Bad Land: An American Romance

Bad Land: An American Romance is a travelogue of Jonathan Raban's research, over a two-year period, into the settlement of southeastern Montana in the early 20th century. The focus of the book is on the least-populated and least-known area of the United States – the badland area between Marmarth, ND and Terry, MT along the route of the Milwaukee Road railroad and the goings on of various settler families who homesteaded in that area. Emigrants came from Britain, Scandinavia, Russia and Germany in search of a new life in the New World. Nowadays, their ruined houses still stand among forlorn fenceposts trailing whiskers of rusty barbed wire in the arid landscape of eastern Montana, dotted with low buttes and scored with dry creek-beds. The settlers attempted to build a hopeful civilization on the prairie, only to see it collapse within little more than a decade during the time of the Dirty Thirties.


Bad Land: An American Romance is a travelogue of Jonathan Raban's research, over a two-year period, into the settlement of southeastern Montana in the early 20th century. The focus of the book is on the least-populated and least-known area of the United States – the badland area between Marmarth, ND and Terry, MT along the route of the Milwaukee Road railroad and the goings on of various settler families who homesteaded in that area. Emigrants came from Britain, Scandinavia, Russia and Germany in search of a new life in the New World. Nowadays, their ruined houses still stand among forlorn fenceposts trailing whiskers of rusty barbed wire in the arid landscape of eastern Montana, dotted with low buttes and scored with dry creek-beds. The settlers attempted to build a hopeful civilization on the prairie, only to see it collapse within little more than a decade during the time of the Dirty Thirties.
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