Chosen Country

A Rebellion in the West

by James Pogue

Chosen Country

A Rebellion in the West

by James Pogue

An extraordinary inside look at America’s militia movement that shows a country at the crossroads of class, culture, and insurrection.

In a remote corner of Oregon, James Pogue found himself at the heart of a rebellion. Granted unmatched access by Ammon Bundy to the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Pogue met ranchers and militiamen ready to die fighting the federal government.

He witnessed the fallout of communities riven by politics and the danger (and allure) of uncompromising religious belief. The occupation ended in the shooting death of one rancher, the imprisonment of dozens more, and a firestorm over the role of government that engulfed national headlines.

 In a raw and restless narrative that roams the same wild terrain as his literary forebears Edward Abbey and Hunter S. Thompson, Pogue’s Chosen Country examines the underpinnings of this rural uprising and struggles to reconcile diverging ideas of freedom, tracing a cultural fault line that spans the nation.

Praise for Chosen Country

“Whoever you are, whatever side you’re on, if you care about the American west and what’s happening to it, read this book.”

—Caroline Fraser, author of Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder

“There is an extravagant verve to his writing...Pogue gets in amazingly deep with these western rebels.”

The New York Review of Books

“Keenly reported and rendered in novelistic detail, James Pogue’s Chosen Country provides an intimate and troubling portrait of American discontent.”

—Emma Cline, New York Times bestselling author of The Girls

Chosen Country is an urgent and captivating dispatch from inside an American insurgency led by self-made prophet Ammon Bundy. But at its most compelling, it also provides a window into the psyche of white men searching for a cause and finding it in the mythology of the West, which has always been our most potent vision of American freedom.”

—Karolina Waclawiak, author of The Invaders


Kirkus Reviews

“Pogue, a journalist and raconteur, provides a firsthand account of the 2016 anti-government standoff at Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge...Pogue’s personal anecdotes and brief history of western land-use conflicts add flavor and context....Although he did not agree with their tactics, Pogue was able to portray the central characters with more dimension than found in news accounts.”


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