This book presents a bird’s eye view of the transition of a segment of the Louisiana Purchase into the states of Montana, North Dakota, and Wyoming. It offers historical data meshed with Western poetry, with each one of the book’s twentythree poems contributing a relevant insight. Topics covered include, among others, the Civil War in Montana, the “Big Die-Up” of 1886-1887, the myth and reality of the American West, and the end of the homesteading era. According to the author, Dakota is more than a collection of Western verse- it is a raft with twenty-three supporting logs that has skimmed o’er the river of Western history.
Bette Wolf Duncan was born and raised in Montana. She is the granddaughter of Montana homesteaders; and the great-granddaughter of some of the earliest settlers in North Dakota’s Red River Valley. Her late husband’s grandfather settled in eastern Montana before it became a state. The West has always been more than the stereotyped picture too often presented. It is the home of a different breed of people- a people whose rock-hard range existence branded them inside. In Dakota she paints an accurate picture of the West and some of those magnificent people.