Posts Tagged ‘history’

As we come into the last month of 2021, we are grateful for many things, the top of the list being our Extreme History community (that’s you!).

We are also grateful that we were able to launch our 2021 walking tours and even add some revamped and new tours to the mix. We were excited to take to the streets for Bozeman’s Sweet Pea parade. Our flowery float was peopled with some of Bozeman’s most colorful historic figures and included a special tribute to raise awareness for the Indian Boarding Schools story. Our The Dirt on the Past podcast in which team members discuss a wide range of topics with notable experts garnered over seven thousand listens (and counting) worldwide. Furthering our mission for educational outreach, we continued offering our lecture series via Zoom. Our online book (and wine) club also proved to be a community favorite. In June, Montana author Tom Rust was on hand to discuss and sign his latest book and in November, local author Kelly Hartman read from and signed copies of her new book. We assisted in the creation of a documentary called, The Story of Us (watch for the debut in early 2022) In addition to the ever expanding inventory of unique goodies in our Mendenhall Street office gift shop, we opened our new Extreme History Book Shop featuring specially curated used history books, covering a large variety of historical subjects.

While we have had our successes, we also have had our challenges. Several of our planned in-house events and our big fundraising program, History After Dark, were cancelled out of concern for community health safety. As is the struggle of all non-profits, The Extreme History Project needs outside funding to underwrite our mission. Bringing history to the community requires many hours of research, resources and logistical support. We have big ideas, but a small budget. Your donations are the fuel we need to keep us moving forward with pertinent content and fresh, exciting programming. Every dollar you can give brings us closer to fulfilling our goals for this upcoming year.

To help us continue our mission to MAKE HISTORY RELEVANT, please click here.

As always, thank you for your support!

If you enjoy a particular program and would like to support it directly, here are ways to help!

Support The Extreme History Project Lecture Series – $250 per lecture

Support The Extreme History Project Historic Walking Tours – $250 per walking tour

Support The Dirt on the Past Podcast – $500

Support The Extreme History Book Club – $200

Sponsor an Oral History interview and transcription – $600

Donate used history books (non-fiction) to our Extreme History Book Shop

If you are interested in any of the above options, send an email to or give us a call at 406-220-2678 to discuss.

Sincerely and with gratitude,

Crystal Alegria and Team Extreme

Join us on Saturday, July 17 from noon to 5pm for the Grand Opening of The Extreme History Project Book Shop! Within the Extreme History headquarters, we have dedicated a room to used books that focus on history. We have a large selection of Montana and western history, along with some great historical fiction. Books range in price from $4 to $12. We are located at 234 E. Mendenhall. Stop by on Saturday, July 17th and find some summer history reading!

People often ask us what we mean by “Extreme” history and we have a variety of different responses. At its core, however, extreme history refers to the consequences of our actions. There are consequences to every choice we make, large or small, that manifests within our lifetimes and beyond. Some small act or choice in one lifetime may grow and expand into something monumental in subsequent generations. It is often these monumental “somethings” that we collect as “history” but what of that original small choice that sparked the trajectory? Extreme history, then, is a holistic view of the accumulated forces and processes which erupt in monumental historic events: wars, liberations, elections, subjugations.

The film Cloud Atlas explores these ideas in a beautiful and powerful way. Six different stories, evolving through time, dance around each other revealing important themes about how we as humans dance around each other. Each story carries the weight of a series of themes which examine the consequences to our actions within and beyond our lifetimes.

The primary theme, however, deals with a single moment, a single choice, the small act which builds to an historic end. In hierarchical societies, there comes a point when a member of the dominant society wakes up and recognizes the policies, programs and behaviors in place that keep the marginalized subjugated. This point becomes a cross road to which his or her life will forever change. These people are given a choice: either to turn a blind eye to these behaviors and continue living their comfortable life as a privileged member of the dominant society yet forever knowing that they are contributing to the subjugation of the marginalized; or choose to act which will deprive them of their privileged role and threaten every aspect of their lives. As Sixsmith asks Louisa “how far would you go to protect a source?”

At each of these crossroads, however, the choice to move beyond self for the benefit of the greater good is made through love. Love becomes the portal which carries us away from our selfish needs and propels us to reach the higher limits of our own consciousness and ability. It allows us to harness our greater selves and to see mankind as an ocean made up of a multitude of drops, each individual, yet bound to each other. As one character notes “Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we are bound to others. Past and present. And by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.”

Society’s marginalized are so often defined by their visual appearance, yet in reality, there are no real visual boundaries between peoples. The film plays with this idea by having a variety of cast members take on various ethnic and gender roles to show that there is really very little physical differences between us or as another character notes, “all boundaries are conventions, waiting to be transcended.” We are all connected by the beating of our hearts whose cadence creates the rhythms of our lives. A futuristic “fabricant” finds comfort is listening to the heartbeat of her beloved “pureblood,” A 19th century closeted homosexual expresses in a letter his love to his beloved which he can never fully experience due to society’s conventions “Moments like this, I can feel your heart beating as clearly as I feel my own, and I know that separation is an illusion. My life extends far beyond the limitations of me.”

The message of Cloud Atlas and Extreme History is that we are all connected like each drop that makes up an ocean. Each of our choices and actions affect each other and our future. To act or not to act has potentially extreme consequences and moves through time accumulating the consequences of other choices. The momentum of this trajectory builds and at some point will explode in a momentous historical act. Cloud Atlas reminds us that by understanding that “we are our history,” we have a responsibility to each other and our future.

The Extreme History Project

Join us February 19 at the Museum of the Rockies!


LISTEN UP all you historians, anthropologists, archaeologists, IVORY TOWER ACADEMICS. We hereby confiscate the dusty detritus of your bookshelves, file cabinets and hard drives in order to BRING HISTORY TO THE PEOPLE!

In honor of Adam Swartz and Guerilla Open Access: Here is his manifesto:

RIP Adam.