Reconstructing Fort Union

By: John Matzko

Price: $15.96

Quantity: 1 available


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Built to last, Fort Union survived for forty years--long enough to make it the longest-lived fur-trading post in the history of the United States. But the fort's destruction in 1867 marked only the beginning of a tale just as fascinating, a story that concluded with the partial rebuilding of the fort during the 1980s. In this book, John Matzko conducts us through the colorful history of this landmark standing above the confluence of the Missouri and the Yellowstone Rivers--and through the equally colorful tangle of passions, loyalties, and politics surrounding the fort's reconstruction. Here is the Crow-Flies-High band of Hidatsa, who lived on the site in the late nineteenth century; here is the "wild west" town of Mondak, founded in 1904 to peddle alcohol to North Dakotans; and here are the Park Service personnel, whose mission to preserve what is left of the historic fort puts them in direct conflict with civic leaders who want the entire site reconstructed to draw more tourists. Matzko chronicles the struggle, with all the political plays, bureaucratic snags, and chance twists that led to the reconstructionists' victory--and to one of the largest archaeological excavations ever mounted by the National Park Service. As entertaining as it is instructive, his book exposes the tensions inherent in the intellectual and physical rebuilding of the American past.

Title: Reconstructing Fort Union

Author: John Matzko

Illustrator: Reg. Price: $15.96

Categories: Military,

Publisher: University of Nebraska Press: 2001

ISBN Number: 0-8032-3216-0

ISBN Number 13: 9780803232167

Binding: cloth

Book Details: 231 pages, Illus., maps., cloth, University of Nebraska Press

Seller ID: 232167

Description: Built to last, Fort Union survived for forty years-long enough to make it the longest-lived fur-trading post in the history of the United States. But the fort's destruction in 1867 marked only the beginning of a tale just as fascinating, a story that concluded with the partial rebuilding of the fort during the 1980s. In this book, John Matzko conducts us through the colorful history of this landmark standing above the confluence of the Missouri and the Yellowstone Rivers-and through the equally colorful tangle of passions, loyalties, and politics surrounding the fort's reconstruction.
Here is the Crow-Flies-High band of Hidatsa, who lived on the site in the late nineteenth century; here is the "wild west" town of Mondak, founded in 1904 to peddle alcohol to North Dakotans; and here are the Park Service personnel, whose mission to preserve what is left of the historic fort puts them in direct conflict with civic leaders who want the entire site reconstructed to draw more tourists. Matzko chronicles the struggle, with all the political plays, bureaucratic snags, and chance twists that led to the reconstruc-tionists' victory-and to one of the largest archaeological excavations ever mounted by the National Park Service. As entertaining as it is instructive, his book exposes the tensions inherent in the intellectual and physical rebuilding of the American past.

About Author
John Matzko is chair of the Division of Social Sciences at Bob Jones University.

Reviews
"An informative and fascinating account of the most ambitious 'reconstruction' of recent years. Important for readers interested in the controversies of preservation theory, as well as anyone intrigued by how local advocates and organizations like the National Park Service shape our shared perceptions of the past through the management of historic places."—Ethan Carr, author of Wilderness by Design.

"Part primer, part textbook, and part cautionary tale, John Matzko's examination of the events leading to the partial reconstruction of Fort Union should be required reading for those who would undertake similar efforts in the future."--Todd M. Kapler, North Dakota History

"This is a thoroughly researched and well-documented account of the efforts by local citizenry to overcome years and layers of National Park Service bureaucracy. . . . The author is to be congratulated on his skill in addressing such a controversial project in a manner of interest to professional and amateur preservationists, historians, and political scientists."--Jerry Berggren, Journal of the West