BDeV typewriter

Bernard DeVoto at his desk, 1950s


View of Ogden, Utah

In an intensely active career Bernard DeVoto (1897-1955) achieved a national reputation as a journalist, essayist, novelist, literary critic, historian,  college teacher, conservationist, and all-around professional writer.    He once referred to himself as “a literary department store.”   He published three major historical works about the American West (The Year of Decision: 1846 [1943]; Across the Wide Missouri [1948]; The Course of Empire [1952]) and edited another, The Journals of Lewis and Clark (1953); all of these books are currently in print.

Bernard DeVoto at work, 1940s

Bernard DeVoto at work, 1940s

On U. S. Highway 12, along the Lochsa River, Idaho

On U. S. Highway 12, along the Lochsa River, Idaho, near where DeVoto’s ashes were scattered from a Forest Service airplane, 1956; site dedicated 1962 (postcard)

with .38 caliber pistol, 1934

BDeV with .38 automatic pistol, 1936; published in connection with “Genius is not Enough,” BDeV’s review of Thomas Wolfe

Probably from the summer of 1954

Probably from the summer of 1954, Idaho or Montana

Bernard DeVoto’s  writings on conservation and the American public lands are still of major relevance today.  This website, which replaces an earlier one hosted by ComCast, gives a small sampling  of DeVoto’s historical writings, essays, and letters.

This website is maintained on an occasional basis by Mark DeVoto, who can be reached by E-mail: mark dot devoto at tufts dot edu.




Calypso bulbosa orchid, Memorial Cedar Grove, May 21, 2003