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The Backbone of the World


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"Clifford offers an astute and loving look at those high, dry places along the Continental Divide where only durable people endure. It's an American classic."--Tony Hillerman "Honest, lovely writing that catches the scents, sounds, sights, and significance of the high West. There aren't but a handful of people who can write this well about these people and places."--Roger Kennedy, Director Emeritus, the National Museum of American History, and former Director, the U.S. National Park Service "Like an old-time circuit rider Frank Clifford journeys up and down the spine of the Rocky Mountains, taking down the very 21st century joys and woes of its inhabitants, among them, sheepherders, conservationists, ranchers, miners, and outfitters. He listens with an accurate ear. His prose is lucid and unsentimental, as sure-footed and knowing as those who inhabit these fine pages." -Gretel Ehrlich "For Frank Clifford, the Continental Divide is more than a geographical reference. It is also the dividing line and mystic mid-region between a West (and a nation) forever vanishing and a West (and a nation) enmeshed in the multiple meanings, losses, and gains, human and environmental, of change, change, change."-Dr. Kevin Starr, State Librarian of California

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