In writing this classic history of his home state, K. Ross Toole consciously avoided a systematic presentation of chronological facts. Instead, he wrote a series of roughly chronological essays pointing up the themes that course through the years. The result is a sharply drawn portrait of Montana by one who knew how to interpret the remote and recent past and how to write with great effect. "There is little or nothing moderate about Montana, the fourth-largest state, stretching 650 miles across the northern plains and the Rockies, a region beautiful and grim, parched, windbeaten, lonely under its big sky and in its seemingly infinite distances....It is, indeed, an uncommon land and K.Ross Toole, among whose forebears were several of its outstanding pioneers, knows it well from genesis to the present....Excellent."-New York Times "Toole is a native Montanan. . .and he writes with deep feeling and regret about its early despoiling. . . . The familiar trappers, traders, miners, cattle and sheepmen, and Indians are all there, and these are even more romantic company when the airy fictions are shed. Every lover of the longhorn and gun-toting era of our 'frontier'-the television fans included-should find these well-illustrated pages fast-moving and to his liking. The scholarly reader will find some new information and insights and also a helpful bibliography and index."-Christian Science Monitor "The finest exposition of the forces and factors affecting any Western State that has crossed this reader's desk."-W.H. Hutchinson, San Francisco Chronicle K. Ross Toole was Hammond Professor of Western History at the University of Montana and author of many articles and books, including Twentieth-Century Montana: A State of Extremes, published by the University of Oklahoma Press. He was also director of the Montana Historical Society and the Museum of the City of New York.