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Cattle Kingdom: The Hidden History of the Cowboy West Hardcover – May 30, 2017
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"Cattle Kingdom is the smartly told account of rampant capitalism making its home — however destructive and decidedly unromantic — on the range. Related this way, the story may not include many gunfights, but it offers ample conflict and drama delivered with a fresh and winning perspective." – The Dallas Morning News
"Christopher Knowlton has applied his lifelong passion for Western history in writing the best one-volume history of the legendary era of the cowboy and cattle empires in 30 years. Cattle Kingdom redefines our understanding of the era beyond the traditional boundaries of the West….Knowlton’s flowing prose style is enjoyable to read….Knowlton has added a superb volume to the agricultural, cultural, economic and environmental historiography of cattle ranching and cowboy history in the American West.”—Stuart Rosebrook, True West Magazine
“Cattle Kingdom is the best all-around study of the American Cowboy ever written. Every page crackles with keen analysis and vivid prose about the Old West. A must read!” – Douglas Brinkley, author of Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America and The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America
“Mr. Knowlton writes well about all the fun stuff: trail drives, rambunctious cow towns, gunfights and range wars. What makes it a “hidden history” is the way it enlists all of these tropes in support to an intriguing thesis: that the romance of the Old West arose upon the swelling surface of a giant economic bubble…Cattle Kingdom is The Great Plains by way of The Big Short….His book coasts along just fine on the strength of his curiosity and storytelling ease. And his empathy.”—Stephen Harrigan, The Wall Street Journal
"A fresh look at the U.S. cattle industry...this vastly informative volume will be of interest to general readers and a welcome addition for all library collections." – Library Journal
"Quality book...Knowlton’s absorbing work demonstrates that the years of lucrative cattle driving may have been short, but meatpacking and transportation innovations and the rugged individualist ideology of the West maintain their place of importance in American life. – Publishers Weekly
"An informative and well-written examination of a key area." – Booklist
“Cattle Kingdom accomplishes the rare feat of capturing the worlds of cattlemen and cowboys in all their color, while also covering well the global economic and environmental tides that made the cattle kingdom rise and fall." – Stephen Aron, 2017 President of the Western History Association and Robert N. Burr Department Chair, UCLA Department of History
"A pleasing contribution to the history of the post-Civil War frontier." – Kirkus Reviews
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The depth and breadth of the research that this work contains supports the authors thesis - confirming that history is subject to unearthing new and yet unrevealed discoveries - that can provide the sinew for a new understanding. Knowlton unequivocally demonstrates this unique journalistic talent. Knowlton's prose and storytelling ability are hypnotic and mesmerizing.
This is distinctly not a story that requires a preference for tales about the American West. The manner in which Knowlton weaves his story - and brings life to the characters and context - will draw readers who simply desire a really, really GREAT book.
I must admit I had some reluctance deciding whether or not to purchase this volume. I overcame that and am really glad I did.
Many aspects of this book will bring tears to your eyes, ripping your heart apart. You'll get angry and disgusted. The drama that Knowlton brings to life is addictive...it's a page turning pleasure. The decimation of the Bison herds had me smelling the carnage that Knowlton described.
For those with an affinity for garnering a better understanding of the American cowboy, the influences in the development of the American West, the cattle industry, the origins of the nature of land ownership in the Western U.S. psyche, the influence of capital in the development of the American West, the beef industry, conservation, wildlife management - and - again - those who desire to be immersed in a truly fascinating true tale - well - this book is for you.
I honestly can't imagine anyone selecting this book to devour and not coming away completely satisfied about their decision.
Frankly, I urge you to select Christopher Knowlton as your guide to the hidden history of the cowboy West. You'll be delighted you did.
Trust me...believe me...A PHENOMENAL BOOK!!!
As you follow the money, you begin to see how it shaped the origins - especially after the Civil War and on towards 1900.
English and Scottish money and, sometimes more foolishness than thought were important elements for big ranches hoping for big returns.
A lot of the sales pitch was totally blind to reality.
Well written and a good addition to the Cowboy West.
We spend a lot of time in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, where real cowboys who are descendants of real cowboys still live and work, and they can relate and appreciate Knowlton's accurate depictions of their ancestors (or people like them). Their ancestors were the real deal, as is Mr Knowlton's
excellent book. Well done !