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Wild Horse Annie and the Last of the Mustangs: The Life of Velma Johnston
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Wild Horse Annie and the Last of the Mustangs: The Life of Velma Johnston

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  52 ratings  ·  11 reviews
In 1950, Velma Johnston was a thirty-eight-year-old secretary enroute to work near Reno, Nevada, when she came upon a truck of battered wild horses that had been rounded up and were to be slaughtered for pet food. Shocked and angered by this gruesome discovery, she vowed to find a way to stop the cruel round-ups, a resolution that led to a life-long battle that would pit h ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published March 16th 2010 by Scribner (first published February 22nd 2010)
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I first read about Velma "Wild Horse Annie" Johnston in the pages of Marguerite Henry's "Mustang: Wild Spirit of the West." I dreamed of having a mustang like Velma's Hobo.

As an adult, I've been honored to be face-to-face with famous mustangs like Rowdy Yates and Shy Boy, and to scratch between the ears of numerous BLM adoptees. Without Velma Johnston's work, none of those events would have happened.

David Cruise and Allison Griffiths present a no-holds barred look at the woman who dared to stand
October Woman
At the library with my daughter recently, I was browsing up and down the shelves when the title of this book caught my eye. I didn't think I'd ever heard of Wild Horse Annie, but when I read the chapters about Velma's friendship with Marguerite Henry, who wrote a book about her, I realized I probably read said book many many years ago. That whole section of this book actually made me want to go back and reread all of Henry's books.

One day in 1950, Velma Johnston, a secretary, was driving on the
Author David Cruise says: "We all love David and Goliath stories." Velma slew two Goliaths, at least; the cattlemen of Nevada who conspired with the United States Bureau of Land Management to stop Velma. The second Goliath: a virulent polio virus. Both of these 'Goliaths' are accustomed to having their way. Neither had met Velma Johnston before.

A must read for anyone, Wild Horse Annie is a love story, a social history of the heart of the 20th century, a pre-women’s liberation woman's story, an a
Non-fiction book about a remarkable woman who was one of the early advocates for saving the wild Mustangs of the West. Velma Johnston was a polio survivor, who not only managed a successful secretarial career; but spearheaded some of the earliest government Mustang preservation. Her story is sort of lost among all the governmental agencies except the BLM, who feared her efforts in achieving support for the Mustangs by getting some federal laws passed. The end of the book briefly describes Madele ...more
Sarah Beaudoin
I began this book a bit amazed that I'd not heard of Velma Johnston prior to this. When I was further into the book and realized that Marguerite Henry actually wrote a book about Johnston for adolescents (Mustang: Wild Spirit of the West) that I'd not heard of (much less read) I was even more amazed.

I think it's fair to say Johnston is a big part of the reason the mustangs were not wiped out in this country in the 20th century. It is also safe to say that the mustangs need someone with Johnston
I never really intended to read the whole book, but I found the first half to be compelling. I lost steam near the midpoint and skipped most of the rest now. It seems weird to be reading about someone's disagreements with friends, and details of their correspondence and other minutia. I had no idea that mustangs had been hunted in this manner, so that part of the book was very enlightening, and Velma herself is a pretty interesting character, but perhaps only 100 pages worth of interesting.
I have noticed that books about horses mostly have one thing in common. They are not very well written. David Cruise clearly knows how to write. This could have been just another biography and sure, folks would have read it because of the subject matter. But it is obvious that Cruise not only did in depth research on his subject, he also delivers a compelling story.
I'm glad that I finally got around to reading this one. I was a little reluctant to pick it up for some reason, but the story was well worth it once I did. Velma Johnston was an amazing woman who defied the odds and stood up for what she believed in. We need more people like her in this world.
I didn't know much - anything really - about Velma Johnson before reading this. It's an engaging biography, and is probably pretty accurate, as it includes information about her good and bad traits and behaviors.
Dec 05, 2010 Nicole marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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