MONTANA: Fresh Chance Gulch

Montanans have just rewritten their state constitution. San Francisco Bureau Chief Jesse Birnbaum observed the process and the participants and sent this report:

Critic Leslie Fiedler called it an "inhumanly virginal landscape," shuddered at the "atrocious magnificence of the mountains, the illimitable brute fact of the prairies." He was right. Montana is elusive, too vast to comprehend. It almost seems indecent for a land so big to have a population so small: 701,000 people in all, or five to every square mile of atrocious magnificence. Each resident reflects the Montana character: a cussed inconsistency that some people call rugged individualism....

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