Read Lazy B: Growing Up on a Cattle Ranch in the American Southwest by Sandra Day O'Connor H. Alan Day Online


Now, for the first time in paperback, here is the remarkable story of Sandra Day O’Connor’s family and early life, her journey to adulthood in the American Southwest that helped make her the woman she is today—the first female justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, and one of the most powerful women in America. In this illuminating and unusual book, Sandra Day O’Connor tells,Now, for the first time in paperback, here is the remarkable story of Sandra Day O’Connor’s family and early life, her journey to adulthood in the American Southwest that helped make her the woman she is today—the first female justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, and one of the most powerful women in America. In this illuminating and unusual book, Sandra Day O’Connor tells, with her brother, Alan, the story of the Day family, and of growing up on the harsh yet beautiful land of the Lazy B ranch in Arizona.Laced throughout these stories about three generations of the Day family, and everyday life on the Lazy B, are the lessons Sandra and Alan learned about the world, self-reliance, and survival, and how the land, people, and values of the Lazy B shaped them. This fascinating glimpse of life in the Southwest in the last century recounts an important time in American history, and provides an enduring portrait of an independent young woman on the brink of becoming one of the most prominent figures in America.From the Trade Paperback edition....

Title : Lazy B: Growing Up on a Cattle Ranch in the American Southwest
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780679643449
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 352 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Lazy B: Growing Up on a Cattle Ranch in the American Southwest Reviews

  • Jan C
    2019-06-24 06:48

    i was surprised by this book. I guess I thought that because she is a conservative that it would show in this book. Maybe it does but this was written by the former justice and her brother about growing up on a ranch on the Arizona-New Mexico border. It was a hard life but one where she and her brother and sister learned about life. As children they helped with the chores of a ranch and were expected to do them right. So it was a very enjoyable book and a look at a vanishing way of life. When I was in college in Idaho, I went home for the weekend several times with friends who grew up on ranches. I, thus, had a small view pf this life. It was totally foreign to this person from suburbia.

  • Mimi (a.k.a Ellen)
    2019-06-01 05:54

    am convinced that Sandra Day O'Connor did not write this book herself as its observations are devoid of any depth and is written on a grade-school level. While the book offers a much appreciated glimpse into the Arizona of days gone by, it reads as a series of disconnected events without any personal reflection on the part of the author. I expected much more from a former Supreme Court justice.

  • Angelica
    2019-06-18 04:47

    I will have to start by saying Sandra Day O'Connor is a hero of mine, so this review might be slightly biased as I went into this book expecting to like it - and was not disappointed. A very unique and different look at this American treasure from her earlier experiences and a more personal tale than most out there about her. The writing was relatable, easy to read and showed the softer side of Sandra Day before she became the Supreme Court Justice we all recognize from news stories. Wonderful historic read from a personal perspective - highly recommend.

  • Julie
    2019-06-05 07:38

    This book will open your eyes to life on a cattle ranch during the first half of the 20th century. What's amazing is how the Day family made it through the Great Depression while maintaining a successful ranch.

  • Marissa Tetmyer
    2019-06-15 03:41

    This book has some vaguely racist bits, and some really questionable bits, and a part where a horse is beaten for not minding. Is there any observation that this might not have been the right thing to do? No. I don't neglect to finish books. It's not my style. I finally gave up on this one on page 186, right at the animal abuse anecdote. Things I read about before that? A ranch hand marrying an 11 year old. A horse named swastika. (Seriously) A caricaturized description of a Chinese man. You know your racist grandmother that you have to warn your friends about before they come over? This book is the equivalent of that grandmother...everyone tolerates the weirdness out of respect, but you're relieved when you get to leave the room.

  • Nancy
    2019-06-16 01:39

    This is Sandra Day O'Connor and her brother Alan Day's memoir of their childhood on a cattle ranch in the arid, open high desert country south of the Gila River on the border of Arizona and New Mexico. ("When the big rain came that lasted 40 days and 40 nights, Southern Arizona got half an inch.") It resonated with me because for part of my childhood, I grew up on a ranch. Totally different climate--I was on the humid Gulf Coast of Texas--but we had the same orientation to our animals--the cattle, horses, and dogs--and the weather that you only have on a farm or a ranch. The most powerful thing about the book to me was to be reminded how much sheer knowledge ranchers and farmers have that is invisible to the rest of us--and as Wallace Stegner said, "that what would pass for heroics in a softer world was only chores around here." People working with cattle get hurt all the time--and usually don't even stop, because they need to get the job done right then. I don't think the book would have found a publisher if O'Connor weren't famous, but I enjoyed revisiting "the world of my fathers."

  • Feisty Harriet
    2019-06-22 06:49

    This memoir about growing up on a large ranch in the dry, dry country of Arizona and New Mexico. This is primarily about ranch life, the cowboys and ranch hands, their backgrounds, talking care of the animals and the land, the struggle of O'Connor's parents thru their lives to survive and become financially independent. The Day patriarch was tough, stubborn, and unmoving, and there are no apologies for him in this book, just a nodding of heads that "that's just his way." Honestly, it's pretty dry and O'Connor doesn't give much insight into her future life as a Supreme Court Justice. But, you will learn about life on a massive ranch. So, there's that. Also? You will learn that when Supreme Court Justice O'Connor was a girl she had a horse named Swastika, named after the brand on his rump. And she makes zero apologies for that and she doesn't CHANGE THE NAME OF THE DAMN HORSE when she wrote her memoirs. You can't undo the name your (probably racist) father gave the white pony, but when you write your memoirs you sure as hell can call the horse Swash or Snowflake or Roger or ANYTHING but Swastika. I mean, COME ON.

  • May-Ling
    2019-05-30 23:49

    This book read almost like historical fiction more than a memoir. I've actually been lucky enough to hear Justice Sandra Day O'Connor speak in person. As a result, I think I like the book more than I would otherwise because it's like I could hear her reading it. This memoir is written as if its dictated and you can actually tell that in the writing style, which is kind of a weird thing because it's a book. You want the language to be more readable then this book delivers. Another thing that's kind of strange about the Lazy B is that it's written by Sandra and Alan, yet all of his portions are written from the perspective of Sandra. I know that she is the more famous person, but it feels bizarre to hear his personal stories told through her eyes and I wish it was more of a partnership of authors. It is fascinating to read the background of such a famous person, especially because she had humble beginnings on a ranch. Clearly they weren't a poor family, but they certainly were resourceful, economical and lived through hard times. You really see where someone can develop work ethic strength and resolve to get the to the place that she did in life.

  • Chris
    2019-06-13 04:39

    A charming and delightful ode to a life and a time gone by. A heartfelt account of what it's like growing up on an isolated desert ranch in Arizona and New Mexico. It was hard work and bliss according to the first woman Supreme Court Justice and her brother. We hear about the eccentric and accomplished cowboys, the real West, as well as all the animals from horses to bobcats. Lots of field craft about herding cows too. Sandra actually left to go to school in El Paso but she loved the ranch and was always returning to it with her friends and children. Sadly the ranch had to be sold. It was a combination of no one in the family stepping up to pursue this way of life as well as all the anxiety, politics, and difficulties associated with grazing. I discovered this book in a bookstore in Tubac, AZ after driving through the area of the ranch. There are lots of pictures and it reads and feels like a family album.

  • Mark Mortensen
    2019-06-01 04:45

    This memoir by the first woman justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Sandra Day O’Connor and her brother H. Alan Day took this east coast native to a foreign terrain along the expansive Arizona/New Mexico boarder. Maybe it was my past appreciation of Zane Grey and Louis L’Amour western novels combined with my current passion for memoirs, autobiographies and biographies that created my mind to drift with appreciation. From coast to coast the heart of America is full of great folks living in harmony with the land and nature that provides for them. This book sheds light into the lifestyle of a very unique accomplished family surrounded by horses with ownership of a large cattle farm. Their testament is full of rugged hard work, challenges, accountability, respect, discipline, responsibility, perseverance, hardship, ingenuity, a thirst for limited government along with many memories and a definite slice of history.

  • Michael Harris
    2019-05-31 04:56

    A gift from my daughter "since I like to read biographies". This fast and enjoyable read was not so much a biography as a picture about growing up on a ranch in a loving family surrounded by natural pleasures, hard work and an extended family of ranch hand or cowboys. She turned out very well as did her siblings. A refreshing perspective in this day of possessions and things ahead of family.

  • Brina
    2019-05-31 01:31

    Interesting account of what it is like to grow up on a ranch. Amazing that a former ranch kid grows up to be Supreme Court justice. Charming.

  • Jessica
    2019-06-06 01:45

    Interesting to learn about ranching and Sandray Day O'Connor. Very little to do with politics/law focus is 99.9% on her youth and the unique life of growing up on a cattle ranch.

  • Rebecca
    2019-06-18 05:55

    A non linear collection of life memories of growing up on the Lazy B. Not heavy on the "what made me the judge I became", or overly romanticizing the rough and ready nature of ranch life. Hard no to compare the likelihood of an average ranch kid today being able to afford Stanford and law school, or compare the whole concept of ranching now with how it was then.

  • Patty
    2019-05-29 04:37

    Fascinating look into life on a ranch in Arizona from the early 1900s to the 1980s. The book provided insight into the upbringing and experiences of Sandra Day O'Connor, but also told of some of the other people who called the Day ranch home.

  • Carla
    2019-06-12 04:33

    While interesting from the family's point of view, the absence of any reference to interaction with Native Americans or Blacks in that part of the country was striking.

  • Dianne
    2019-06-08 00:54

    Enjoyable anecdotes about life on an Arizona cattle ranch in the 20th century. However, the writing was mediocre and some stories felt like the abruptly ended.

  • Chuck
    2019-06-03 01:36

    Her brother Alan came to the White Stallion Ranch last Spring to discuss and sell this book.Easy read, I read in two days.Very good story about life on this remote ranch in the 1930's-1950's.

  • Jessica
    2019-06-06 04:57

    The tagline exactly explains this book: Growing up on a cattle ranch in the American southwest. This isn't so much a personal memoir by Sandra Day O'Connor as a factual history of the Southwest told by focusing in on one family. The book looks at a vanishing way of life and a piece of history through short but detailed remembrances of a specific event or person. The stories aren't always very exciting, but they feel very real. You get the sense that the story of Sandra and Alan, DA and MO, is one that many ranchers would identify with. And it's a look into a life and past that seems very different from modern (or maybe just suburban/city) mores - the stories about knocking over wild horses for sport, for example, just seemed cruel. If you like the idea of stepping into that history, you will probably like this book. That said, I didn't feel like I was left with a better sense of Sandra Day O'Connor. It was certainly interesting to learn about Sandra's beginnings, and it makes me curious to know how much her ranching days impacted her later judicial philosophy. However---while the book is clearly intensely personal, and discusses people very dear to Sandra---it lacks personal reflection. The events are presented very factually, without an explanation of how Sandra (or Alan) felt about the events or how the events impacted them. If you want to learn about Sandra Day O'Connor's life, this is a great background, but you'll have to look elsewhere for her life story.

  • Diane
    2019-06-07 04:36

    This is the story that Sandra Day O'COnnor, the first woman supreme court justice, tells about her life. I like memoirs and find it interesting to see what memories people select to describe themselves. Sandra Day Oconnor's book is not particularly well written and rather superficial, leading to more questions about her life than she answers. The entire description of what should have been a fascinating life on a huge ranch was very distant and almost like it didn't happen to her at all. She was most engaged when describing her life at college and meeting her husband. There are some interesting episodes about her brother Alan - especially the story of hauling home a sick cow during a thunderstorm when he was only 13 years old that reveal much more about her family than anything she tells about herself. Probably the most revealing incident, and the only one with any detail,is the description of her father lassoing her and her cousin while they are swimming in a big water tank; I got a start of a feel for her father and for her relationship with her father. The book is not chronological and instead of describing an actual incident, she talks generally about what things were like when they had round ups or when they went to town, etc. Very little good detail. But, it was her life and it certainly tells us that she is a private person with a fascinating background. ANd quick to read

  • Jen A.
    2019-06-04 05:55

    I don't quite remember how Lazy B ended up on my to read list, and I'm sure I didn't realize that the author was Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor until I started reading... But Lazy B is an interesting, well-written memoir about growing up on a ranch -- it clearly, rationally and with bridled emotion describes the wonder, frustrations, stewardship, trials and personalities that comprise life in an unforgiving climate and the uncertain livelihood of ranching. When I was reading Lazy B, I envied the Day family for their experience of this life, one that doesn't quite exist in the same manner anymore. I enjoyed the pictures sprinkled throughout the book, and the chapters were detailed but short enough that I was always under the impression of making great progress. Sandra and Alan must have done a lot of work to bring forth the memories captured in Lazy B, but what struck me most was the careful balance of relating the stories and opinions without diving into a distracting level of emotion. Overall, Lazy B reads rather matter-of-factly, but in the end you know exactly how the authors feel about the end of that particular brand of ranching. This book makes me want to read up more on Sandra as a Supreme Court Justice, because now that I know where her roots are, I want to know the spread of her branches and the color of her leaves.

  • Sarah Jo
    2019-05-27 03:29

    This book is Sandra Day O’Connor’s homage to her ranch beginnings in a remote stretch of Southeastern Arizona. How could I not read an ode to a once had sparse desert living, written from a front row seat in DC? The writing is bland at times, but also strong and simple. The first chapters are each devoted to a cowboy or character that shaped life on the ranch before and after Sandra and her two siblings were born. The later describe in detail singular cattle drives, a story of the day the truck almost got washed away in a flash flood, etc. that serve as turning points in the survival of the ranch, and the etching of her and her younger brothers’ character. One of the things I like most about this book is what isn’t said explicitly. By simply highlighting small events each in their own chapter, the author demonstrates what seems to have been an isolated and monotonous life that lent itself easily to taking full stock of people and small victories. I liked too her comparison between the things that get you ahead on the ranch (honesty, physical ability, individual capability) versus in DC (verbal ability to relay ideas, knowledge base, network).

  • Kassi
    2019-06-21 01:30

    Honestly, the only way I'd recommend this book is if you are familiar with the area that the Lazy B is located, in southern Arizona. OR if you have some interest in cattle ranching. My husband is from the area near the Lazy B so we are familiar with the locations and some of the people mentioned in this book. We found some of the stories shared to be interesting because of that fact. I also grew up around cattle ranching having a father VERY similar to DA... So I could relate to some of those stories.Otherwise, the writing, sadly isn't done very well. It was easy to get bored with whatever they were talking about at the time. I almost gave up on the book several times but decided to read the whole thing. It is amazing that Sandra Day O'Connor came from a meager ranching background to become the first woman on the Supreme Court. But when you read the book you find she didn't really spend much time in the area being schooled almost entirely in El Paso, TX. Still, it's interesting to read the history if you're familiar already with the area or the people.

  • Philip Blen
    2019-06-06 03:34

    The entire book is made up of remembrances. Some a paragraph long, some memories a page. A chapter might be about cowboys falling off horses. No point, other then they fell off, either bruised or not. Or taking pride in sinking a fence post correctly. There are chapters, 2-4 pages about each parent. A couple of pages about each cowboy. And on and on. Yes, the life of the cowboy was tough, and her parents made ends meet in a difficult situation. And eventually found financial stability. There are snippets of her growing up, but Sandra must not of wanted to reveal much about herself. Or maybe what she remember of her childhood was simply random memories. It is hard to believe Alan Day could not construct a more interesting book of Sandra's childhood from family and friends Maybe Sandra would not allow him? Just made the half way point, and not sure how much longer I will continue. Probably till I can swing into Powell's Books and get something else to read.

  • Susan Grodsky
    2019-06-08 05:57

    I read this hoping for insight into the mindsets of ultra conservative republicans. I can see how ranch life nurtured the admirable skills of self reliance, persistence, and hard work. But although the authors speak admiringly of the cowboys' competence and good humor there's plenty of just plain dysfunction: alcoholism, wife beating, gambling, bad temper, immaturity, impulsiveness, foolish pride. I'm also underwhelmed by the authors' insights into public policy. Near the end they assert that the best use of the arid southwest is to be ranched by competent ranchers. This is after they've written hundreds of pages on the extreme challenges of ranching successfully. And two pages after they describe selling their own ranch to others whom, they warn, will probably fail. I also have to wonder if this book truly displays Sandra's intellectual abilities. If it does, I shudder at the damage this lightweight did during her many years on the Supreme Court.

  • Colin
    2019-05-29 02:41

    I bought this on a whim before a trip to Arizona, since there was very little on Arizona in the bookshop I was browsing. Then the trip happened, and I never got around to reading it-- too busy indulging in the landscape! But a year later, this has made for a pleasant way to laze outside and remember great scenes, and hear about people of the kind I think I'll never meet.This is genuinely a memoir-- it is not a political or legal tract in disguise, even if one of its authors is a Supreme Court Justice. But having said that, I feel like there are certain elements of the story that fit very well with the kinds of stories Americans tell about themselves when they are trying to explain their political views. The most remarkable thing, perhaps, is that I came away happy to have gotten to know the lives of the authors, even if I think my own attitudes would diverge from theirs on some issues.

  • Stephanie Mitchell
    2019-06-09 07:56

    I withheld one star because of the folksy and often repetitive writing. It was distracting especially in the first half of the book. (I suspect that this labor of love written by two family members - one being *the* Sandra Day O'Connor - was given a wide berth, editorially speaking, by the publisher.) As confirmed in the acknowledgements at the end, it is obvious that several chapters are a verbatim transcript of oral recollections. Oral histories do not smooth reading make.That said, I love the high deserts of Arizona and New Mexico and this was an engaging and intimate portrait of a way of life that is all but gone. The final chapters describing the last days of the ranch and its sale nearly had me in tears. And I'm not a book/movie crier. I'm a big fan of Southwestern memoirs and history so if that's not your deal, you may not be as moved.

  • DeborahCleaves
    2019-05-28 07:36

    Essential reading to understand the kind of people who make ranching work in a hard scrabble world. In some respects it reads as if directed toward 10-12 year olds in its simplicity of language and topics. It is best where it describes cowboys and lifetime ranch employees; worst where it talks about historical context and the BLM. The acceptance of a hardness of life is tough to reconcile with the mores currently prevalent. Things like hiring a permanent employee at age 6-7 who ran away from an abusive home; or an adult employee whose wife was 11 years old. It is important to know that these things may not have been common, but were not unknown -- and that they were within in the personal knowledge and life experience of a Supreme Court justice. Rough? You don't know rough until you meet them all.

  • Lexish
    2019-05-26 00:36

    This was so different than I thought it would be, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I expected a narrative-style memoir similar to Justice Sotomayor's book; instead, each "chapter" highlighted a particular person from (or aspect of) Sandra Day O'Connor's childhood growing up on a ranch out west. The tone struck me as very personal and honest, as though you were sitting listening to her tell you about the time that such-and-such happened. I had no idea this was the life she had lived. Readers hoping to hear about her path to the Supreme Court will be disappointed, though. This memoir is only about her childhood, with mentions of college/law school/her swearing-in so brief as to make it clear that this book is about the people in her early life and not about her professional career. Definitely a worthwhile read.

  • Kathy
    2019-06-10 02:44

    I read this because I was going to see Justice O'Connor speak and I hoped it would give me some insight into what made her the person she became. In a way it did, because this is the story of hard lives cattle ranching in the Arizona/Mew Mexico border. No complaining was accepted, you just did what you had to do because that was the only acceptable behavior.If your'e interested in early-mid 21st century ranching, horses and rural society, there's a wealth of detailed information. I am not interested in all that. So, while I found some nuggets of interest (they had really cool windmills to bring up water), this read mostly as a dry dissertation of that life. Albeit, one with clear fondness for the persons in the story.