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Dakotah

Dakotah
The Return of the Future

In this fourth volume of his “Unnatural History of America” series, acclaimed journalist Charles Bowden interweaves his own biography with a vivid history of the American Great Plains to explore how identity is forged.

November 2019
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$24.95
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184 pages | 5.5 x 8.5 |
ISBN: 
978-1-4773-1996-3
Description: 

“On a bend, I will see it, a piece of ground off to the side. I will know the feel of this place: the leaves stir slowly on the trees, dry air smells like dust, birds dart and the trails are made by beasts living free.”

When award-winning author Charles Bowden died in 2014, he left behind a trove of unpublished manuscripts. Dakotah marks the landmark publication of the first of these texts, and the fourth installment in his acclaimed “Unnatural History of America.” Bowden uses America’s Great Plains as a lens—sometimes sullied, sometimes shattered, but always sharp—for observing pivotal moments in the lives of anguished figures, including himself.

In scenes that are by turns wrenching and poetic, Bowden describes the Sioux’s forced migrations and rebellions alongside his own ancestors’ migrations from Europe to Midwestern acres beset by unforgiving winters. He meditates on the lives of his resourceful mother and his philosophical father, who rambled between farm communities and city life. Interspersed with these images are clear-eyed, textbook-defying anecdotes about Lewis and Clark, Daniel Boone, and, with equal verve, twentieth-century entertainers “Pee Wee” Russell, Peggy Lee, and other musicians. The result is a kaleidoscopic journey that penetrates the senses and redefines the notion of heartland. Dakotah is a powerful ode to loss from one of our most fiercely independent writers.

Contents: 
  • Foreword by Terry Tempest Williams
  • My Piece of Ground
  • Heartland
  • Andrew Jackson
  • Lewis and Clark
  • Dakotah
  • Heartland
  • Jude
  • Heartland
  • Dakotah
  • Jude
  • Heartland
  • Bo
  • Delta
  • Heartland
  • Dakotah
  • Daniel Boone
  • Disney
  • My Piece of Ground
  • Jude and Bo
  • Dakotah
  • Daniel Boone
  • Dakotah
  • Lewis and Clark
  • Dakotah
  • Daniel Boone
  • Heartland
  • Lewis and Clark
  • Dakotah
  • Lewis and Clark
  • Dakotah
  • Disney
  • Daniel Boone
  • Dakotah
  • Jude and Bo: Part III
  • Daniel Boone
  • Dakotah
  • Daniel Boone
  • Delta
  • Dakotah
  • Lewis and Clark
  • Jude and Bo: Part IV
  • Notes
Author: 

CHARLES BOWDEN
(1945–2014)

Author of many acclaimed books about the American Southwest and US-Mexico border issues, Bowden was a contributing editor for GQ, Harper’s, Esquire, and Mother Jones and also wrote for the New York Times Book Review, High Country News, and Aperture. His honors included a PEN First Amendment Award, Lannan Literary Award for Nonfiction, and the Sidney Hillman Award for outstanding journalism that fosters social and economic justice. He wrote The Red Caddy in 1994.