Cattle Kingdom: The Hidden History of the Cowboy West
In what may be one of the surprise top sellers of the year, Knowlton captures an element of the Old Wild West and frames it with current events. In essence, while resurrecting the past with newly exposed secrets, Cattle Kingdom gives us insight into why we tip our hats to the mythological cowpoke.
The significance of the cattle kingdom is the way it shaped our country’s landscape today in a crazy quilt of wilderness areas, farms, ranches, forests, cities, towns, and suburbs.
Beginning with the near extinction of the American bison herds, Knowlton follows the rise of open-range cattlemen driving their steers across the Great Plains, first to Saint Louis, then onward to the slaughterhouses of Chicago. The influx of European money enters the scene, luring noblemen to the American West as they race to dominate the beef market. This market seems like a sure thing, but competing greed, harsh winters, and other elements take their toll.
Knowlton climaxes the end of the open-range era with the Johnson County War. The irony is the outlaws are rescued by the United States Cavalry and protected from prosecution by the government. Most of them lost their fortunes but were forever changed by that golden era. Just reading this true history of the Old West may change you, too.
|Page Count||448 pages|
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