Shadowlands: Fear and Freedom at the Oregon Standoff

Shadowlands: Fear and Freedom at the Oregon Standoff

by Anthony McCann


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Los Angeles Times Bestseller

An “epic exploration” of the 2016 right-wing Oregon Occupation—"an excellent microcosm by which we might better understand our difficult national history and distressing political moment” (Maggie Nelson).

In 2016, a group of armed, divinely inspired right-wing protestors led by Ammon Bundy occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in the high desert of eastern Oregon. Encamped in the shadowlands of the republic, insisting that the Federal government had no right to own public land, the occupiers were seen by a divided country as either dangerous extremists dressed up as cowboys, or as heroes insisting on restoring the rule of the Constitution. From the Occupation’s beginnings, to the trials of the occupiers in federal court in downtown Portland and their tumultuous aftermaths, Shadowlands is the resonant, multifaceted story of one of the most dramatic flashpoints in the year that gave us Donald Trump.

Sharing the expansive stage with the occupiers are a host of others—Native American tribal leaders, public-lands ranchers, militia members, environmentalists, federal defense attorneys, and Black Lives Matter activists—each contending in their different ways with the meaning of the American promise of Liberty. Gathering into its vortex the realities of social media technology, history, religion, race, and the environment—this piercing work by Anthony McCann offers us a combination of beautiful writing and high-stakes analysis of our current cultural and political moment. Shadowlands is a clarifying, exhilarating story of a nation facing an uncertain future and a murky past in a time of great collective reckoning.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781635571202
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 07/02/2019
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 557,114
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Anthony McCann is the author of the poetry collections Thing Music, I Heart Your Fate and Moongarden. He currently teaches creative writing at the California Institute of the Arts and in the Low-Residency MFA program of the University of California, Riverside. Born and raised in the Hudson Valley, McCann now lives in the Mojave Desert.

Table of Contents

Prologue xiii

Part I Sovereign Feelings

1 My Dear Friends 3

2 Shadowlands 10

3 The Glory in the Wash 25

4 The Education of David Ward 33

5 The Beautiful Pattern 48

6 Oath Magick 60

7 Ye Olde Castle 75

8 Necessary Bodies 88

9 Rightful Owners 103

10 Zion's Camp 121

11 It's the Economy, Stupid 135

12 By Other Means 155

13 Sacrifice 168

14 Camp Finicum 189

15 Hallelujah 206

Part II The Boisterous Sea of Liberty

Opening Arguments 219

16 Before the Law 221

17 The Power of the Jury 229

18 Citizens of Heaven 241

19 The Wrong-Turn Clan 247

20 Adverse Possession 255

21 Medenbach v. Marshall 273

22 The Day of Atonement 283

23 The Day of Judgment 301

24 Reconstitutions 321

Part III Afterworlds

25 The Republic of Birds 347

26 Camp Liberty 362

27 Totality 380

28 Shadowlands 388

A Note on Sources 407

Acknowledgments 421

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