American Zion : Cliven Bundy, God & Public Lands in the West by Betsy Quammen
What happens when members of an American religion—one built in the nineteenth century on personal prophecy and land proprietorship—assert possession over western federal lands, armed with guns and a certainty that God wants them to go to war? American Zion is the story of the ongoing feud between Mormon ranching family the Bundys, the federal government, and the American public. Historian Betsy Gaines Quammen examines the roots of the Bundys’ cowboy confrontations, and how history has shaped an often-dangerous mindset which today feeds the militia movement and threatens public lands, wild species, and American heritage.
“This book is like a skeleton key, unlocking so many complicated, and largely unquestioned, myths of the West.”
—ANNE HELEN PETERSEN, BuzzFeed News
“American Zion provides essential background for anyone concerned about the future of open space in the western United States. It also happens to be a delight to read.”
—JON KRAKAUER, author of Under the Banner of Heaven
“Brilliant and electrifying . . . Gaines Quammen’s voice is bright, engaging, and smart.”
—TERRY TEMPEST WILLIAMS, author of Erosion