Montana has a long and celebrated tradition of artful, reﬂective nonﬁction. From Joseph Kinsey Howard’s Montana: High, Wide, and Handsome to K. Ross Toole’s Montana: An Uncommon Land, we’ve been gifted with a series of erudite and sharp-eyed guides to help show us who we are. To this eminent list we can now add Russell Rowland’s Fifty-Six Counties: A Montana Journey.
A native Montanan and an acclaimed novelist (In Open Spaces, High and Inside), Rowland spent the better part of two years studying and traveling around his beloved home state, from the mines of Butte to the pine forests of the Northwest, from the stark, wind-scrubbed badlands of the East to the tourist-driven economies of the mountain West. Along the way, he considered our state’s essential character, where we came from and, most of all, what we might be in the process of becoming.