Dan O’Brien’s earlier award-winning novel The Contract Surgeon introduced readers to Valentine McGillycuddy, a friend of the great war chief Crazy Horse. Through McGillycuddy’s eyes, the novel recounts the friendship that so deeply impacted history. It also chronicles the great Sioux Wars, one of the most violent periods in this nation’s history.
The Indian Agent is the riveting sequel to The Contract Surgeon. After Crazy Horse’s death, McGillycuddy went on to become the youngest agent in history for the Red Cloud Agency, renamed the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, of the Oglala Lakota band of the Sioux. Although Red Cloud and McGillycuddy have diametrically opposing views, they have more in common than either suspects. They both love the land, and they both love the past. The politics and the enormous tensions of the early days on the reservation come to life here in fascinating detail,
Full of the dynamic history of the plains, The Indian Agent is the true story of the conversion of this land from one of free nomadic people to one of settled commerce—achieved, however, at an unfathomable cost.
Great Plains BISON traces the history and the ecology of this American symbol from the origins of the great herds that once dominated the prairie to their near extinction in the late nineteenth century and the subsequent efforts to restore the bison population. Dan draws on both extensive research and decades of his own personal experience. He details not only the natural history of the bison but also its prominent symbolism in Native American culture and its rise as an icon of the Great Plains. Great Plains BISON is a tribute to the bison's essential place at the heart of the North American prairie and its ability to inspire advocates in the fight to preserve American biodiversity. A must-read!
Wild Idea Buffalo Company is excited to announce Dan O'Brien's new book, Wild Idea, Buffalo & Family in a Difficult Land. Dan's new book is currently available and each copy is signed by the author himself.
Wild Idea is a book about how good food choices can influence federal policies and the integrity of our food system, and about the dignity and strength of a legendary American animal. It is also a book about people: the daughter coming to womanhood in a hard landscape, the friend and ranch hand who suffers great tragedy, the venture capitalist who sees hope and opportunity in a struggling buffalo business, and the husband and wife behind the ranch who struggle daily, wondering if what they are doing will ever be enough to make a difference. At its center, Wild Idea is about a family and the people and animals that surround them - all trying to build a healthy life in a big, beautiful, and sometimes dangerous land.
For twenty years Dan O’Brien struggled to make ends meet on his cattle ranch in South Dakota. But when a neighbor invited him to lend a hand at the annual buffalo roundup, O’Brien was inspired to convert his own ranch, the Broken Heart, to buffalo. Starting with thirteen calves, “short-necked, golden balls of wool,” O’Brien embarks on a personal journey that returns buffalo to his land for the first time in more than a century and a half.
Buffalo for the Broken Heart is at once a tender account of the buffaloes’ first seasons on the ranch and an engaging lesson in wildlife ecology. Whether he’s describing the grazing pattern of the buffalo, the thrill of watching a falcon home in on its prey, or the comical spectacle of a buffalo bull wallowing in the mud, O’Brien combines a novelist’s eye for detail with a naturalist’s understanding to create an enriching, entertaining narrative.