Tag Archives: Book Review by Bill Dahl

Astoria – John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson’s Lost Pacific Empire – A Story of Wealth, Ambition and Survival by Peter Stark – A Book Review by Bill Dahl

Riveting. Incomparable suffering. Courage. Stamina. Determination.

Another in a superb series of the history of the Pacific Northwest. A terribly important tale that played a seminal role in the discoveries and exploration of this geographic region – and the lust for wealth that propelled those engaged in this endeavor.

The research here is fantastic. The writing is accessible for all audiences. Frankly, this story is shocking – in far too many ways to recount here. Simply a splendid story that I HIGHLY recommend.

The human drama – the sheer determination to survive when confronted with unimaginable hardship – is a seminal contribution of this work.

 


 

The Good Rain: Across Time & Terrain in the Pacific Northwest – A Book Review by Bill Dahl

Having  lived in the Pacific Northwest the vast majority of my life, reading this book I realized just how ignorant I am about its history. Timothy Egan takes you on a grand tour of the region, using characters you have likely never heard of. That’s just one element of Egan’s magical gift.

I have read 5 Egan books in the last ten days – have one on the shelf and another in my cart on-line. That’ll mean I’ve read ALL of Egan’s books in two weeks. I read approximately 100 books a year. I have for decades. I have NEVER read consecutive volumes of one author’s books – one after another – until I ran into Egan.

Reading Egan is an adventure – a particularly satisfying and unique one. I have few favorite authors. Egan is now in my top 3. PERIOD. His work is just than damn good…better than good…it’s hard to put into words my appreciation for this man’s literary talent. A MASTER storyteller.

LOVED this book. BUY IT! – – – NOW!

Warning: After you read The Good Rain – you’ll be hooked on Timothy Egan…trust me…

 


 

The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl – A Book Review by Bill Dahl

You can taste the gritty dirt in your mouth – and – I caught myself rubbing my eyes – as Timothy Egan spun this true tale of the history of the Dust Bowl.

Couldn’t put it down…a page burner. Burns your soul too.

Buy it! Read it! Grab a large glass of water as you will also become thirsty just reading this magnificent literary marvel.

Wear goggles and a dust mask…

Typical Egan – – – SPECTACULAR!!!

Undaunted Courage

Just one of THE BEST books one might ever read. I loved it. My only sorrow is the way it seemed to end too abruptly – with the tragic end of Lewis’s life. This is adventure writing and history at its best. I am now planning to explore the Bitteroot range. I just can’t find the words to express my deep appreciation for this work. Unequivocally outstanding!

Just wish the ending would have gone on for a few more chapters…the work and the journey -and the reader – deserved a bit more…


 

Cattle Kingdom – The Hidden History of the Cowboy West by Christopher Knowlton – A Review by Bill Dahl

I have read extensively about the history of the American West. It’s a book like Cattle Kingdom that excites me about the fact that the myths that oftentimes inhabit our historical understanding  – can and will be displaced – and rewritten – when exquisitely talented authors like Christopher Knowlton take the reins.

Cattle Kingdom

The depth and breadth of the research that this work contains supports the authors thesis – confirming that history is subject to unearthing new and yet unrevealed discoveries – that can provide the sinew for a new understanding. Knowlton unequivocally demonstrates this unique  journalistic talent. Knowlton’s prose and storytelling ability are hypnotic and mesmerizing.

This is distinctly not a story that requires a preference for tales about the American West. The manner in which Knowlton weaves his story – and brings life to the characters and context – will draw readers who simply desire a really, really good book.

I must admit I had some reluctance deciding whether or not to purchase this volume. I overcame that and am really glad I did.

Many aspects of this book will bring tears to your eyes, ripping your heart apart. You’ll get angry and disgusted. The drama that Knowlton brings to life is addictive…it’s a page turning pleasure. The decimation of the Bison herds had me smelling the carnage that Knowlton described.

For those with an affinity for garnering a better understanding of the American cowboy, the influences in the development of the American West, the cattle industry, the origins of the nature of land ownership in the Western U.S. psyche, the influence of capital in the development of the American West, the beef industry, conservation, wildlife management – and – again – those who desire to be immersed in a truly fascinating true tale – well – this book is for you.

I honestly can’t imagine anyone selecting this book to devour and not coming away completely satisfied about their decision.

Frankly, I urge you to select Christopher Knowlton as your guide to the hidden history of the cowboy West. You’ll be delighted you did. Trust me…believe me…A PHENOMENAL BOOK!!!

YEEHAW!!!

Killers of the Flower Moon – The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI – A Book Review by Bill Dahl

Killers of the Flower Moon – The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann – 2017 – Doubleday NY,NY

Killers of The Flower Moon

 

Riveting. Disgusting. It took way too long to tell this true story. This is a heartbreaker in far too many ways. Yet, BRAVO!!! for Grann to invest his life in revealing the truth – in an enthralling and sensitive way.

The reader will be submerged in the drama, characters and context that is painted so deliberately and eloquently by Grann.

This is a “I can’t put it down” work of American history. Yet, it’s vastly more than that.

Required reading. Absolutely OUTSTANDING!!!