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Great Plains Kindle Edition
Most travelers only fly over the Great Plains--but Ian Frazier, ever the intrepid and wide-eyed wanderer, is not your average traveler. A hilarious and fascinating look at the great middle of our nation.
With his unique blend of intrepidity, tongue-in-cheek humor, and wide-eyed wonder, Ian Frazier takes us on a journey of more than 25,000 miles up and down and across the vast and myth-inspiring Great Plains. A travelogue, a work of scholarship, and a western adventure, Great Plains takes us from the site of Sitting Bull's cabin, to an abandoned house once terrorized by Bonnie and Clyde, to the scene of the murders chronicled in Truman Capote's In Cold Blood. It is an expedition that reveals the heart of the American West.
“Extraordinary...One thinks of such American originals as John McPhee, Wallace Stegner, Edward Hoagland, Peter Matthiessen, and Evan S. Connell.” ―The Washington Post Book
“This is a brillant, funny, and altogether perfect book, soaked in research and then aired out on the open plains to evaporate the excess, leaving this modern masterpiece. It makes me want to get in a truck and drive straight out to North Dakota and look at the prairie.” ―Garrison Keillor
“History written with passion and delight... Frazier is a great storyteller.” ―Newsweek
About the Author
- ASIN : B009LRWVBY
- Publisher : Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 1st edition (May 4, 2001)
- Publication date : May 4, 2001
- Language : English
- File size : 3435 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 199 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #319,906 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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One quibble: I found it strange that he almost completely overlooks the significance of the railroads to the Great Plains other than a passing remark about coal trains. Long before the development of air travel which made this “flyover country” railroads were an integral part of the development of this area, often determining which settlements succeeded and which failed. Many of the towns of the Great Plains still have a railway station, even if it is no longer in use. And, while only a smattering of passengers still travel my rail across these states, the railways still carry a vast amount of freight. It was strange, in fact, the he made no mention of the Union Pacific Bailey Yard in North Platte, Nebraska, the largest rail yard in the world, through which an average of 139 trains per day pass through.
The book was written in the late 1980s, when President Reagan was busy building up the military and aggressively confronting the Soviet Union. In that conflict, the Great Plains played a central part-namely it was, and remains, the area which the United States Air Force stores its Nuclear Missiles, and houses its fleets of bombers. It was the home turf of Strategic Air Command. Frazier looks at the situation full in the face, he genuinely is concerned about the fate of the world with so many warheads hidden under the sea of grass. Remarking on events current to the books publishing adds to the work, it gives an all important layer of time to the place described.
This book is a delight to read, for those whose roots sink into the region as well as people on the coasts who become curious about what they are flying over. A vast, rich, and fertile story.
Top reviews from other countries
It is a quick read, and gives a good insight into US culture of cars, driving and their paranoia in the cold war.