1st Edition

The Medicine Line
Life and Death on a North American Borderland

ISBN 9780415927659
Published February 22, 2002 by Routledge
274 Pages 35 Color Illustrations

USD $46.95

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Book Description

The Medicine Line: Life and Death on the North American Borderland, is a complex and oftentimes dramatic mix of narrative storytelling and history in which ironies are explored, patterns of deed and response are uncovered, examined and evaluated...Beth Ladow is a compelling stylist who writes with warmth and insight, and she has given us a smart book, which will help us understand one another, and a good read. We need more books like this one. -- William Kittredge, Author of THE NATURE OF GENOROSITY(knopf,2000)



Beth Ladow earned her M.A. in History at Harvard University and her Ph.D. at Brandeis and is now and independent scholar and writer. She is a commentator for National Public Radio in Boston and lives in Winchester, Massachusetts.


"The Montana-Saskatchewan border seems to contain a whole lot of nothing, but La Dow find there an engaging story that figures into the history of the U.S., Canada, and various Indian tribes." -- Jeff Morris, Montana Magazine
"LaDow's beautiful prose creates a narrative that is both compelling and evocative of the land and people she chronicles... The end result is an eloquent, even elegant, assessment of life and death along the "Medicine Line." -- Jim Mochoruk, Montana: The Magazine of Western History
"La Dow's brief volume is an excellent example of writing the big story while focussing on a small place over a brief period of time . [and] writing is mercifully free of postmodernist jargon." -- Choice
"Wallace Stegner, who grew up near the medicine line, caught the landscapes's harsh, wild beauty, and in this fine book LaDow gives it the history it deserves." -- The New Yorker
"An involving contribution to western history." -- Booklist
"A comprehensive history at the volatile history of the border territory separating Montana and Canada...LaDow ably captures the past, limning the scope of the many changes and cultural conflicts that penetrated this stark region...the book tells a story of considerable importance." -- Kirkus Review
"Beth LaDow charts a much-overlooked region of continental history and geography." -- Toronto Star
"It's a switch to see a Yank soothing an identity crisis by scratching our myths. Yet that's what Beth LaDow is up to in this fine history of medicine line country...General readers and experts will profit from this book." -- The Globe and Mail
"In this absorbing history of a place, the borderland between Saskatchewan and Montana, Beth LaDow blends narrative and biography with scholarly research and remarkable personal insight. Her prose is as spare and subtly graceful as the prairie she writes about." -- Seattle Times
"The Medicine Line is a book to savor. Beth LaDow writes with wit, compassion, grace, and spirit. Attending closely to a segment of the U.S.-Canadian border, LaDow tells sharp and memorable stories which will enrich both Western U.S. history and the whole enterprise of comparative and trans-national history. In matters of ethnic diversity and culturaldifference, this book offers something close to perfect pitch." -- Patricia Nelson Limerick, University of Colorado, author of THE LEGACY OF CONQUEST and SOMETHING IN THE SOIL
"Beth LaDow is an uncommnly talented writer--witty, imaginative, and full of warmth and sympathy for her subjects. In this deeply researched but always vividly told story, the Montana-Saskatchewan border becomes a revealing heartland of the North American experience. Settlers, American and Canadian, struggle with the power of nature, winning a few inches here, losing a few there. This is a writer to watch and a book to cherish." -- Donald Worster, Hall Distinguished Professor of American History, University of Kansas
"People and events cannot be divided by a line on the ground or drawn on a map. Beth LaDow combines both historical and personal perspectives here to tell the compelling story of what happened on both sides of "the medicine line," the Indians' conception of the border between the United States and Canada. Her book is a fine contribution to history and an engaging narrative as well." -- Robert M.Utley, author of THE LANCE AND THE SHIELD: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF SITTING BULL
"This is a serious bok but that not mean that Ms LaDow cannot introduce sparks of humour when a theme becomes too serious, or tedious. Good stories abound." -- Geomatica, Vol. 55, No.2, 2001
"This is an extremely well-researched and well-written book...the overall image LaDow presents is a graphic one that accurately depicts the life, times, and images of the dry borderland." -- Oregon Historical Quarterly, Spring 2002