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Reviews 169 civic committee which voted to divert part of a nearby river from Quinn’s ranch. Here, water becomes the focus of a struggle for power, just as it does in Roman Polanski’s Chinatown. Indeed, Quinn himself possesses something of the amoral charm of Noah Cross. Although we do not ordinarily think of him as a regionalist, Truman Capote is one of a number of eastern writers who has found in the West both a literal and a metaphorical setting for some of his better work. MARK ROYDEN WINCHELL University of Southern Mississippi Big Sioux Pioneers. Edited by Arthur R. Huseboe. (Sioux Falls, SD: Nordland Heritage Foundation, 1980. 88 pages, $3.00.) Interest in ethnic background spawns the organization of heritage foun­ dations, and they, in turn, emphasize local histories. Many references to very specific locations and surnames, recognizable to members of the Nordland Heritage Foundation, are made in Big Sioux Pioneers: Essays about the Settlement of the Dakota Frontier. This collection, therefore, appears to be another compilation of endemic topics. It is that, yet more. Detailing marks the collection. Readers of western American literature will find most of these essays quite edifying, because O. E. Rolvaag’s Scandi­ navians monopolize the text. The contributing authors focus on the acquisi­ tion of land, the buildings, farming methods, and old world-new world values. Although the entire collection is well-titled, the articles appealing to wide readership seem to be camouflaged. Big Sioux Pioneers will never sell a million copies but would approach that figure more closely if the collection’s feature author, O. E. Rolvaag, had received top billing on the cover as he did inside. KATHRYN E. R. JOHNSON, Logan, Utah Winter Brothers: A Season at the Edge of America. By Ivan Doig. (New York and London: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980. 246 pages, $10.95.) The author wants us to believe he met his “brother,” James Gilchrist Swan, in the University of Washington library, deep in its archives where box after box of Swan’s diaries are kept — forty years of diaries totaling some two and a half million handwritten words. Under the spell of these ...


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