Fifty-Six Counties: A Montana Journey

Released May 30, 2016

For two years, Rowland traveled to every county in Montana and interviewed people about what it means to be from Montana and how living and growing up here has shaped them as people. He also delved deep into the history to try and find patterns that still exist in our boom and bust economy, and how this has impacted our ability to survive as a state, despite being exploited time and again by outsiders. Fifty-Six Counties has quickly become a classic Montana book, thanks to the personal touch Rowland brings to the story.


56 Counties Reviews

Fifty-Six Counties, a book I read with pleasure and admiration, is a great companion for those who already love Montana and for those anxious to get a real sense of the place without the salesmanship.”

– Tom McGuane, author of The Cadence of Grass and Gallatin Canyon

“If you have room for only one book about Montana on your shelf, make it this one.”

-David Abrams, author of Fobbit

“Russell Rowland is fiercely devoted to the atonement and beauty that are the hallmarks of all great works of art.  Rowland names our collective loneliness, but does so with a fierce and tender devotion to the mothers and fathers of all races, all cultures. Fifty-Six Counties is animated by the numinous even as it humbles us, makes us more sane, and draws us into a new and invigorating experience of the essence of life. This is a book for Montana, for the nation, and for the world.”

-Shann Ray, Author of American Masculine, Balefire,
and American Copper

“I can’t wait for others to discover this book. Thoughtful, wise, funny, sincere, and deep: those are the words that come to mind when reading this treasure. Rowland is a humble observer, but he’s also willing to dig deep and bravely, offering astute reflections on the state, its resources, its peoples, its history, and its charm and its dangers. In a voice all his own, Rowland proves to be warm and personable, and yet cutting and real—basically, one couldn’t wish for a better guide to the state of Montana. This book is utterly unique. A gorgeous accomplishment.”

-Laura Pritchett, author of Stars Go Blue

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