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Owning It All: Essays Paperback – July 1, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This is an illustrative and insightful collection of essays on the American West (originally appearing in various magazines) by a man who grew up on a ranch in Oregon and at the age of 33, disillusioned and dissatisfied, left agriculture and turned to writing. Autobiographical sketches describe his early years in the isolated community and are full of rodeo memories and ruminations on his buckaroo days. Other essays consider the boom-town phenomenon, the "redneck," the grizzly bear, the renaissance in native American art. Most notably, the author offers a critique of the popular view of the Westwhich is, according to Kittredge, a disguised mythology of conquest and possession that historically has served as a rationale for violence but which seems to be losing its power. He also notes the deleterious affect of this mythology on agriculture, where the concept of conquest has resulted in a "dream gone wrong" and the destruction of the landscape in favor of the "factory-land." Kittredge stands valiantly at the center of a fledgling regional literature emerging from shattered myths and discarded ideals.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Kittredge is a Westerner, born and raised in southeastern Oregon; he now teaches at the University of Montana. In this collection of 14 essays, all previously published in various magazines, he explores the meaning of the Western myth and its effects on the land, people, and wildlife of America. In some of the most perceptive writing, Kittredge critiques the movie Western and shows how recent pictures have drawn on that genre for their plots. In another essay, he mourns the virtual destruction of the grizzly bear south of the Canadian border. Taken together, these pieces present a land slowly dying from the effects of plow and oil field. A dark vision to be sure, but one to be pondered. Randy Dykhuis, Grace A. Dow Memorial Lib., Midland, Mich.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Graywolf Press (July 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1555973663
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555973667
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.6 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,383,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
The title says it all! If you've ever slept in the high country of Southeastern Oregon and been awakened by the brilliance of the moon, the mournful hooting of an owl or a coyote's howl at a time too late to remember but too early to get up, and while trying to get back to sleep on ground too hard and cold realized that we can never OWN the land, we only exist as part of it, you will appreciate Kittredge's eloquence in describing his own family's ultimately self-defeating attempts to do just that. This is Lake County as it was and is...a world apart from the Cool Green Vacationland of Western Oregon...where everything is connected to everything else, and Owning It All may be the only way to wrest a living from the land, but becomes an ephermeral concept that comes to no good end. History, geography, personal biography...an underappreciated book by a master whose prose is as tight as your puckered lips when it's 14 with a 45 mile an hour north wind on a late October morning in the Catlow Valley.
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Format: Paperback
A collection of essays that have appeared in various magazines & journals, Kittredge does a wonderful job painting a picture of Warner Valley and the American West. He makes it easy to understand how anyone could dream of traveling West in the hope of finding a new way of life. Easy to pick up but impossibe to put down!
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Format: Paperback
I really wish titles like Owning It all were available for reading on a Kindle. It could keep a trickle of revenue flowing back to publisher and author for a long time. Instead, were forced to look for a used copy somewhere (or pay 8x the price of the book for shipping).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Kittredge writes about the false mythology that the American Northwest has created for itself. He speaks to the impacts of human pioneering and homesteading. His strong prose guides the reader pretty well along and any reader will discover a wealth of interesting history. The new historical account is a must read for anyone who claims to be knowledgeable of The Great American Northwest.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Local author for my area. Great stories. I usually don't read this type of book, but it came highly recommended and I am glad for it.
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