Bill Croke

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A Life in Sketches
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A Life in Sketches

If Nevada can be said to have a first family equivalent to the Kennedys of Massachusetts, that family is the Laxalts. This immigrant Basque clan of a century’s residence has given America a U.S. senator (Paul Laxalt, now retired) and

American Renaissance Man
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American Renaissance Man

Charles Fletcher Lummis was born near Bristol, New Hampshire, in 1859 and received an extraordinary education at the feet of his father, Henry Lummis, an erudite Methodist minister. This homeschooling was so effective that, by the time young Charlie got

Horror of Home
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Horror of Home

Travel writing in the post-World War II era gradually became the prosaic stuff of Sunday newspaper supplements, nothing more than Baedeker-type guides to fancy hotels and chic restaurants in foreign capitals. Bruce Chatwin revived the classic traveling-by-the-seat-of-your-pants school, a genre

The Newspaper West
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The Newspaper West

In Flint’s Honor, Richard Wheeler has painted a realistic portrait of life in a Colorado mining town, with special emphasis on the importance of newspapers in the civic life of the frontier West.

Sam Flint (a character continuing to

Have Armchair, Will Travel
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Have Armchair, Will Travel

Travel writers are a diverse lot. The great ones—Evelyn Waugh, Somerset Maugham, Graham Greene—sought out the seedy outposts of colonialism, frequenting hotel bars peopled by jaded, witty expatriates. Others, such as Bruce Chatwin, who tramped through Patagonia and Afghanistan with

Our Time
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Our Time

In a regional literary world ripe with poseurs, Ivan Doig may be the true descendant of Wallace Stegner. Unlike the typical carpetbagger who begins with preconceived notions as to the nature of the “real” West, Doig actually grew up here

First Things First
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First Things First

Once, in a Paris bookstore, biographer Leon Edel heard Ernest Hemingway’s take on T.E. Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom. “Camels!” bellowed Papa. “Camels!” In his new book, Thomas McGuane has given us Horses! Horses!

There is a theory that

New West Gothic
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New West Gothic

The American short story is moribund. The passing of giants (Flannery O’Connor, John Cheever, John O’Hara, Irwin Shaw, Peter Taylor) has relegated the form to the purgatory of academic hackdom and its innumerable ideological ax-grinders paying homage to a plethora