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5.0 out of 5 starsThis Land is Our Land. . . .
Reviewed in the United States on October 16, 2017
No one better describes the hubris that conquered America--and now threatens it in so many ways. The West presents perhaps Egan's best canvass to portray America's peculiar individualism, a breed that refuses to acknowledge either the aboriginal ownership of our land or our current government's authority to protect it for the entire public. Egan is perplexed, even frustrated by those in the West who perceive themselves as its only legitimate owners for all time, but his admiration of their energy and ingenuity also shines through. Above all, he is a man deeply in love with the land, and wrestles with the dichotomous pressures to preserve its current status quo or to exploit it until it becomes an unrecognizable waste land/
Reviewed in the United States on September 12, 2016
This is one of my favorite Timothy Egan books. As a lover of nonfiction, but with a short attention span, each episode of American history is covered in a separate chapter so it can be read a chapter at a time. The events Mr. Egan have chosen to explore are both fascinating and disturbing, as they pertain to periods in American history that we should not be particularly proud of. Nonetheless, they did happen and we should be aware of them. I have purchased this book as a gift more than once; it's perfect for anyone who is interested in events that have changed history, sometimes not for the better.
Timothy Egan takes the reader on a trip through the Western States that he believes are struggling to find their place in a constantly changing environment, both physically and politically. He takes you on a road trip and along the way entertains you with hilarious stories, history, opinion, and a cutting edge wit. You follow him on horseback, on walking tours, on water rapids, and through Las Vegas casinos and other man-made venues. He has an emotional attachment to the land that he is traversing, and he shows you the good and the ugly of what the West has become. He leaves you with hope that the best of the people may prevail in this place he calls home.
5.0 out of 5 starsTimothy Egan is a wonderful writer and the research is impeccable
Reviewed in the United States on June 19, 2016
If you have any interest in the "real" history of the West this is a must read...Timothy Egan is a wonderful writer and the research is impeccable. My wife and I planned A 20 day trip from San Diego that included Salt Lake City; Casper, Wyoming; Billings and Butte, Montana, and Yellowstone. I read the book prior to our departure and purposefully included a few of the locations mentioned in the book. My wife read it as we traveled. Absolutely fascinating!
5.0 out of 5 starsEagan tells How the magnificent West has been "explored", exploited, and best-experienced.
Reviewed in the United States on November 1, 2017
Egan is one of my favorite authors. He has an intimate knowledge of the Western geography, topography, and cultural history. This may be his best book. If you really want to knnow how the West was "won", this is the book book for you! Have your Google Maps open and ready as you travel through some of the most interesting, scenic, and historic parts of the Northwest. You can feel his writing.
5.0 out of 5 starsI enjoyed reading the entire book
Reviewed in the United States on August 22, 2015
Timothy did a masterful job in describing the character of several western states. After reading the Utah chapter, I decided it should be in all 14 of the library collections sponsored by the Mountain Meadows Monument Foundation. Those books are now being placed in library updates in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Missouri and Utah sites where our collections are housed. I had other Foundation members read the "Empire of Clean" chapter to validate my assessment of the book before recommending it to our Board of Directors. I enjoyed reading the entire book.
5.0 out of 5 starsBeautifully expresses the history and fight for resources that defined the Western US
Reviewed in the United States on November 12, 2013
Egan beautifully weaves the present reality of the Western United States with an un-apologetic, unbiased look at how its history has shaped it. By overlaying stunning natural imagery with the at times uncomfortable and occasionally brutal past which brought the region to its current state, Egan portrays complex, competing interests not in terms of good and evil, but as natural forces shaping the land. I have a new perspective now driving through Montana or touching down in Vegas that I doubt any other book could offer. I've re-read it several times now, and each time I find it nearly impossible to put down.
Timothy Eagan always makes history interesting. Even though some areas moved to slowly, it was usually brief. The areas he wrote about were near the states I grew up. Pioneer families homesteaded the area near Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Egan described this area perfectly, bringing in history that made it most interesting. He describes what has happened to the area, once so wild and free. We now have massive development in all the Western lands that bring distress to all those who saw it the other way. Thank you Timothy, a good book.