Oregon Magazine

'Salishan' Proves It's
More Than A Resort

     By Fred Delkin

     Author Michael Hollister is a resident of Brookings.OR and a skilled chronicler of Pacific Northwest history.  These attributes are revealed in "Salishan," an ambitious 476-page epic that spans local history from the last Ice Age to the present.  Hollister begins with the natives who preceded the paleface to these surroundings and then follows the Bowman family's move from Maine to the Oregon Trail.  The interplay between the first white settlers and the native Indians is covered with the origins of our forest industry, and the author weaves in land development as the forest is trimmed.

Hollister makes political points from a conservative's view.  He debunks environmental extremes such as spotted owl protection and forest over-management, citing the latter as responsible for the rash of wildfires today.  He declares that while environmentalists mean well, too often their efforts resist the natural laws of evolution...."national forests should not be thinned and underbrush cleared, building up fuels that have fed huge fires, destroying more timber than would have been harvested using common sense harvesting practices."

Beyond well documented political points, this narrative is peopled with believable characters and entertains the reader with page-turning action.  His character Jedediah Bowman, for instance, battles his way through the bloody Battle of Gettysburg.

One finds this tale imparts a clear understanding of the challenges history has given the Pacific Northwest population.  Hollister is a thorough researcher, basing his fiction on a solid bed of facts.  Oregon magazine is planning on publishing excerpts of Salishan as a serial rendition.

The author ( see www.michaelhollister.com) is a descendant of pioneers who settled in the Willamette Valley.  He served in the U.S. Army, graduated from the University of Oregon and taught ficction writing at Stanford University while earning a Ph.D.  This father of three has
published a trilogy of historical novels "Hollywood"", "Follywood" and "Hollyworld."  Salishan has a 2007 copyright and was published by Author House of Bloomington, Indiana. 

© 2008 Oregon Magazine