William Kittredge and Annick Smith, eds. "The Last Best Place: A Montana Anthology"

AB Guthrie. "The Big Sky"

Mark Herbert Brown. "The Plainsmen Of The Yellowstone: A History Of The Yellowstone Basin"

Stanley Gordon West. "Blind Your Ponies"

Norman Maclean. "A River Runs Through It"

Mary Clearman Blue. "All But The Waltz"

Norman Maclean. "Young Men and Fire"

Ivan Doing. "This House of Sky and Heart Home"

Rufus Coleman, ed. "Western Prose and Poetry"

Nannie T. Alderson and Helena Huntington Smith. "A Bride Goes West"

Frank B. Linderman. "Plenty-coups Chief of the Crows"

Percy Wollaston. "Homesteading"
 Subject: RE: Best Books About Montana #2
Author: Frank E. Ross  Posted: Fri Jun 2 10:59:53 AM MDT 2006 From:
Geez,
I forgot Bad Land by, I don't remember the author's namde and I loaned by only copy (I never learn) to an acquaintance of mine a couple months ago. This is an excellent book and, as I recall, won the National Book award when it was first published 5 or 6 years ago. My advice, get it and enjoy.
 Subject: RE: Best Books About Montana #2
Author: Frank E. Ross  Posted: Sun Jun 4 3:11:47 AM MDT 2006 From:
Geeze Hal,
It seems the forum you started has deteriorated into a duscussion about some ------- sports jock. How does Joe Whalen stay in business over there in Eastern Montana if no one reads books?
 Subject: RE: Best Books About Montana #2
Author: Donator Hal Neumann  Posted: Sun Jun 4 5:18:55 AM MDT 2006 From: - CO
Frank,

Is the "Bad Land" you referred to, the book by Jonathan Raban that tells of homesteading in the Ismay country?

Jonathan Raban, "Bad Land: An American Romance" (1996).

I was kind of disappointed in it. Not that it's poorly written or anything like that. Mostly because I didn't really get a sense of place from it. He told the story well, but I never really felt that he was telling the history of homesteading in Ismay. I thought it could well have been the history of boom and bust homesteading anyplace in the dry-land west (and heck, for all I know that was the author's plan from step one). And it could well be that I was disappointed in this respect because my paternal grandmother's family homesteaded in the Ismay area. If I were less familiar with the land and the history of the area than the author was, perhaps I would have thought more of the book.

I wouldn't not recommend the book to folks, but I would also encourage folks interested in Ismay and/or homesteading in Eastern Montana to read Percy Wollaston's memoir. Raban draws extensively on the Wollaston family as his source material, so why not go straight to the source? smile

Wollaston, Percy. HOMESTEADING (New York: Lyons & Burford, 1997).
Notes: Pioneers -- Montana -- Ismay -- Biography; Frontier and pioneer life -- Montana -- Ismay; Named Person: Wollaston, Percy, 1904- -- Childhood and youth; Ismay (Mont.) -- Biography; Ismay (Mont.) -- Social life and customs. Document Type: Book.

As for the other thread (Best Books About Montana) - I guess part of the role of literature and the printed word is to spark debate and the "exchange of ideas". But I wondered if folks would look at the "exchange of ideas" in the original thread and decide not to contribute additional titles or discuss the books themselves.

Anyway, perhaps Best Books About Montana #2 will be one of those threads that returns to the top from time to time when folks have something to share.
 Subject: RE: Best Books About Montana #2
Author: Betty Emilsson  Posted: Sun Jun 4 8:14:05 AM MDT 2006 From: - MT
They were Good Men and Salty Cusses by Bill Hunter
 Subject: RE: Best Books About Montana #2
Author: Frank E. Ross  Posted: Sun Jun 4 7:14:17 PM MDT 2006 From:
Hal,
Good, interesting input from you. Thank you. I don't disagree with anything you said, although I think I enjoyed the book much more than you did. I liked it because it was factual and very well written. I am so sick of "Western mythology" - Montana mythology in particular. There has been so much written by authors looking through rose colored glasses. Mary Clearman Blue was one of the first to tell it like it was as did Judy Blunt in her book Breaking Clean. How many family "write ups" have I read about Grandma that homesteaded with her husband on a dry land farm, had 16 kids and wasn't it wonderful. The truth of the matter was that Grandma, by the time she was 40, only had half her teeth left and if she lived to be 60 was a broken, shell of a woman and mentally ready for retirement to Warm Springs. Geeze! Don't get me started!
 Subject: RE: Best Books About Montana #2
Author: Frank E. Ross  Posted: Sun Jun 4 7:16:09 PM MDT 2006 From:
Hal,
Perhaps I din't make myself clear - Yes, the book I was referring to was Bad Land by Jonathan Raban.
 Subject: RE: Best Books About Montana #2
Author: Donator Hal Neumann  Posted: Mon Jun 5 6:52:13 AM MDT 2006 From: - CO
Frank,

I agree, it's good to run across the memoirs, biographies, etc, that tell it like it was - warts and all.

I've a couple digital files of Montana biographies and local histories that contain some real gems along these line - and they also contain some that aren't gems smile

The files are too big to post here - there are hundreds of books listed in each one - sometime in the near future I'll try to get them uploaded to the internet and post the link here.
- - - - - - - - - - - -

In terms of telling it like it is . . . .

I thought this article was interesting. It's an account of homesteading in the "teens" along the High Line north of Malta written by Sverre Arestad.

Quote:

"I shall never really know what induced me to homestead on the grasslands of north central Montana, a semiarid region so different from anything I had known. I was born on the rain-soaked, fertile plain of Jæren, not far from the coastal town of Stavanger, Norway. After landing in St. John, New Brunswick, I went by train directly to San Francisco. From there I proceeded slowly up the coast to Portland, Oregon, and then went east and north to eastern Washington and Alberta, Canada, finally arriving in Montana. Most Norwegian settlers who have lived for a time in Montana have sort of stopped there on their way to the coast from one of the north central states. But I did it the other way around. And it took me twenty years, with a lot of drought and grasshoppers thrown in, to finally make up my mind to return to the coast. . . ."
Arestad, Sverre. "Pioneering In Montana," NORWEGIAN-AMERICAN STUDIES, Volume 22, 1965.

The complete text of the article can be found here. At least I hope that one or the other of these links will work.
http://www.naha.stolaf.edu/pubs/nas/volume22/vol22_4.html
http://www.edheritage.org/1910/pridocs/norwegian.htm

I was struck by the Arestad's love-hate relationship with Montana. Or perhaps it's more accurate to say his "love-hate" relationship with homesteading, as he could well have felt the same had he tried in the Dakotas or elsewhere in the West.

Arestad's experience, his relief at finally leaving Montana contrasts with that of Arthur Henderson who came to Montana in 1914 and homesteaded in the Geraldine / Fort Benton area. Henderson too faced the drought, grasshoppers, the Depression, deaths in the family - the worst that a Montana dryland farm had to offer - and yet the Henderson family put down roots and made a home in Montana.

Henderson's story isn't available online (that I'm aware), but it has been published:

Henderson, Harley, and Lawrence F. Small. MONTANA PASSAGE: A HOMESTEADER'S HERITAGE, illustrations by Kathleen Wiseman (Helena: Falcon Press: 1983).
Notes: Pioneers -- Montana -- Geraldine Region -- Biography; Farmers -- Montana -- Geraldine Region -- Biography; Farm life -- Montana -- Geraldine Region; Named Person: Henderson, Arthur, 1891-; Geraldine Region (Mont.) -- Biography. Document Type: Book.

If you can find a copy, it's worth a read.
 Subject: RE: Best Books About Montana #2
Author: Big Dave  Posted: Mon Jun 5 4:46:25 PM MDT 2006 From: - MT
If one is looking for "The Conquest of the Missouri" the author is Joseph Hanson, not Grant Marsh. Marsh is the subject of the book.
 Subject: RE: Best Books About Montana #2
Author: Donator Gunnar Emilsson  Posted: Mon Jun 5 8:20:50 PM MDT 2006 From:
Har, har...Norwegian-American Studies...I can see it now, Chapter 3...Ole and Lena jokes.
 Subject: RE: Best Books About Montana #2
Author: Frank E. Ross  Posted: Mon Jun 5 9:35:32 PM MDT 2006 From:
Hal,
Someone (or several ones) mentioned Norwegians and it rang a bell with me about homesteading in the Dakotas. No, it is not Montana history, but it remains one of the best novels ever written. Giants In The Earth by Ole Rovaag, first published in Norway in (I think) 1927 and still in print today.
 Subject: RE: Best Books About Montana #2
Author: Donator Hal Neumann  Posted: Wed Jun 7 10:03:41 AM MDT 2006 From: - CO
Frank,

Yes Rolvaag is well worth reading, but I have to admit I've yet to get around to reading the third novel in his "Giants in the Earth" trilogy.

I don't read as much fiction as I probably should - so I'm never on top of these things . . . is anyone aware of any Montana-based novels that deal with the homestead era?
- - - - - - - - - - -


As long as we're dealing with Norwegian-Americans, the at the website for the journal NORWEGIAN-AMERICAN STUDIES (http://www.naha.stolaf.edu/) they have a pretty fair online archive of materials pertaining to the Norwegian presence in the American West. The journal itself has been published since 1926 by The Norwegian-American Historical Association (NAHA), but there's also other stuff in their archives.

The article cited above by Sverre Arestad is the only one I'm aware of that deals with Montana, but I guess I shouldn't say that as I haven't ran thorough search to see if there's more smile
 Subject: RE: Best Books About Montana #2
Author: Frank E. Ross  Posted: Wed Jun 7 11:11:01 AM MDT 2006 From:
Hal,
I have never read anything else by Ole Rolvaag, but I certainly will now.I don't read very much fiction either in comparison to non-fiction, but I do value a well written book of fiction nearly as much as non-fiction. I have been told that Ivan Doig has a recent book that is very good. I loved his two books of non-fiction, but didn't care much for his novels. My main areas of interest have been military history from 1812 to the present time, biographies and exploration expeditions (such as Earnest Shackleton, etc.) but I do read and collect anything and everything fiction, non-fiction, poetry, you name it. Thank you for all the good input.
 Subject: RE: Best Books About Montana #2
Author: Donator Hal Neumann  Posted: Mon Jun 12 8:20:21 AM MDT 2006 From: - CO
>>My main areas of interest have been military history from 1812 to the present time, biographies and exploration expeditions (such as Earnest Shackleton, etc.) but I do read and collect anything and everything fiction, non-fiction, poetry, you name it. Thank you for all the good input.

Well, thanks right back at you Frank for your input.

I quit counting my books around 10 years ago (I had around 3,000 then) - the time it took to count them was time I could spend reading smile Most of what I have is history, political-science, anthropology, and ethnography. I've only a few novels on the shelves that I've hung on to for "sentimental" reasons.

The histories pretty much mirror my academic studies (the history of American foreign policy and European diplomatic history and work-related lines of study (public policy and the environment, natural resources management history, and cultural resources management). It's only been in the past dozen years or so that I returned to Montana history and the history of the American West - I had read a lot in those areas when I was a kid, and I guess I felt like it was time to return to my roots smile But I'm still pretty eclectic in the history that I read.

In keeping (more or less) with the topic of this thread, right now (among other things) I'm reading:
Ewers, John Canfield. THE BLACKFEET: RAIDERS ON THE NORTHWESTERN PLAINS (1958; reprint: University of Oklahoma Press, 1967).

It's a good read on the Blackfoot Nation, it's old, but some of those older works on Native Americans are still valuable sources. Another of the older works that worth a read is:

Grinnell, George Bird. THE CHEYENNE INDIANS, THEIR HISTORY AND WAYS OF LIFE, 2 vols (1923; reprint: University of Nebraska Press 1972).
 Subject: RE: Best Books About Montana #2
Author: Donator Hal Neumann  Posted: Sun Jun 25 4:56:44 AM MDT 2006 From: - CO
A member at the Montana History discussion group recommended the following . . . she says it a real "treasure" for those interested in the Bozeman Trail and Montana's early emigrant history.

Doyle, Susan B. JOURNEY TO THE LAND OF GOLD: EMIGRANT DIARIES FROM THE BOZEMAN TRAILS, 1863-1866, 2 vols. (Helena, MT: Montana Historical Society Press, 2000).

Here's a bit of info on it:
http://www.his.state.mt.us/pub/press/journeygold.asp

- - - - - - - - - -

I see that this author has a second book out on the topic that also utilizes diary / journal materials, "Bound for Montana":
http://www.his.state.mt.us/pub/press/bound.asp


[This message has been edited by Hal Neumann (edited 6/25/2006).]
 Subject: RE: Best Books About Montana #2
Author: Donator Jack McRae  Posted: Sun Jun 25 5:22:02 AM MDT 2006 From: - MT
I believe "Bound For Montana" is a condensed paperback version of the two volume set of Bozeman Trail diaries.
 Subject: RE: Best Books About Montana #2
Author: Donator Amorette Allison  Posted: Sun Jun 25 9:15:05 AM MDT 2006 From: - MT
Should I ever get a web site for the preservation office off the drawing board, I'm thinking of having a page of books that mention Miles City, from Granville's Stuart's autobiography through Teddy Blue. I had quite a list at one time and it was only the "major" publications, not the local things like "As We Recall" and "Fanning the Embers."

Amorette
 Subject: RE: Best Books About Montana #2
Author: Donator Hal Neumann  Posted: Sun Jun 25 2:38:41 PM MDT 2006 From: - CO
Jack wrote:
" I believe "Bound For Montana" is a condensed paperback version of the two volume set of Bozeman Trail diaries."

It looks like you're right about that Jack. Guess if I'd have put my thinking cap on and paid attention to those brief reviews, I might have picked up on that myself smile

Amorette wrote:
"Should I ever get a web site for the preservation office off the drawing board, I'm thinking of having a page of books that mention Miles City, from Granville's Stuart's autobiography through Teddy Blue."

That would be pretty darned cool Amorette - I hope you can wrangle up some web space for that project. My guess is that you've got some other interesting stuff to share as well. It would be great to see what you have to "web publish."
 Subject: RE: Best Books About Montana #2
Author: Donator Hal Neumann  Posted: Mon Mar 26 9:38:43 AM MDT 2007 From: - AK
"Book On Montana Journalism History Named Best Nonfiction"
Montana Historical Society press release
THE CLARK FORK CHRONICLE
March 24 2007
http://www.clarkforkchronicle.com/a...hp/20070324084424610

"`Copper Chorus: Mining, Politics and the Montana Press, 1889-1959,' by University of Montana journalism professor Dennis Swibold, was awarded the 2007 Spur Award for best nonfiction-contemporary book.

The Spur Awards, given annually for distinguished writing about the American West, are among the oldest and most prestigious in American literature.

Since 1953, the nonprofit Western Writers of America (WWA) has promoted and honored the best in Western literature with the annual Spur Awards, selected by panels of judges. Awards, for material published last year, are given for works whose inspiration, image and literary excellence best represent the reality and spirit of the American West. . . ."
 Subject: RE: Best Books About Montana #2
Author: Donator Gunnar Emilsson  Posted: Tue Mar 27 10:11:31 AM MDT 2007 From: - NY
A colleague of mine told me that this book about the Granite Mountain mining disaster in Butte in 1917 is excellent...it is on my to-read list:

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/bo....asp?isbn=140130155X
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