Join The Community Library on May 26, 2020, at 5:30 p.m. for a virtual conversation with Betsy Gaines Quammen, author of American Zion: Cliven Bundy, God & Public Lands in the West. Quammen will be in conversation with the Library’s Programs and Education Manager, Martha 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. She has studied various religious traditions over the years, with particular attention to how cultures view landscape and wildlife. The rural American west, pastoral communities of northern Mongolia, and the grasslands of East Africa have been her main areas of interest. After college in Colorado, caretaking for a bed and breakfast in Mosier, Oregon, and serving breakfasts at a café in Kanab, Utah, Betsy has settled in Bozeman, Montana,where she now lives with her husband, writer David Quammen, two huge dogs, an overweight cat, and a pretty big python named Boots.
This program was originally scheduled for March 26. Books are available for sale at Chapter One Bookstore.