Roping the Wind

A Personal History of Cowboys and the Land

20th Anniversary Edition With a New Introduction and the Novella OVER THE JOSHUA SLOPE

Since it was first published by Utah State University Press in 1995, ROPING THE WIND has found a place in book collections across the country and around the world.  Now, in this 20th Anniversary Edition, the author has included a new introduction as well as the novella OVER THE JOSHUA SLOPE, first published by Macmillan in 1994.  A memoir of Southwestern ranch culture, ROPING THE WIND presents the personal reflections of Lyman Hafen, prominent Southern Utah writer and founding editor of St. George Magazine.  The added story, OVER THE JOSHUA SLOPE, is a fictional account set in the same landscape and featuring characters cut from the same mold.

In ROPING THE WIND, Hafen celebrates the land and cowboys he has known, but he does so by showing a gallery of real people – not romantic stereotypes.  These are straight from life sketches, family stories, and reminiscences of his own youth.  Between chapters, Hafen unfolds the humorous tale of Afton and William – an irascible cowman and greenhorn journalist – as they learn to appreciate each other.

In OVER THE JOSHUA SLOPE, Hafen tells the coming-of-age fictional story of Brian Winsor, a 12-year-old boy on a cattle drive, and his interactions with a cast of older cowboys and a landscape much like the men and place he grew up with.


“In this beautifully written book, Lyman Hafen addresses the issues of use and health of the land.  He does this through story, by looking at the lives and reactions of people who live on the land, rather than through polemics.  He doesn’t claim to have the answers; he does ask intelligent questions.  Roping the Wind is an important addition to the continuing debate over grazing and land use in the West.”

—Teresa Jordan, Author of RIDING THE WHITE HORSE HOME


“Hafen’s personal approach masterfully captures the difficult realities of cattle ranching in the twentieth-century West.”

—Paul Reeve, Utah Historical Quarterly


“Each chapter is a gem.”

—Roger P. Michaels, Denver Westerners ROUNDUP


“Hafen finally gets the cowboy and the environmentalist on the same page…in a personal memoir of cowboy life that is often moving and nostalgic and frequently hilarious.”

—Paul Swenson, The Salt Lake Tribune


“While evoking both the danger and beauty of nature, Hafen has produced a moving book about human strengths and frailties.”

—Publishers Weekly

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