Paperback / softback
March 7, 2006
9780295986128
English
116 illus.
11.00 Inches (US)
8.50 Inches (US)
1.2 Pounds (US)
$30.00 USD
v2.1 Reference

On the Road Again

Montana's Changing Landscape

In On the Road Again, William Wyckoff explores Montana’s changing physical and cultural landscape by pairing photographs taken by state highway engineers in the 1920s and 1930s with photographs taken at the same sites today. The older photographs, preserved in the archives of the Montana Historical Society, were intended to document the expenditure of federal highway funds. Because it is nearly impossible to photograph a road without also photographing the landscape through which that road passes, these images contain a wealth of information about the state’s environment during the early decades of the twentieth century. To highlight landscape changes -- and continuities -- over more than eighty years, Wyckoff chose fifty-eight documented locations and traveled to each to photograph the exact same view. The pairs of old and new photos and accompanying interpretive essays presented here tell a vivid story of physical, cultural, and economic change.

Wyckoff has grouped his selections to cover a fairly even mix of views from the eastern and western parts of the state, including a wide assortment of land use settings and rural and urban landscapes. The photo pairs are organized in thirteen “visual themes,” such as forested areas, open spaces, and sacred spaces, which parallel landscape change across the entire American West.

A close, thoughtful look at these photographs reveals how crops, fences, trees, and houses shape the everyday landscape, both in the first quarter of the twentieth century and in the present. The photographs offer an intimate view into Montana, into how Montana has changed in the past eighty years and how it may continue to change in the twenty-first century.

This is a book that will captivate readers who have, or hope to have, a tie to the Montana countryside, whether as resident or visitor. Regional and agricultural historians, geographers and geologists, and rural and urban planners will all find it fascinating.

About the Authors

William Wyckoff is professor of geography at Montana State University, Bozeman.

Reviews

"Wyckoff presents a fascinating portrait of change in Montana's rural and urban landscape."—The Public Historian

"No one has used repeat photography more richly—as a basis for discussing change broadly in the natural and human landscape—than cultural/historical geographers. And arguably no geographer has succeeded as well as William Wyckoff."—Journal of Cultural Geography

"Rarely can a little book say a lot, but such is the case with geographer William Wyckoff's study of the Montana landscape through historical and contemporary photographs. The result of Wyckoff's careful work is an insightful, enjoyable book. It is of great value to historical geographers, students of landscape, and historic preservationists."—Oregon Historical Quarterly

Endorsements

"The rich possibilities of rephotographic time travel have rarely been more successfully realized than in On the Road Again. The book will intrigue anyone interested not just in Montana, but in the changing landscapes of the American West and of the United States more generally."—William Cronon, from the Foreword

9780295986128 : on-the-road-again-wyckoff-cronon
Paperback / softback
$30.00 USD

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