For more than thirty years, Stan Steiner has been wandering up and down the dusty back roads of the American West, listening to descendants of the pioneers recall how they lived out this century on the frontier. These old homesteaders have maintained their faith in a long-gone rural America, an America in which they had to "make do" -- with their wit, their ingenuity, the work of their hands, their individualism, their independence. Among them are the Skinner family, six generations of which have been born in the Jordan Valley of eastern Oregon, on a ranch that was acquired before Oregon became a state; Boyd Charter, whose father rode with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and who brought a St. Louis girl from finishing school to a log house in the Bull Mountains of Montana; Rita and Janaloo Hill, mother and daughter, who can be found in the general store of the New Mexico ghost town they own; Tug and Ruth Pettit, who may have been the last Americans to cross the plains in a covered wagon (in 1932). These proud and rugged people talk about cooking without fire, about learning the secrets of dry farming, about struggling against storm and drought, and about how they came to respect the life around them and to cherish the land. The Ranchers is full of the richness of western storytelling, a book that is both a contribution to the history of the West and a faithful portrait of remarkable men and women living a true American experience -- Book jacket.