The autobiography of a hide-bound, land-proud South Dakotan, with a literary flair, who herded and raised sheep and farmed the Dust Bowl of South Dakota during depression years. This part of his story reflects his very evident love of the land and the way of life, no matter what the odds, -- ranching and farming, the continual struggle against the forces of nature, the elements and the land itself. His prose takes on a certain ease. Dakota, the protagonist, takes almost human shape, and there's an element of mysticism diluted by the author's sincerity. Unfortunately, his flashbacks to a youth with traveling- (Florida, California, seeking health for an ailing father) and a college career where he exchanges his superstitions for cynicism and intellectual snobbery -- are presented in a somewhat confused and stilted manner, quite unlike the facility of his handling of the Dakota years. Here is self portrayal of a passing breed of man, tough, self-reliant, impatient of lesser man, out of touch with urban thinking, written now with skill and force, now with an awkward kind of detachment. Uneven in quality- and somewhat limited in sales appeal, though it has the endorsement of an Avery Hopwood award.