Saving Yellowstone: Exploration and Preservation in Reconstruction America (Hardcover)

Saving Yellowstone: Exploration and Preservation in Reconstruction America By Megan Kate Nelson Cover Image
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Description


From historian and critically acclaimed author of The Three-Cornered War comes the captivating story of how Yellowstone became the world’s first national park in the years after the Civil War, offering “a fresh, provocative study…departing from well-trodden narratives about conservation and public recreation” (Booklist, starred review).

Each year nearly four million people visit Yellowstone National Park—one of the most popular of all national parks—but few know the fascinating and complex historical context in which it was established. In late July 1871, the geologist-explorer Ferdinand Hayden led a team of scientists through a narrow canyon into Yellowstone Basin, entering one of the last unmapped places in the country. The survey’s discoveries led to the passage of the Yellowstone Act in 1872, which created the first national park in the world.

Now, author Megan Kate Nelson examines the larger context of this American moment, illuminating Hayden’s survey as a national project meant to give Americans a sense of achievement and unity in the wake of a destructive civil war. Saving Yellowstone follows Hayden and two other protagonists in pursuit of their own agendas: Sitting Bull, a Lakota leader who asserted his peoples’ claim to their homelands, and financier Jay Cooke, who wanted to secure his national reputation by building the Northern Pacific Railroad through the Great Northwest. Hayden, Cooke, and Sitting Bull staked their claims to Yellowstone at a critical moment in Reconstruction, when the Ulysses S. Grant Administration and the 42nd Congress were testing the reach and the purpose of federal power across the nation.

“A readable and unfailingly interesting look at a slice of Western history from a novel point of view” (Kirkus Reviews), Saving Yellowstone reveals how Yellowstone became both a subject of fascination and a metaphor for the nation during the Reconstruction era. This “land of wonders” was both beautiful and terrible, fragile and powerful. And what lay beneath the surface there was always threatening to explode.

About the Author


Megan Kate Nelson is a writer and historian living in Lincoln, Massachusetts. She has written about the Civil War, US western history, and American culture for The New York TimesThe Washington PostThe Atlantic, Time, and Smithsonian Magazine. Nelson earned her BA in history and literature from Harvard University and her PhD in American studies from the University of Iowa. She is the author of Saving Yellowstone, The Three-Cornered WarRuin Nation, and Trembling Earth.

Praise For…


Praise for Saving Yellowstone

“Megan Kate Nelson’s great gift as a historian and as a writer is finding the connected threads of the sprawling story of the place we call the United States.”
Los Angeles Review of Books

“A fresh, provocative study of the origins of Yellowstone National Park … departing from well-trodden narratives about conservation and public recreation.”
Booklist, starred review

“Deeply informative, while being a joy to read … One of the book’s strengths is Nelson’s telling of the story from both the white and Native points of view … That Nelson covers so much history in relatively few pages is testament to her mastery of the subject and storytelling skill.”
Natural Resources Management Today

“Scrupulously researched and written in appealing journalistic style, this book should attract enthusiasts of Western and U.S. history.”
Library Journal

“Fascinating elements and eloquent evocations of the Western landscape … Nelson makes excellent use of the diaries and letters of expedition members to convey Yellowstone’s natural wonders.”
Publishers Weekly

"The author displays her strong commitment to including the Native presence in any account of Western history ... A readable and unfailingly interesting look at a slice of Western history from a novel point of view."
Kirkus Reviews

"In Saving Yellowstone, Megan Kate Nelson has accomplished something truly pathbreaking. She has written a new history of Reconstruction, one that shows how the exploration and conquest of the American West intersected with the ill-fated attempts to establish an interracial democracy in the South. While these two strands of American history are often thought of as parallel, Nelson reveals startling new connections. A masterful storyteller, Nelson’s prose is as captivating as the landscapes she describes. This book is a must-read for anyone who appreciates deep research and powerful narrative.”
—Carole Emberton, author of Beyond Redemption: Race, Violence, and the American South after the Civil War

"Megan Kate Nelson has a remarkable ability to take an unfamiliar event and not only bring it to light, but also use it as a lens for viewing much larger and more familiar events in new ways. In Saving Yellowstone, she presents the making of the first national park as a multi-dimensional story of exploration and conflict and as a new vantage point on the meaning of Reconstruction."
—Steven Hahn, author of A Nation Without Borders

Praise for Megan Kate Nelson's The Three-Cornered War

"Terrific... a very good telling of a story that is unknown to most Americans."
The Reconstruction Era, blog review

“Engaging and unsparing… A gripping history that integrates the Southwest into broader histories of American expansion.”
Booklist

“Based on extensive archival research, Nelson’s work expands our understanding of how the Civil War affected Indigenous peoples and helped to shape the nation. [A] nuanced portrait of the era.”
Library Journal, starred

“Brisk and well-sourced… American history buffs will relish this entertaining and eye-opening portrait.”
Publishers Weekly

"With lucid storytelling, using nine remarkable characters, Nelson reveals a chaotic, desperate struggle of Union against Confederate, Native peoples against other Native peoples, and Natives on both sides... Rarely is a Civil War book so readable and so new to our understanding."
—David W. Blight, author of the Pulitzer-prize winning Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom

"A gripping story, powerfully told."
—Clay Risen, author of The Crowded Hour

"Fast-paced and suspenseful... This history of invasions, battles, and forced migration shapes the United States to this day—and has never been told so well."
—T.J. Stiles, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Custer's Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America

"[A] bautifully written account."
—James M. McPherson, author of Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era

"Gripping... The Three-Cornered War brings this battle between peoples, armies, agendas, and the environment to living breathing life."
—Joanne B. Freeman, author of The Field of Blood and editor of Alexander Hamilton: Writings
Product Details
ISBN: 9781982141332
ISBN-10: 1982141336
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: March 1st, 2022
Pages: 320
Language: English

How to read more

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How To Read More

If you love reading, but for some reason you read less and less, know that everything is fine. It happens.
Our lives today have so many things that distract us - how can we not put books away when all these movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, social networks and endless surfing in online stores are around ...
Yes, it's really hard to resist, but you certainly can!

In this article, we want to share with you some tips to read more often and more successfully.
These are some notes and some practices that we have collected for our SUNDOG BOOKS readers club.
And maybe it will bring more books into your life!

Why do we want/need to read more?

To start reading more, you have to understand why you need it.
And you will be surprised, but your goals can be quite varied:

- for work
If you read a lot on duty, then you definitely need to speed up the process. The logic here is simple: read faster → work faster → more time for books for yourself.

- for education
you need this for your educational career or sometimes you just want to read to learn. And, with all the new alternative ways to gain knowledge (podcasts, online courses and videos), the book still does an excellent job of this task too.

- for self-development
all exercises for increasing speed, one way or another, improve cognition and memory.

- for fun
because good books always = fun!

Book lovers have an additional special goal for reading more often. If you love literature, you will understand what we mean: you want to catch everything - to follow modern literature, and not forget about the classics, look into non-fiction and children's publications. And there’s so much you want to reread! The goals are ambitious, but attainable if you read a lot.

 

And so - How to read more:
We will tell you about the methods that we use ourselves. Perhaps some will suit you as well.

 

15 minutes a day

You've probably already heard this rule: if you want to start a healthy habit, devote 15 minutes a day to it. Once upon a time, we all read irregularly, in jumps and starts. Sometimes we cannot open a book we have begun weeks ago. Therefore, you should decide to create a rule: devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading. Try reading before bed, or maybe during lunchtime, or even when you are having your morning coffee.

You will see progress immediately. You will notice that almost always your 15 minutes will grow into half an hour or more. But the most remarkable thing is that in three weeks your hands themselves will be looking for a book.

 

50 First Pages
This method advises - If the book hasn't hooked you from the first 50 pages, put it aside! Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

It is necessary to change the approach to books. At first it will be hard for you to stop and put the book down. Even if we put the book away, it will seem to reproach us from the shelf, mocking us as quitters. But in the end we should come to one simple thought: if it doesn’t hook your attention, you should not force yourself to read it.

***Fifty pages is not a bad test. Not the most objective, but definitely effective. It helps to determine whether it interests you or not, and whether to spend time on things that do not excite.

 

Reader's Diary

This should be used to improve the quality of reading - to make it more conscious. For starters, it can be a simple notebook with headings:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Main characters
  • Scene
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Quotes

And, yes, a reader's diary is not a thing about quantity, but about quality. But, it can also motivate. When you open your diary and start looking at quotes (especially quotes), you immediately really want to read.

 

Maybe a Book Bet?
Several people can participate. Members of the betting group can come from friends, family, and also your colleagues. And of course you can set your own rules for participation, but we'll give you a simple example:

Everyone in the group should read and review a book over the course of a month with weekly updates. Anyone who does not finish a review buys the book for all other participants for the next month.

 

Speed Reading

Another effective way to increase the amount you read is speed reading. The logic here is simple - the faster you read, the more books you can enjoy.

*There are many online courses on speed reading, and you can also study on your own using instructional books. But, it is worth noting that this is a serious learning process that will require some effort on your part.

 

Outcome

Reading every day is quite attainable, the main thing is to try to make it a habit.
Sometimes, instead of heading for Facebook, try opening a book and soon you won’t even remember why you needed to wander around social media.
And also - don't forget about audiobooks. They are a cool way to take the load off your eyes sometimes and just immerse yourself in the story. Some books are really strong in voice acting.

 
 
 

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