Close
Enter your search into one or more of the boxes below:
You can refine your search by selecting from any of the options below:
Search
Magnificent Failure: A Portrait of the Western Homestead Era

Magnificent Failure: A Portrait of the Western Homestead Era (Paperback)

£26.99
To Order. Estimated despatch in 1-3 weeks.
Email me when back in stock

Synopsis

In words that are as clean and precise as his haunting, starkly beautiful photographs, the author vividly recreates the life and times of the Western Homestead Era, that period beginning around 1885 when the prairie lands lying westward from the longitude of the western Dakotas became available to pioneering farmers. Some 70 black-and-white duotone photographs, with detailed captions, record the bleak landscapes and the abandoned farms, outbuildings, farm implements, and hand tools that are mute testimonies to the failed hopes of several million families who settled on these arid and semi-arid lands. The author explains how their failure resulted from a deadly combination of natural and economic causes. Neither the federal government nor the homesteaders themselves were aware that some of the western homestead land was so dry that artificial irrigation often was required. But irrigation was unavailable to most of these farms, and many thousands of them failed within a few years. On most of the homestead lands, however, dry farming-by which crops are watered by falling rain and snow-permitted the newcomers to plant and reap a variety of crops.

For several decades, these regions produced flourishing farms, towns, railroad lines, and dirt and gravel roads. Meanwhile, and again unanticipated by both government and the prospering farmers, the climate of these productive regions was becoming increasingly dry. This was the natural phenomenon that culminated in the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, which was coincidentally accompanied by the Great Depression. Crops went begging for lack of water, banks closed, railroads were abandoned, and the formerly prosperous homesteaders went broke by the several millions. Historians of the Western United States have largely ignored the homesteaders. There is little romance in farming, especially when compared with that attached to cowboys, Indians, explorers, and fur traders. Still, the homesteaders were heroes in their own right. Theirs was the last great endeavor in the opening of the West, and this book, with its moving text, historical introduction, and stunning photographs, tells their story.

John Martin Campbell is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, and Research Professor and Research Curator of the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, at the University of New Mexico. In addition to his academic writing, he is the author of two other photographic works, Few and Far Between: Moments in the North American Desert and The Prairie Schoolhouse.

More books by John Martin Campbell

Leave Review

Delivery

Delivery Options

All delivery times quoted are the average, and cannot be guaranteed. These should be added to the availability message time, to determine when the goods will arrive. During checkout we will give you a cumulative estimated date for delivery.

Location 1st Book Each additional book Average Delivery Time
UK Second Class Available free for ALL orders. No charge for each additional book. 3-7 Days
UK First Class £4.50 £1.00 1-2 Days
UK Courier £7.00 £1.00 1-2 Days
Western Europe** Courier £17.00 £3.00 2-3 Days
Western Europe** Airmail £5.00 £1.50 4-14 Days
USA / Canada Courier £20.00 £3.00 2-4 Days
USA / Canada Airmail £7.00 £3.00 4-14 Days
Rest of World Courier £22.50 £3.00 3-6 Days
Rest of World Airmail £8.00 £3.00 7-21 Days

** Includes Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Irish Republic, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Delivery Help & FAQs

Returns Information

If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase*, you may return it to us in its original condition with in 30 days of receiving your delivery or collection notification email for a refund. Except for damaged items or delivery issues the cost of return postage is borne by the buyer. Your statutory rights are not affected.

* For Exclusions and terms on damaged or delivery issues see Returns Help & FAQs

You might also like

Sustainable Viticulture: The Vines ...
(Hardback)
Claude Chapuis
 
 
£95.00
 
To Build a Vineyard: An Adventure of...
(Paperback)
Christina Brooks
 
 
£8.99
 

Currently out of stock

Latest Blog
Read an Extract from A Skinful of Shadows
21/09/2017

Read an extract from the eagerly awaited new novel by the Costa-winning Frances Hardinge, A Skinful of Shadows.

#FoylesFive: Elsewhere-Elsewhen
18/09/2017

Jen from the Web Team shares a selection of books that will transport the reader to another time and place.

Growler: The Inspiration for the Now Iconic Bear
18/09/2017

James Campbell describes how the groundbreaking approach to illustration adopted by Milne and Shepard came about, which bear provided the inspiration for the drawings and which of the characters was Shepard's secret favourite.

View all Blog Entries
Twitter
Show/Hide Tweets
© W&G Foyle Ltd