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The Backbone of the World: A Portrait of the Vanishing West Along the Continental Divide-Frank Clifford

  • Title: The Backbone of the World: A Portrait of the Vanishing West Along the Continental Divide
  • Author: Frank Clifford
  • Released: 2003-05-13
  • Language:
  • Pages: 288
  • ISBN: 0767907027
  • ISBN13: 978-0767907026
  • ASIN: 0767907027

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From Publishers Weekly Somewhere in the middle of America, far from the tourist-welcoming beaches of Los Angeles and buildings of New York, lies a land set back in time. Clifford, the environment editor of the Los Angeles Times, explores that land, the place where nature separates America the Pacific from America the Atlantic, the great wilderness known as the Continental Divide. Clifford seeks to dwell in the Continental Divide, to live and breathe its prejudices and people, to report on a Western way of life forgotten by most of the West. The author writes in stark, unadorned prose a style befitting the ways of life and people he describes. Yet despite his sympathies with the few remaining cowboys and his efforts to help steer cattle or hunt coyotes, he always seems to be left on the outside of the action, a city boy looking in at these rural folk. And this alienation, conveyed in unconventionally barren language, ends up marring the book rather than making it. Despite the abundantly esoteric subject matter, the country folk Clifford encounters remain stereotypes (a token cowboy, an old recluse, rich urbanites looking for adventure), and both his descriptions and his rendering of dialogue do little more than sketch two-dimensional outlines of human existence, a rugged way of life in a wilderness that few know still exists.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the edition.

From Library Journal In his first book, Clifford, a journalist for over 30 years and currently the environmental news editor of the Los Angeles Times, writes about ten encounters with people who by choice continue to live in the stark wilderness found along the Continental Divide. By living several days with a shepherd in Colorado, the Blackfeet in Montana, cattle ranchers in Wyoming and New Mexico, a park ranger in the remote part of Yellowstone National Park, and others residing along the divide, Clifford is able to describe to the reader how and why these people choose to live in this wilderness. In each instance, their struggle is not only with nature but with the government officials, commercial interests, environmentalists, and tourists who constantly encroach on their way of life. The lack of maps is this book's only drawback. An excellent supplement to the guides available on hiking the Continental Divide, this book also stands alone as an introduction to the issues facing this remote region of the West. Recommended for public and academic libraries. John McCormick, New Hampshire State Lib., Concord
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the edition. pdf
 
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