Nate Schweber - Ogden

Sep 30, 2022, 6:00 pm


Nate Schweber

Book Title

This America of Ours: Bernard and Avis DeVoto and the Forgotten Fight to Save the Wild



North Region


Timbermine Steakhouse
1701 Park Blvd
Ogden , UT 84401-0804
Map [+]


NY author to discuss DeVotos’ ‘forgotten fight to save the wild’

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Bernard DeVoto – the most famous Ogdenite you’ve probably never heard of – and his wife, Avis, will be the topic of conversation when the Trails Foundation’s Author Dinner returns this fall.

Nate Schweber will discuss his new book, “This America of Ours: Bernard and Avis DeVoto and the Forgotten Fight to Save the Wild” at the Sept. 30 event at the Timbermine Restaurant. The book is a dual biography of the DeVotos, who Schweber describes as champions of public lands and great food.

The Author Dinner is part of a year-long commemoration of Bernard DeVoto, who was born in Ogden 125 years ago on Jan. 11, 1897.

Schweber’s book tells the story of the DeVotos’ public crusade to prevent millions of acres of Western public lands from being sold off for grazing and mining and efforts to tear down the National Park Service. Their opponents were Nevada Sen. Pat McCarran and his allies, J. Edgar Hoover and Joseph McCarthy.

As the DeVotos struggled to stay solvent after Bernard was blacklisted by multiple magazines, he and Avis attracted powerful friends. They included Utah forester Chet Olsen, landscape photographer, Ansel Adams, book publisher, Alfred Knopf, novelist Wallace Stegner and the woman who would become Avis’ best friend, chef Julia Child.

DeVoto was the first Utahn to win a Pulitzer Prize for his history, “Across the Wild Missouri,” which was part of a trilogy that documented the discovery, exploration, and settlement of the West. He also was a novelist, leading authority on Mark Twain and editor of Lewis and Clark’s journals. He used his column in Harper’s magazine, “The Easy Chair,” to advocate for protection of wild lands in the West.

Schweber is a journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Anthony Bourdain’s Explore Parts Unknown, and other publications. His conservation articles won awards from the Outdoor Writer’s Association of America in 2015 and 2018. In 2020 a ProPublica series he contributed to won the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.

Schweber was born in Montana and now lives in Brooklyn.

Tickets for the Author Dinner will go on sale on July 5 on the TFNU web site when “This America of Ours” is published by Mariner Books. Individual tickets are $100 a seat.

Tables of 10 are available for $1,000. All proceeds support the work of the Trails Foundation to build and maintain trails and protect open spaces in Northern Utah.

By Ron Thornburg, Author Dinner committee chair