Eye of the Blackbird :
A Story of Gold in the American West
by H. L. Skinner
The book "Eye of the
Blackbird" is many things: Holly Skinner's personal diary, a history of the western
United States, as told by the early searchers for gold, and a broad-reaching book that
places the reader with the author as she lives, explores, and searches for gold in the
mostly unsettled modern West.
Skinner has been variously employed as a
wilderness ranger, forest fire fighter, wrangler and rider in a wild west show, and also
has a bachelor's degree in anthropology, history and journalism from the University of
She brings all that background to her
experiences as a gold prospector in this book, and with the research demonstrated in her
over 200-book bibliography, weaves a fascinating story of history and her own personal
experiences living in the West and looking "just over the next ridge" for a
strike that will "show some color" in her miner's pan.
In "Eye of the Blackbird," Skinner
ranges from personal meditations in her cabin amidst the sagebrush, to well-researched
tales of the people who made up the western gold rushes from California in 1849 to the
Klondike in 1898. This is a book that offers a lot for everyone, and it's very difficult
to pigeonhole its appeal. You don't have to be a history buff, or even interested in the
West or gold -- just pick up this book and let the author take you away.
Paperback - 298 pages
Dimensions (in inches): 0.92 x 8.52 x 5.55