A Reporter At Large: Dateline: Pyramid Lake, Nevada

Type
Book
ISBN 10
0874173418 
ISBN 13
9780874173413 
Category
Unknown  [ Browse Items ]
Publication Year
1999 
Pages
192 
Abstract
 
Description
In 1949, renowned journalist A. J. Liebling came to Reno to obtain a divorce, which required that he establish residency in Nevada for a period of six weeks. Liebling stayed at a guest ranch on the shores of Pyramid Lake. While there, his reporter’s curiosity was engaged by a bitter dispute raging between the Paiutes and non-Indian squatters who were claiming the most agriculturally productive lands of the reservation and the waters feeding the lake that was the economic and spiritual heart of the Paiutes’ ancient culture.

Liebling recorded the litigation over the fate of the Pyramid Lake Reservation lands in a series of articles published in The New Yorker in 1955. Reprinted here in their entirety, the essays discuss the affair in detail, following it from the shores of the lake to the halls of Congress, and introducing readers to the colorful world of 1950s Nevada-the guest ranches and the divorce industry that supported them, politicians, ranchers, members of the Paiute tribe, lawyers, and gamblers. Noted Nevada scholar Elmer Rusco provides important background on the Pyramid Lake controversy and follows the issue up to the present.

Liebling was a careful, perceptive reporter with a keen eye for the colorful detail and the telling gesture, and his depiction of the personalities involved in the dispute is right on, from the Paiutes trying to preserve their homeland to Nevada's powerful Senator Pat McCarran. "A Reporter at Large" is a valuable record of one of Nevada's enduring and significant debates over the uses of the land and the precious water that nourished it. But it also offers a brilliant portrayal of a unique western state and some of the best writing by one of the century's finest journalists. 
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