How To Write A Good Non-Fiction Book Review On Amazon Book Review – Bad Land, An American Romance

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Book Review – Bad Land, An American Romance

Jonathan Raban Bad Land: An American Romance brilliantly and descriptively describes the attempts of would-be farmers and ranchers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries to make a living on very questionable land. This land, most of it in eastern Montana and western Dakota, could be described as marginal land, but Raban’s fact-finding mission made it clear that the lands were less than marginal.

The federal government and railroad companies would benefit from having settlers in the region. Their benefits: There would be more product to ship back and forth, and travel to the region would increase significantly. However, as Raban documents and as I saw firsthand, this marginal land had shallow topsoil, strong winds, low rainfall, and extremely cold winters; and efforts to cultivate the parched land were seldom rewarded.

This book was written in a casual, sympathetic way as the author traveled through the area and viewed some of the failed homesteads. It is indeed a drama as Raban explored the remains of these numerous failed homesteads. He even found a book that described the best method to thrive on these parched farms. The book had a title Campbell’s Scientific Techniques of Dry Farming and it was with subtitles The camel for the Sahara desert and the Campbell method for the American desert. According to meteorological data, any area with an average annual rainfall of less than three inches per year would be classified as a desert area. This area of ​​eastern Montana is definitely considered a desert, as most of it receives less than three inches of rainfall per year on average.

Like Raban, I walked this land, but I walked it for a different reason. I was looking for the sharp-tailed grouse and the elusive sage grouse. Those many years ago, I was amazed to see so much remains – the remains of decayed and fallen windmills, the broken and gray slabs of outbuildings, barns and houses, as well as hollowed-out rock foundations, long-rusted barbed wire fences. , fence posts that were rotten and lying flat on the ground, and space – wide open space… endless space. Raban’s book told the story of many brave human attempts to produce on this endlessly poor homestead, bad land. The government pamphlets and railway pamphlets were undoubtedly at least bogus, if not outright lies.

Raban had an inspiring idea to write this story and followed through – great inspiration, first hand research and highly descriptive writing!

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