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A Northern Front

A Northern Front

Regular price $ 17.95

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New and Selected Essays

Author John Hildebrand

Minnesota Historical Society Press (May 1, 2005)

A Northern Front reflects the day-by-day disappearance of wild places and the ever-changing face of the American landscape.


$17.95 paperback available September 2017

Hildebrand writes of landscapes in dispute: Native Alaskan groups are pitted against each other over oil development, Hmong emigrants jostle locals in a public hunting ground, farmers battle a formidable company town and city hall. Nature itself is also in flux as timber wolves and sandhill cranes reclaim lost ground and a marine biologist gauges the effect of an invading species on previously undisturbed areas.

A Northern Front reflects the day-by-day disappearance of wild places and the ever-changing face of the American landscape. Hildebrand’s characters are unforgettable, and his stories gracefully capture the spirit of all people who care deeply about the land.

Author information

John Hildebrand’s nonfiction has appeared in Harper’s Magazine, Audubon, Sports Illustrated, Harrowsmith, and The Missouri Review. He is the author of Mapping the Farm: The Chronicle of a Family (Minnesota Historical Society Press) and Reading the River: A Voyage Down the Yukon. He teaches at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire and has recently built a cabin in northern Wisconsin.

Reviews and news


Advance Praise:

“Hildebrand is a rare and gifted writer—a reporter who notices essences in nature and people, and a master storyteller who then hones journalism to literature. He leads without pushing, emotes without gushing, chums readers with scraps of information yet leaves them sated. These essays are captivating and timeless. Drop everything and read them.
Ted Williams, editor-at-large, Audubon

“Hildebrand writes in a voice remarkable for its masterful balance of clairty and grace. These are hard-won stories marked by moments of startling humanity, plain good humor, and, running always beneath the surface, glinting when you least expect it, a steely drive for the truth of the matter.”
Michael Perry, author of Population: 485

"John Hildebrand is one of our most reliable and essential witnesses—an essayist of that most daring sort that sets forth on a sea of words, relying on language to keep afloat his searches in the natural and interior worlds. In A Northern Front his luminous testimony rings true."
Thomas Lynch, poet and author of The Undertaking

“John Hildebrand is one of the finest essays in America. A Northern Front reminds me of the great collections of Aldo Leopold, Edward Hoagland, and Sigurd Olson. From the forests and rivers of the Upper Midwest to the North Slope of Alaska, Hildebrand gets it all exactly right, celebrating our dwindling and endangered wilderness with passion, humor, and originality.”
Howard Frank Mosher, author of North Country and Where the Rivers Flow North

  • 192 pages
  • 5.75 x 7.75 inches
  • ISBN: 9780873515283

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