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  • The power of music, the power of obsession

    Sarah Bird’s well-written novel The Flamenco Academy weaves the history of this dramatic dance form into a obsessed young woman’s search for identity.

  • How a restaurant changed the world

    A famous French natural-foods restaurant in Berkeley, Calif., is the subject of Thomas McNamee’s book, Alice Waters and Chez Panisse: The Romantic, Impractical, Often Eccentric, Ultimately Brilliant Making of a Food Revolution.

  • The Sunflower State says a historic no to coal

    Allen Best applauds Kansas for denying permits to two proposed coal-fired power plants because of concerns about greenhouse gases.

  • Sniffin’ out scat for conservation

    Wicket – a wildly energetic dog discovered in an animal shelter – serves scientists by looking for grizzly poop in the Montana wilds.

  • Safe crossing

    Traffic engineers work with biologists to protect both wildlife and motorists on hazardous highways.

  • Two weeks in the West

    A look at the recent California wildfires details how much they’ve cost so far and how many acres were burned, especially in the expanding wildland-urban interface.

  • L.A. Bets on the Farm

    The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California – the West’s most powerful water agency – uses a shrewd blend of Wall Street tactics and rural diplomacy to keep the water flowing to L.A. and its environs.

  • Even four-footed employees deserve to retire

    Susan Ives tells the story of Edith Ann, a faithful horse that narrowly escaped euthanasia when the Park Service decided she was too old and gimpy to be of further use.

  • Six Good Places

    David Oates ranges from the Sierra Nevada to Aix-en-Provence as he considers the particular qualities that make a place worth living in.

  • Bloodied but unbowed

    The Western novel is not entirely dead; it has simply changed a great deal since the glory days of Zane Grey.

  • Wet words

    Brian Doyle recommends the best reads about the Pacific Northwest, with particular emphasis on his home state, Oregon.

  • In Large and Sunlit Land

    Peter Chilson ponders the parallel fates of two lovely and ravaged lands: The Southwest desert in America and the West Coast of Africa.

  • Another near-death experience for environmentalism

    Environmental contrarians Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger jump back into the fray with a new book, Break Through: From the Death of Environmentalism to the Politics of Possibility.

  • Looking forward, looking back

    William Kittredge brings together new and selected essays about life in the West in The Next Rodeo.

  • Mystery in Montana

    Deirdre McNamer’s new novel, Red Rover, beautifully captures the unromantic realism of Montana’s small towns.

  • Borders and saints

    Latino writer Luis Alberto Urrea talks about the border and remembers the women in his family who inspired him.

  • No frigate like a book

    This special issue focuses on books and essays that help us understand the complex, chaotic West.

  • RV Nation

    On a Western road trip, Evelyn Spence ponders the peculiar names – and increasing numbers – of gigantic RVs.

  • Nothing out there can be a very good thing

    Julianne Couch surveys the vastness of Wyoming’s Adobe Town badlands and hopes that oil and gas drilling does not invade its beautiful emptiness.

  • Fire managers play a subtle new game

    Forest Service fire manager Brent Skaggs worries that the Framework's new burning restrictions won't allow the amount of controlled burning he believes necessary to prevent catastrophic wildfires.

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