"Who is to blame when an avalanche wipes out a train and everyone sleeping peacefully on board? A historical version of Deadliest Catch, Diana Di Stefano's Encounters in Avalanche Country introduces the mountain West as an extreme industrial workplace, with its own attendant culture, community, and legal drama."
-Annie Gilbert Coleman, University of Notre Dame
"Encounters in Avalanche Country is an important work about how humans knew and were shaped by their environments in the American West. It is an intelligent, sophisticated, well-written, intensely researched, thoughtfully structured, deeply felt, and clearly hard-won piece of historical scholarship."
-Kathryn Morse, author of The Nature of Gold
"A casual reading shows this book to be a soundly researched, deftly written collection of anecdotes set in narrative form. A more careful review will show that it is much more than this. . . . Recommended."
"Di Stefano's research is showcased in the book's second half where she takes up the issue of blame, especially by dissecting killer avalanches that led to court cases intent on determining who was responsible for the tragedies. . . By serving as an excellent case study on the development of liability law, Encounters in Avalanche Country provides new windows into understanding human encounters with violent natures."
-Marcus Hall, H-Net
"This riveting tale is part history, part outdoor narrative, and part legal thriller. Di Stefano, a history professor at University of Alaska, Fairbanks, crafted a tale of how early avalanches affected mining towns and railroads at the turn of the last century. . . .Di Stefano's treatise is an interesting read."
-Christopher Van Tilburg, Wilderness and Environmental Medicine
"Encounters in Avalanche Country is a well-documented exploration effectively shaped by the originality of its approach. It should be of specific interest to historians investigating litigation anent liability, but it surely would engage anyone wanting to know more about the asperities endured by our western ancestors."
-Michael Johnson, American Historical Review
"Encounters in Avalanche Country is written in a lively manner that will be enjoyed by the general public while being well documented for the scholar. This book could be used in classes on the American West, environmental history, legal history, and more, or given as a gift to anyone interested in the settling of the Mountain West."
-Jean A Stuntz, Environmental History
"Di Stefano presents an interesting overview of how residents in various western settlements adapted and responded to the threat of avalanches, and provides insight into Gilded Age politics and the manner in which this rugged terrain became integrated into the social and economic fabric of the United States and Canada."
-Christian Harrison, Montana: The Magazine of Western History