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NONFICTION

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SAGEBRUSH EMPIRE: 
How a Remote Utah County Became the Battlefront of American Public Lands
 

by JONATHAN P. THOMPSON

"Equal parts piercing investigative journalism and exquisite narrative."

— EVAN SCHERTZ, Co-owner of Maria's Bookshop, Durango CO

San Juan County, Utah, contains some of the most spectacular landscapes in the world, rich in culture and history. But it’s also long been plagued with racism, bitterness, and politics as twisted as the canyons. Award-winning journalist Jonathan P. Thompson explores the redrock canyons and  this corner of the western United States, which for five decades has been at the center of the American public lands wars.

August 2021| Nonfiction | 978-1-948814-44-7 | 364 pp | $19.95

PRAISE FOR JONATHAN P. THOMPSON

 

“Thompson’s investigative chops are impressive."

—SIERRA MAGAZINE

“Thompson weaves his skills of investigative journalism and factual verification with the empowering tools and devices of a novelist.”

—THE UTAH REVIEW

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

JONATHAN P. THOMPSON has been an environmental journalist focusing on the American West since he signed on as reporter and photographer at the Silverton Standard & the Miner newspaper in 1996. He has worked and written for High Country News for over a decade, and his work has appeared in numerous other outlets. He is the author of River of Lost Souls: The Science, Politics, and Greed behind the Gold King Mine Disaster. He and his wife, Wendy, and daughters Lydia and Elena split their time between Colorado and Bulgaria. 

PRAISE FOR SAGEBRUSH EMPIRE

"Equal parts piercing investigative journalism and exquisite narrative, Sagebrush Empire delivers brilliant insight into the conflicting identity of the changing American West."
— EVAN SCHERTZ, Co-owner of Maria's Bookshop, Durango CO

“This book is as gritty as the Southwest itself. Readers will get a glimpse behind the glamour of redrock country, behind the vistas that take your breath away, and learn about the ongoing conflicts between the people who make this area their home. Thompson pulls you into a story that exposes some hard truths about the locals, politicians, and land laws of the West. In narrative style, with well-researched facts, this book reveals the depths to which people will go to protect the things they hold important.”
—AMY MCCLELLAND, Bright Side Bookshop, Flagstaff AZ

“A highly readable account of the origins of the ‘Sagebrush Rebellion’ and its connections to the ongoing battle over Bears Ears National Monument as well as the Native American-led push for voting rights in the area...It’s Thompson's ability to capture some of that diversity that makes Sagebrush Empire a must-read for anyone who shares his love of the land and his fascination with San Juan County’s storied history.”
—SALT LAKE TRIBUNE

ALSO BY THE AUTHOR

RIVER OF LOST SOULS 

What was really behind the 2015 Gold King Mine disaster in southwestern Colorado?

 

When the river that his ancestors had settled next to in the 1870s turned orange with mining-related pollution in 2015, Jonathan P. Thompson knew he would write a book about it. Thompson, an award-winning investigative environmental journalist, digs into the science, politics, and greed behind the 2015 Gold King Mine disaster, and unearths a litany of impacts wrought by a century and a half of mining, energy development, and fracking in southwestern Colorado. Amid these harsh realities, Thompson explores how a new generation is setting out to make amends.

 

"Thompson’s debut work tells the tale of the Four Corners, its history, its people and their interaction with the land—all from the perspective of a fourth-generation Durango resident.”

—THE DURANGO HERALD

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