"Gaines Quammen's voice is bright, engaging, and smart. She listens. She is fair. But she is not seduced by cowboy mythology. Her vision calls for an ecological wisdom that can govern our communities, both human and wild, with reverence and respect."
--TERRY TEMPEST WILLIAMS
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.
BETSY GAINES QUAMMEN is a historian and conservationist. She received a doctorate in Environmental History from Montana State University in 2017, her dissertation focusing on Mormon settlement and public land conflicts. After college in Colorado, caretaking for a bed and breakfast in Mosier, Oregon, and serving breakfasts at a cafe in Kanab, Utah, Betsy has settled in Bozeman, Montana, where she now lives with her husband, writer David Quammen, three huge dogs, an overweight cat, and a pretty big python named Boots.