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Montana: A History of Two Centuries Paperback – November 1, 1991

ISBN-13: 978-0295971292 ISBN-10: 0295971290 Edition: Revised Edition

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Frequently Bought Together

Montana: A History of Two Centuries + Montana Legacy: Essays on History, People, and Place + Roadside History of Montana (Roadside History Series)
Price for all three: $65.40

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: University of Washington Press; Revised Edition edition (November 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0295971290
  • ISBN-13: 978-0295971292
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #930,641 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Mark on September 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is what most people would call the "definitive" one-volume history of Montana, and I'd have to agree. Written primarily to serve as a testbook for college-level history courses, this is a comprehensive, balanced, and detailed overview of Montana's fascinating history. All three authors knew the state extraordinarily well, and clearly loved its past. (Both Malone and Roeder taught history at Montana State University, and Malone later served as the school's president; Lang edited the Montana Historical Society's journal.)
Still, it's difficult to recommend this book to the casual reader. By striving so diligently for completeness and balance, the authors created a product that is weighty, dense, and largely without style. Montana's vibrant, spirited history has been rendered lifeless here, and reading this book can be very slow going. As a professional historian, I find it to be a great reference tool, but its not something that most folks will want to read for fun. Instead, you might consider these two evocative and beautifully-written histories of the state: Joseph Kinsey Howard's "Montana: High, Wide, and Handsome" and K. Ross Toole's "Montana: An Uncommon Land." Both are classics in their field, and are wonderful reads.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Barney Considine on October 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
When I recently asked at the Montana Historical Association about the best history of Montana, this was the book recommended. Having read many books about Montana, I agree. The current edition, published in 1991, is authored by Malone, Roeder, and Lang. An earlier publication in 1976 was by Malone and Roeder alone, and the newer revision is significantly updated.

While acknowledging that Montana's history dates back thousands of years before white Europeans first appeared on the scene, this text primarily deals with history since the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1805-1806.

Fur traders and mountain men followed quickly after Lewis and Clark. They explored the land but didn't settle anywhere for long. The populating of Montana began in the western part of the territory in the 1860s with the development of the gold and silver mining districts. Geographically, western and eastern Montana differ greatly. Cattlemen were the first developers of eastern Montana, primarily after 1880, and were followed after 1900 by the farmers of the homestead era. "A History of Two Centuries" is one of the few books to treat development of the entire state evenly.

Gold, cattle, mining, homesteading, railroads, economics, drought, and the evolution from frontier to integration into the United States are all elements of Montana's history. Each of these ingredients caused Montanans to compete forcefully against the natural world and one another. Many of the ingredients have spawned individual books. No other single book covers them all so well.

A lot of the Montana's history is at the heart of America's "Wild West." Few writers have the discipline to describe Montana without getting caught up in the romance of the myth.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
I am from Montana and have never really learned the history. I became interested after seeing a Montana Historical Society art showing. They recommended this book as the best general review out there. It is rare that any author can capture Montana's extrordinary beauty with words, but Mr. Malone does that surprisingly well. I would have to agree with the Historical Society that this is a great book for people unfamilier with Montana's diverse and amazing history.
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