Cattle Kingdom: The Hidden History of the Cowboy West (Paperback)
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“The best all-around study of the American cowboy ever written. Every page crackles with keen analysis and vivid prose about the Old West. A must-read!” — Douglas Brinkley, author of The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America
The open-range cattle era lasted barely a quarter century, but it left America irrevocably changed. Cattle Kingdom reveals how the West rose and fell, and how its legacy defines us today. The tale takes us from dust-choked cattle drives to the unlikely splendors of boomtowns like Abilene, Kansas, and Cheyenne, Wyoming. We meet a diverse cast, from cowboy Teddy Blue to failed rancher and future president Teddy Roosevelt. This is a revolutionary new appraisal of the Old West and the America it made.
“Knowlton writes well about all the fun stuff: trail drives, rambunctious cow towns, gunfights and range wars . . . [He] enlists all of these tropes in support of an intriguing thesis: that the romance of the Old West arose upon the swelling surface of a giant economic bubble . . . Cattle Kingdom is The Great Plains by way of The Big Short.” — Wall Street Journal
“Knowlton deftly balances close-ups and bird’s-eye views. We learn countless details . . . More important, we learn why the story played out as it did.” — New York Times Book Review
“The best one-volume history of the legendary era of the cowboy and cattle empires in thirty years.” — True West
About the Author
CHRISTOPHER KNOWLTON is the author of Cattle Kingdom and a former staff writer and London bureau chief for Fortune magazine. He spent fifteen years on Wall Street, most of them as president of Knowlton Brothers, Inc., an investment management firm. He is a trustee of the Teton Raptor Center and the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. He and his wife, Pippa, live in Jackson, Wyoming.
“Lively . . . Analysis does not bog down the storytelling. Knowlton deftly balances close-ups and bird’s-eye views. We learn countless details . . . [but] more important, we learn why the story played out as it did.” – New York Times Book Review
“Cattle Kingdom is the best all-around study of the American cowboy ever written. Every page crackles with keen analysis and vivid prose about the Old West. A must read!” — Douglas Brinkley, author of Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America and The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America
“A fresh look at the U.S. cattle industry . . . This vastly informative volume will be of interest to general readers and a welcome addition for all library collections.”—Library Journal
“Quality book . . . Knowlton’s absorbing work demonstrates that the years of lucrative cattle driving may have been short, but meatpacking and transportation innovations and the rugged individualist ideology of the West maintain their place of importance in American life.” —Publishers Weekly
“An informative and well-written examination of a key area.” —Booklist
“Cattle Kingdom accomplishes the rare feat of capturing the worlds of cattlemen and cowboys in all their color, while also covering well the global economic and environmental tides that made the cattle kingdom rise and fall.” —Stephen Aron, president of the Western History Association and the Robert N. Burr Department Chair, UCLA Department of History
“A pleasing contribution to the history of the post–Civil War frontier.”—Kirkus Reviews