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Bridging the Distance

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Copyright: 2015
Trim: 6 x 9
Pages: 312 pp.
Illustrations: 17 illustrations, 4 maps

PAPER
978-1-60781-455-9
$30.00
Short

eBOOK
978-1-60781-456-6
$24.00

Bridging the Distance

Common Issues of the Rural West

Edited by David B. Danbom

Foreword by David Kennedy

Published in cooperation with the Bill Lane Center for the American West, Stanford University

Regional Studies

As David Kennedy points out in his foreword, the West was once seen as a beacon of opportunity, and it is still a place where many ways of life can flourish. But it is also a region that leaves some people isolated both culturally and geographically. The essays collected here, the results of a 2012 conference, consider the problems and prospects of the rural West and its residents.

The issues are considered in four sections—Defining the Rural West, Community, Economy, and Land Use—each with an introduction by editor David Danbom. They highlight factors that set the region apart from the rest of the country and provide varied perspectives on challenges faced by those living in often remote areas, including the shortcomings of rural health care, disagreements about the use of natural resources, conflicts over water, and cultural divides within communities.

Fresh, informative, and insightful examinations of the complex problems facing the rural West, these essays will spur conversations and the search for solutions.


David B. Danbom is the Fargo Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Professor Emeritus at North Dakota State University, where he taught for 36 years. He has authored six books, most recently Born in the Country: A History of Rural America and Sod Busting: How Families Made Farms on the 19th-Century Plains.



Table of Contents:

List of Illustrations and Tables
Foreword – David M. Kennedy
Acknowledgments
Introduction – David B. Danbom

DEFINING THE RURAL WEST
Finding the Rural West – Jon K. Lauck
Conquering Distance? Broadband and the Rural West – Geoff McGhee

COMMUNITY
Too Close for Comfort: When Big Stories Hit Small Towns – Judy Muller
On Water and Wolves: Toward an Integrative Political Ecology of the “New” West – J. Dwight Hines
Irrigation Communities, Political Cultures, and the Public in the Age of Depletion – Burke W. Griggs
Health Disparities among Latino Immigrants Living in the Rural West – Marc Schenker

THE RURAL WESTERN ECONOMY
Energy Development Opportunities and Challenges in the Rural West – Mark N. Haggerty and Julia H. Haggerty
The New Natural Resource Economy: A Framework for Rural Community Resilience – 
Michael Hibbard and Susan Lurie

LAND USE IN THE RURAL WEST
The Angry West: Understanding the Sagebrush Rebellion in Rural Nevada – Leisl Carr Childers
Skull Valley Goshutes and the Politics of Place, Identity, and Sovereignty in Rural Utah – David Rich Lewis

Contributors
Selected Bibliography
Index


Praise and Reviews:

“These essays are pertinent, offering valuable perspectives and insights.”
—William D. Rowley, author of Reclaiming the Arid West: The Career of Francis G. Newlands

“This book represents current thinking across a variety of disciplines regarding the rural West. It is up-to-date and offers a fresh look at current challenges facing the region.”

—Brian Q. Cannon, co-editor of Immigrants in the Far West and co-author of The Awkward State of Utah: Coming of Age in the Nation, 1896–1945 (both University of Utah Press)

Bridging the Distance is an intriguing book that approaches the problems and concerns of isolated western communities from a variety of perspectives. It is highly recommended for interested readers and post-secondary classroom use, especially for courses in history, political science, and community planning. This collection is a welcome corrective to the assumption that urban spaces have a monopoly on all that is interesting and useful in America.”
—South Dakota History

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