John Clayton is very talented writer, who, as said in one review on his book? “explores the vast historical and cultural history of one of the most popular national parks to uncover why Yellowstone is so beloved in "Wonderlandscape: Yellowstone National Park and the Evolution of an American Cultural Icon."” JBN: What are you reading right now? Are there any authors (living or dead) that you would name as influences?   John Clayton: Researching my next book, I am now reading several academic texts about the evolution of environmental policy. For pleasure, I’ve recently read books by Montana authors, including Anne Helen Petersen’s Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud, about celebrity feminism, and David Abrams’ Brave Deeds, a novel of the Iraq War. My influences include “literary journalists” such as J. Anthony Lukas (Common Ground, Big Trouble), Tracy Kidder (House, Soul of a New Machine), and Michael Lewis (The Big Short, Moneyball) as well as pop-culture writers such as Chuck Klosterman (Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs), historians such as William Cronon (Nature’s Metropolis), and nature writers such as Gary Ferguson (The Carry Home, Land on Fire). JBN: Please tell more about your new book Wonderlandscape: Yellowstone National Park and the Evolution of an American Cultural Icon. How came idea to write about it?  Why Yellowstone park? What you mean when you speak about Evolution of an American Cultural Icon?  John Clayton: Wonderlandscape focuses on why Yellowstone is famous and how that has changed over the years. I wrote the book because I realized that people around the world have heard of Yellowstone, and think they know it. It’s famous in a way that Montana or Glacier National Park or other special places aren’t famous. I wanted to understand why. I have an unusual way of looking at the history of Yellowstone: it’s the history of what people want from Yellowstone. Yellowstone’s diverse wonders continually meet our nation’s changing needs: half-tame wildlife, rugged frontier, unpeopled wilderness, etc. The book is called Wonderlandscape because Yellowstone was originally nicknamed “Wonderland” (it came to prominence just a few years after Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland) yet public perceptions of Yellowstone have evolved from a geological freakshow to a rich landscape.   JBN: How long you worked on this book? John Clayton: Six years ago I decided to write a book about Yellowstone. It took me two years of research before I developed the core idea of Wonderlandscape.   JBN: Who helped you to do most of your research job? John Clayton: I did all the research myself! I benefitted from a weeklong fellowship from the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, in Cody, to study their archives of the 1988 fires. I also spent several days at the Park archives, in Gardiner. Many other libraries and archives played smaller roles in my research. Yay libraries!   JBN: Do you have now in mind to write something else?   John Clayton: Yes, I am working on a book about the early interactions of John Muir and Gifford Pinchot. Muir, defender of Yosemite National Park and co- founder of the Sierra Club, is often seen as philosophically opposed to Pinchot, founder of the U.S. Forest Service and advocate of “multiple use.” But their early collaborations are epitomized by a delightful camping trip they took in (what was not yet established as) Glacier National Park in 1896. JBN: You write mostly about Montana, in books described at www.johnclaytonbooks.com. Describe this state in few sentence please   John Clayton: Gosh, if I could do that, I wouldn’t have to write all these books!  To be continued…
Johnson’s Billings News
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John Clayton: Wonderlandscape focuses on why Yellowstone is famous and how that has changed over the years.
John Clayton
John Clayton is very talented writer, who, as said in one review on his book? “explores the vast historical and cultural history of one of the most popular national parks to uncover why Yellowstone is so beloved in " W o n d e r l a n d s c a p e : Yellowstone National Park and the Evolution of an American Cultural Icon."” JBN: What are you reading right now? Are there any authors (living or dead) that you would name as influences?   John Clayton: Researching my next book, I am now reading several academic texts about the evolution of environmental policy. For pleasure, I’ve recently read books by Montana authors, including Anne Helen Petersen’s Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud, about celebrity feminism, and David Abrams’ Brave Deeds, a novel of the Iraq War. My influences include “literary journalists” such as J. Anthony Lukas (Common Ground, Big Trouble), Tracy Kidder (House, Soul of a New Machine), and Michael Lewis (The Big Short, Moneyball) as well as pop- culture writers such as Chuck Klosterman (Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs), historians such as William Cronon (Nature’s Metropolis), and nature writers such as Gary Ferguson (The Carry Home, Land on Fire). JBN: Please tell more about your new book Wonderlandscape: Yellowstone National Park and the Evolution of an American Cultural Icon. How came idea to write about it?  Why Yellowstone park? What you mean when you speak about Evolution of an American Cultural Icon?  John Clayton: Wonderlandscape focuses on why Yellowstone is famous and how that has changed over the years. I wrote the book because I realized that people around the world have heard of Yellowstone, and think they know it. It’s famous in a way that Montana or Glacier National Park or other special places aren’t famous. I wanted to understand why. I have an unusual way of looking at the history of Yellowstone: it’s the history of what people want from Yellowstone. Yellowstone’s diverse wonders continually meet our nation’s changing needs: half-tame wildlife, rugged frontier, unpeopled wilderness, etc. The book is called Wonderlandscape because Yellowstone was originally nicknamed “Wonderland” (it came to prominence just a few years after Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland) yet public perceptions of Yellowstone have evolved from a geological freakshow to a rich landscape.   JBN: How long you worked on this book? John Clayton: Six years ago I decided to write a book about Yellowstone. It took me two years of research before I developed the core idea of Wonderlandscape.   JBN: Who helped you to do most of your research job? John Clayton: I did all the research myself! I benefitted from a weeklong fellowship from the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, in Cody, to study their archives of the 1988 fires. I also spent several days at the Park archives, in Gardiner. Many other libraries and archives played smaller roles in my research. Yay libraries!   JBN: Do you have now in mind to write something else?   John Clayton: Yes, I am working on a book about the early interactions of John Muir and Gifford Pinchot. Muir, defender of Yosemite National Park and co-founder of the Sierra Club, is often seen as philosophically opposed to Pinchot, founder of the U.S. Forest Service and advocate of “multiple use.” But their early collaborations are epitomized by a delightful camping trip they took in (what was not yet established as) Glacier National Park in 1896. JBN: You write mostly about Montana, in books described at www.johnclaytonbooks.com. Describe this state in few sentence please   John Clayton: Gosh, if I could do that, I wouldn’t have to write all these books!  To be continued…
Johnson’s Billings News
John Clayton
Hosted by Johnson Computing
They are read.  We are Quoted!!!
John Clayton: Wonderlandscape focuses on why Yellowstone is famous and how that has changed over the years.