I recently read Christopher Knowlton’s book “Cattle Kingdom: The Hidden History of the Cowboy West” and it gave great insight into the open range cattle era and how it changed America forever. The US has consistently proven that it can withstand repeated boom-and-bust eras within our civilization. From the Great Depression to the housing bubble of the early 2000s, to an unprecedented global pandemic and everything in between, perseverance and adaptation are key parts of who we are as a nation.
After the Civil War ended, the cattle age brought about the greatest boom-and-bust cycle until the Great Depression, the invention of the assembly line, and the beginning of the conservation movement. Knowlton gives a new view of the Old West and how its movements and cowboys achieved incredible goals, rose, fell, and left a lasting impact on society.
Dodge City was a wild frontier town of the Old West and the “queen of the cattle trade.” It embodied the spirit of the Wild West culture and became a center for people and the cattle business. This interesting age helped grow the US, even expanding cities like Chicago and St. Louis.
The American mindset in the West during this time reminds me of the way innovators are trying to build new-age cities today. The projected utopian city of Telosa, proposed by my friend and American entrepreneur Marc Lore, is his goal to create a new city that sets a global standard for urban living and expands human potential. Telosa is focused on sustainability, equality, and invention and mirrors the values of the cowboys who came to the West to achieve their dreams.
This book gave an amazing insight into the American West and the innovations that happened after the era of cowboys and cattle. Although it only lasted about 20 years, their stories and lives have helped to shape America today. I recommend Knowlton’s book to anyone who is interested in learning more about how the United States has been influenced by transformative periods and people.