Bad Land - an American Romance
by Raban, Jonathan
pub. by Vintage books - 1997     isbn 0679759069
_p. - - American history
The Montana territory was opened for homesteading 1910 - 1925 as the last of a number of large parcels of land opened for settlement. (the Dakotas were earlier). The railroads and the government offered 320 acres to those who would settle and improve the land (farm). Purported advances in agriculture promised agricultural yields in an area too dry to support farming activity. The comming of the dustbowl and the great depression of the late 1920s and 1930s bankrupted most of the farms and the land reverted to a ranching lifestyle. Raban does an excellent job telling the tale in such a way that one enjoys the read.