Clay S. Jenkinson’s love affair with North Dakota and the Great Plains is the central theme of his life. For the Love of North Dakota is a compilation of essays—many of which began as newspaper columns in the Bismarck Tribune—that explores two themes: the changing face of North Dakota as it makes the transition from an agrarian enclave at the heart of the North American continent to a more globally connected urban and industrial society; and the spirit of place of North Dakota, an isolated, windswept, subarctic grassland that has its own enchantment and astonishing beauty.

Jenkinson writes lovingly about the Little Missouri River Valley and the badlands of western North Dakota, the magnificence of plains blizzards and thunderstorms, driving the American West without any settled destination in mind, about the lingering rituals of small-town life, and about North Dakota’s search for a postagrarian identity.

Jenkinson emerges in these essays as the most significant voice of concern about the future of the Great Plains in North Dakota, of family farming and heritage ranching, of the sanctity of the Missouri River, and the quiet landscapes that have made North Dakotans a unique rural people.
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