An extraordinary inside look at America's militia movement that shows a country at the crossroads of class, culture, and insurrection.
In a remote corner of Oregon, James Pogue found himself at the heart of a rebellion. Granted unmatched access by Ammon Bundy to the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Pogue met ranchers and militiamen ready to die fighting the federal government.
He witnessed the fallout of communities riven by politics and the danger (and allure) of uncompromising religious belief. The occupation ended in the shooting death of one rancher, the imprisonment of dozens more, and a firestorm over the role of government that engulfed national headlines.
In a raw and restless narrative that roams the same wild terrain as his literary forebears Edward Abbey and Hunter S. Thompson, Pogue's Chosen Country examines the underpinnings of this rural uprising and struggles to reconcile diverging ideas of freedom, tracing a cultural fault line that spans the nation.
James Pogue has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Granta, the New Republic, and Vice, where he is a contributing editor. His work has been anthologized in n+1's City by City. He lives in New Mexico. Chosen Country is his first book.