Home on the Range

A Century on the High Plains

James R. Dickenson

Home on the Range chronicles the epic drama of the settling and development of the High Plains, as viewed through the saga of journalist James Dickenson's family and the wheat-farming community of McDonald, Kansas.

With a reporter's sharp eye for detail and human drama, as well as a lucid understanding of the grand sweep of history, Dickenson paints a highly personal portrait of American rural life and its tenacious struggle to survive. By turns lyrical, nostalgic, and unflinchingly realistic, Dickenson weaves a fascinating narrative in which shootouts, lynchings, human chicanery, and nature's treachery test the community's unswerving faith in hard work, tradition, and themselves.

“A thoroughly readable story of the Dickenson family and the part of the country from which they come, a land of dust storms, ghost towns, and good country people. I was surprised at book’s end by the degree to which I had been touched by the tale of how McDonald continues to hold out against the elements and the odds. Anyone who has spent time in a small town will warm to this book. Anyone in the business of passing laws that affect the daily life of small towns ought to read it with special care.”

Washington Post Book World

“Dickenson’s story is something of a rural everyman’s tale. . . . It records the passage of the nation from agrarian innocence to international player and shows how these changes affected the once small but prosperous farming community. His warm, full prose is as engaging and inviting as the people about whom he writes and clearly cherishes.”

Library Journal
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About the Author

James R. Dickenson, a native Kansan, has been a journalist in Washington, D.C., for nearly thirty years. He lives in Maryland.