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Resounds: Betsy Gaines Quammen

Author and historian Betsy Gaines Quammen
courtesy Betsy Gaines Quammen
Author and historian Betsy Gaines Quammen

Betsy Gaines Quammen is a historian and writer who examines the intersections of extremism, public lands, wildlife, and western communities. She received a PhD in history from Montana State University, with her dissertation focusing on Mormon settlement and public land conflicts. She also holds an MS in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana. Betsy is the author of American Zion: Cliven Bundy, God, and Public Lands in the West. Her new book, True West: Myth and Mending on the Far Side of America, was released in October 2023.

Betsy traveled from the Northern Rockies to the deserts of the Southwest to explore how myths shape our identities, heighten polarizations, and fracture our shared understanding of the American West. In the book, she uncovers misperceptions about land, politics, liberty, and self-determination that threaten the well-being of people and communities across the country, but particularly the American West.

Author Ryan Busse said, “This book is an expertly guided tour through the revealing parts of our twisted western reality. At once beautiful, engaging and disturbing, Quammen’s book is a revealing mirror to the place us westerners call home.”

Montana poet laureate Chris La Tray said, “Quammen shows us that this common humanity is where we must focus to find the solutions for a beautiful future in a region so many of us love.”

Betsy lives in Bozeman, Montana, with her husband, science writer David Quammen.

Corby Skinner is an independent marketing professional with an enormous capacity for assessing issues and creating positive, effective messages.