Dan Flores

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Dan Flores
Dan Louie Flores

(1948-10-19) October 19, 1948 (age 72)
Alma materNorthwestern State University
Texas A&M University
OccupationWriter, Historian
Professor Emeritus at the University of Montana
Years active1980–present
Susan I. Flores
(m. 1972; div. 1978)
Sara Dant
(m. 2014)

Dan Louie Flores (born (1948-10-19)October 19, 1948) is an American writer and historian who specializes in cultural and environmental studies of the American West. He held the A.B. Hammond Chair in Western History at the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana until he retired in May 2014.


Dan Flores is a writer who lives in the Galisteo Valley outside Santa Fe, New Mexico, and is A. B. Hammond Professor Emeritus of Western History at the University of Montana-Missoula. Flores was born in Vivian in Caddo Parish in northwestern Louisiana and grew up in nearby Rodessa. During the 1970s, he received his MA in history from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana, and his Ph.D. in 1978 from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, where he studied under Professor Herbert H. Lang.[1] He began his academic career at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, where he taught from 1978 to 1992, spent a year at the University of Wyoming in 1986, and then relocated to the University of Montana, where he held the A.B. Hammond Chair in Western History from 1992 until he retired in May 2014.[2]



Flores is the author of ten books.

  • Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History (New York: Basic/Perseus, 2016)
  • American Serengeti: The Last Big Animals of the Great Plains (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2016)[3]
  • Visions of the Big Sky: Painting and Photographing the Northern Rocky Mountain West (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2010)
  • Caprock Canyonlands: Journeys into the Heart of the Southern Plains, 20th Anniversary Edition (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2010)
  • The Natural West: Environmental History in the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2001; paperback edition, 2003)
  • Southern Counterpart to Lewis & Clark: The Freeman & Custis Expedition of 1806 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, Red River Books paperback, 2nd edition, 2002)
  • Horizontal Yellow: Nature and History in the Near Southwest (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1999; paperback edition, 1999)
  • The Mississippi Kite: Portrait of a Southern Hawk, with Eric Bolen (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1993)
  • Caprock Canyonlands: Journeys into the Heart of the Southern Plains (Austin and London: University of Texas Press, 1990; paperback edition, 1997)
  • Canyon Visions: Photographs and Pastels of the Texas Plains, with Amy Winton, Foreword by Larry McMurtry (Lubbock: Texas Tech University Press, 1989; paperback edition, 1989)
  • Journal of an Indian Trader: Anthony Glass and the Texas Trading Frontier, 1790-1810 (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1985; paperback edition, 1998)
  • Jefferson & Southwestern Exploration (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1984; paperback edition, 1986)

Essays and articles[edit]

Flores' essays on the environment, art, and culture of the West have appeared in magazines such as Texas Monthly, Orion, Wild West, Southwest Art, The Big Sky Journal, New Mexico Magazine, and High Country News, and include:

  • "Prologue: The West Was Old Before Its Art Was New," in The American West In Art: Selections from the Denver Art Museum, Thomas Brent Smith and Jennifer R. Henneman, eds. (Denver: Denver Art Museum, 2020), 18-25.
  • "The Four-Legged Dude: Canis Latrans," New Mexico Magazine (June 2018), 50-55.[4]
  • "Silence and Emptiness: The American Plains in the Age of Bierstadt," in Peter Hassrick, Albert Bierstadt: Witness to a Changing West (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2018): 186-197.
  • Interview with Dan Flores, Wild West (June 2018).[5]
  • “When New Mexico Was Part of the American Serengeti,” Bienvenidos: 2018 Summer Guide for Santa Fe and New Mexico (Summer, 2018), 46-49.
  • "The Trickster "Howling the Original American Anthem" - A Conversation with Dan Flores," with Sam Zeveloff, Weber:The Contemporary West (Summer 2018), 37-49.
  • "Coyote Consciousness: Historical Lessons for Coexisting with the Canid," Common Ground Magazine (April 2018), 28-30.
  • "Trail's End," New Mexico Magazine (January 2018), 42-49.[6]
  • "Silence and Emptiness," in Site/Lines: A Journal of Place (Fall 2017), 5-8.[7]
  • "Freeze Frame: The Art of the Parks in 1916," Big Sky Journal (Vol. XXIII, no. 4, 2016), 78-86.
  • "River's End," in Melissa Savage, ed., Rio: A Photographic Journey down the Old Rio Grande, Introduction by William deBuys (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2016): 109-110.
  • "Reviewing an Iconic Story: Environmental History and the Demise of the Bison," in Geoff Cunfer and Bill Waiser, eds., Bison and People on the North American Great Plains: A Deep Environmental History (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2016): 30-50 [8]
  • "Wolf West," Wild West (June 2016), 46-53[9]
  • “Western Art for the War Weary,” Wild West (December 2015), 50-57
  • "A Very Different Story: Exploring the Southwest from Monticello," Oklahoma Humanities (Summer 2015), 7-11.
  • "Where Pronghorns Play," Wild West (August 2015), 58-65
  • "Mother Earth Laid Bare: Learning to Love the Badlands of the American West," Site Lines: A Journal of Place X (II) Spring 2015
  • "Empires of the Sun: Big History and the Southern High Plains," OAH Magazine of History (September 2013)
  • "Coyote, An American Original," Wild West 25 (April 2013): 52-9
  • "When the Buffalo Roamed," in Paul Hutton, ed., Western Heritage: A Selection of Wrangler Award-Winning Articles (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2011): 3-14.
  • "Earthlings: Evolution and Place in Environmental History," in Douglas Sackman, ed., A Companion to American Environmental History (London: Wiley-Blackwell Publishers, 2010): 595-614
  • "Mustanging and Horse Trading in the Early West," Wild West (February 2010), 26-35.
  • “Jefferson’s Grand Expedition and the Mystery of the Red River,” in Fu-shan Huang, ed., Ocean, River, and the Transformation of Settlements in Taiwan: A Comparative Perspective (Taipei: Institute of Taiwan History, Academia Sinica, 2009): 397-433.
  • "Bringing Home All The Pretty Horses: The Horse Trade in the Early American West, 1785 - 1825," Montana: The Magazine of Western History 58 (Summer 2008): 3-21, 94-6
  • "Land that I Love," Texas Monthly (July 2007), 74-80.
  • "Wars over Buffalo: Stories vs. Stories on the Northern Plains," in Native Americans and the Environment: Perspectives on the Ecological Indian, Michael Harkin and David Rich Lewis, eds. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2007): 153-72
  • “Jefferson’s Grand Expedition and the Mystery of the Red River,” in Patrick Williams, et al., eds., A Whole Country in Commotion: The Louisiana Purchase and the American Southwest (Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2005): 21-39.
  • “The Natural West,” in The Search for a Common Language: Environmental Writing and Education, Melody Graulich and Paul Crumbly, eds. (Logan: Utah State University, 2005): 115-127.
  • "Societies to Match the Scenery: Twentieth-Century Environmental History in the American West," in A Companion to The American West, William Deverell, ed. (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2004): 256-71
  • "What We’ve Learned About Nature From the National Park Idea,” in A. Wondrak Biel, ed., Beyond the Arch: Community and Conservation in Greater Yellowstone and East Africa, Proceedings of the 7th Biennial Conference on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (Yellowstone National Park: Center for Resources, 2004): 96-106.
  • “Loving the Plains, Hating the Plains, Saving the Plains,” in The Past and Future of the Southern High Plains, Sherry Smith, ed. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2003): 219-244.
  • "Beyond Ecology: Restoring a Cultural Landscape," High Country News, May 13, 2002
  • “Reinventing the World at the Head of the Columbia, in The River We Carry With Us: Two Centuries of Writing from the Clark Fork Basin, Tracy Stone-Manning and Emily Miller, eds. (Livingston, Mt.: Clark City Press, 2002): 175-84.
  • "A Very Different Story: Exploring the Southwest from Monticello With the Freeman and Custis Expedition of 1806," Montana: The Magazine of Western History 50 (Spring 2000): 2-17.
  • “Mountain Islands, Desert Seas: Mountains in Environmental History,” in Karen Gaul and Jackie Hiltz, eds., Landscapes and Communities on the Pacific Rim (Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 2000): 75-90.
  • "Nature's Children: Environmental History as Human Natural History," in Andrew Kirk and John Herron, eds., Human Nature: Biology, Culture, and Environmental History (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1999): 11-30
  • "Essay: The Great Plains ‘Wilderness’ as a Human-Shaped Environment," Great Plains Research 9 (Fall 1999): 343-55
  • "In Montana, The View from the Ranchette," High Country News, May 10, 1999[10]
  • “Environmentalism and Multiculturalism in Western History," in Hal Rothman, ed., Reopening the American West (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1998): 24-37.
  • "Spirit of Place in the American West," in James Sherow, ed., A Sense of the American West: An Environmental History Anthology (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1998): 31-8.
  • "Mountains of the Imagination," in Allen Jones and Jeff Wetmore, eds., The Big Sky Journal: A Treasure of the Best Writing from the Big Sky Journal (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998).
  • From 1996 to 2004, Flores wrote a regular column on western art, "Images of the American West," for the Big Sky Journal.
  • "Citizen of A Larger Country: Wallace Stegner, the Environment, and the West," in Charles Rankin, ed., Wallace Stegner: Man & Writer, Foreword by Stewart Udall (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1996): 73-86.
  • "A Long Love Affair with an Uncommon Country: Environmental History and the Great Plains," in Fred Samson and Fritz Knopf, eds., Prairie Conservation: Preserving North America’s Most Endangered Ecosystem (Washington: Island Press, 1996): 3-17.
  • "Place Vs. Region in Western Environmental History," in Clyde Milner, ed., A New Significance: Re-Envisioning the History of the American West (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996): 130-34.
  • "The Rocky Mountain West: Fragile Space, Diverse Place," Montana, the Magazine of Western History 45 (Winter 1995): 46-56.
  • "Buffalo Tales: What Really Happened to the Bison?" Southwest Art 24 (June 1995): 42-50.
  • "Place: An Argument for Bioregional History," Environmental History 18 (Winter 1994): 1-18
  • "Bison Ecology and Bison Diplomacy: The Southern Plains from 1800 to 1850," Journal of American History 78 (September 1991): 465-85
  • "The Plains and the Painters: Two Centuries of Landscape Art from the Llano Estacado," Journal of American Culture 14 (Summer 1991): 19-28.
  • "Canyons of the Imagination," Southwest Art 18 (March 1989): 70-76.
  • "The Ecology of the Red River in 1806: Peter Custis and Early Southwestern Natural History," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 88 (July 1984): 1-42
  • "Zion in Eden: Phases of the Environmental History of Utah," Environmental Review, 7(4) 1983, 325-344.

Awards and honors[edit]

Flores' work has received numerous accolades and awards including:

  • Stubbendieck Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize, 2017, Winner, for American Serengeti[11]
  • Society of American Historians Member, elected 2017.
  • 2017 Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award Winner for Coyote America[12]
  • Best Non-Fiction Book, 2017 Wrangler Award Winner, Western Heritage Association and National Cowboy Museum, for American Serengeti[13]
  • PEN 2017 E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award Finalist for Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History [14][15]
  • Best Western Historical NonFiction, 2017, Finalist, Western Writers of America Spur Award, for American Serengeti[16]
  • Best Western Short Nonfiction, 2016, Finalist, Western Writers of America Spur Award, for "Where the Pronghorns Play"
  • Outstanding Magazine Article, 2014 Wrangler Award, Western Heritage Association and National Cowboy Museum, for “Coyote, An American Original”
  • High Plains Book Awards, 2011, Winner in the category of Art/Photography Books, for Visions of the Big Sky
  • Montana Book Awards, 2010 Honor Book, for Visions of the Big Sky
  • Southwestern Book Design Awards, 2011, Finalist, for Visions of the Big Sky
  • Best Western Short Nonfiction, 2011, Finalist, Western Writers of America Spur Award, for “Horse Trading in the Early West”
  • Ray Allen Billington Prize, 2009 Article Award, Western History Association, for “Bringing Home All the Pretty Horses”
  • Outstanding Magazine Article, 2009 Wrangler Award, Western Heritage Association and National Cowboy Museum, for “Bringing Home All the Pretty Horses”
  • Friends Choice Award, 2009, from Friends of the Montana Historical Society, for “Bringing Home All the Pretty Horses”
  • Best Western Short Nonfiction, 2009, Finalist, Western Writers of America Spur Award, for “Bringing Home All the Pretty Horses”
  • Vivian A. Paladin Award, Best Article for 2008, Montana, the Magazine of Western History, for “Bringing Home All the Pretty Horses”
  • Julian Rothbaum Prize, 2005, Distinguished Book Prize, University of Oklahoma Press, for The Natural West
  • Caroline Bancroft History Book Prize Honor Book, 2002, Denver Public Library, for The Natural West
  • Best Contemporary Nonfiction Book, 2000, Finalist, Western Writers of America Spur Award, for Horizontal Yellow
  • Nonfiction Book Prize, Finalist, 2000, Oklahoma Book Awards, for Horizontal Yellow
  • Best Western Short Nonfiction, 1998, Finalist, Western Writers of America Spur Award, for “When Buffalo Roamed”
  • Outstanding Magazine Article, 1997 Wrangler Award, Western Heritage Association, National Cowboy Hall of Fame, for “When Buffalo Roamed”
  • Ray Allen Billington Prize, Best Article, 1984, Western History Association, for “Ecology of the Red River in 1806”
  • Best Book on the West, 1984, Westerner's International Co-Founders' Award, for Jefferson & Southwestern Exploration
  • Best Book on Texas History, 1984, Coral Tullis Prize, Texas State Historical Association, for Jefferson & Southwestern Exploration
  • Best Article on Texas History, 1984, H. Bailey Carroll Prize, Texas State Historical Association, for “Ecology of the Red River in 1806”

Invited lectures[edit]

  • In November 2018, Flores gave the Fred Harris Lecture at the University of Oklahoma in Norman.
  • In August 2018, Flores participated in two panels at the Aspen Institute: "Water and Wildlife" and "Conservation"
  • In June 2018, Flores presented a salon/seminar on Coyote America at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, NM.[17]
  • In April 2018, Flores delivered the Semi-Plenary “Safari, American-Style: Shooting up the Great Plains in the 1800s" for Plains Safaris: A Conference on Tourism & Conservation in the Great Plains in Kearney, Nebraska.[18]
  • In February 2018, Flores gave the William Howard and Hazel Butler Peters Lecture at the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies in Provo, Utah.[19]
  • In September 2017, Flores gave the Paul Olson Great Plains Lecture entitled "Losing and Recovering the American Serengeti" at the Center for Great Plains Studies in Lincoln, Nebraska.[20]
  • In March 2017, Flores gave the Tyson Family Lecture on the Preservation and Restoration of Southern Ecosystems at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina.[21]
  • In March 2016, Flores discussed "Animals, Art, and the Environment" as part of the Russell Event at the Charles M. Russell Museum in Great Falls, Montana.[22]
  • In January 2016, Flores gave the keynote address, entitled "Loss and Remorse over the 'American Serengeti,'" for the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada.[23]
  • In October 2015, West Texas State A&M University invited Flores to present their annual Distinguished Lecture.[24]
  • In 2013, Flores delivered the fourth annual Pilster Great Plains Lecture at the Mari Sandoz Heritage Society's annual conference at Chadron State College in Chadron, Nebraska.[25]
  • Flores delivered the Town/Gown Lecture at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, CA, in May 2011.
  • In March 2011, Flores gave the Plenary Lecture for the Georgia Historical Association in Savannah.
  • In October 2010, Flores gave two public lectures for the Colorado Historical Society.
  • In January 2010, Flores gave the Sparks Lecture at the School of Advanced Research in Santa Fe, NM.
  • In November 2009, Flores gave the Hall Symposium Lecture at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.
  • In 2008, Flores presented the prestigious C. Ruth and Calvin P. Horn Lecture in Western History and Culture at the University of New Mexico's Center for the Southwest.[26]
  • Flores spoke at the June 2008 Prix de West Art Awards at the National Cowboy Museum and Western Heritage Center in Oklahoma City.
  • In April 2008, Flores presented the Snell Lecture at Lee University of Tennessee, and the President’s Lecture hosted by the History and Biology Departments at Belmont University in Nashville.
  • As part of the Santa Fe (NM) Salon, Flores spoke in December 2007.
  • In June 2007, Flores was invited to deliver a talk at the Conference on Rivers and Civilization for the Academia Sinica in Taipei, Taiwan.
  • In April 2006, Flores spoke and was the featured writer at the High Plains Writers Series at West Texas State University in Canyon, Texas.
  • At the February 2006 National Park Service conference on Lewis and Clark in St. Louis, Flores gave an invited talk.
  • In October 2003, Flores delivered the Aubrey L. Haines Lecture at Yellowstone National Park.[27]
  • In 2002, Flores delivered the Catherine Cater Humanities Lecture at North Dakota State University.[28]
  • Flores gave the Hartman Hotz Lecture at the University of Arkansas in November 2002.
  • In April 1996, Flores delivered the Charles Wood Lecture at Texas Tech University.

Film and Media[edit]

  • Flores recorded a podcast on Coyote America for New Books Network in December 2017.[29]
  • Flores and MeatEater's Steven Rinella sat down for a wide-ranging podcast loosely centered around American Serengeti and Coyote America (original broadcast date June 22, 2017, Episode 069).[30]
  • Flores joined Joe Rogan for a free-wheeling podcast in Episode #942 of The Joe Rogan Experience (original broadcast date April 6, 2017).[31]
  • Flores and Steven Rinella recorded an extremely successful podcast as part of Rinella's MeatEater program (original broadcast date April 14, 2016, Episode 033)[32]
  • Flores appeared in the “Finding Fenn’s Fortune” episode of Expedition Unknown in 2015 (original air date: November 18).
  • Flores was a featured guest in Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown “New Mexico” episode in 2013 (original air date: September 29).[33]
  • Flores provided much of the historical narration for the 2010 documentary film Facing the Storm: The Story of the American Bison, which aired nationally on PBS in April, 2012.[34]
  • Flores provided historical narration for the documentary El Caballo: The Wild Horses of North America, produced by The Fund for Animals and High Plains Films in 2001.[35]

Critical reception[edit]

As a historian of place, Flores is "one of the best this country has produced," according to acclaimed author Annie Proulx. "His work ranks with that of Thoreau, William Bartram, Aldo Leopold, John Muir, Peter Matthiessen."[36] Douglas Brinkley calls him "a master of the American West and a personal hero."

Flores' latest book, Coyote America, has been widely praised as "terrific," "fascinating," "absorbing," and "brilliant." Natural History proclaims "The coyote stories in this book are among the best, and Flores is a master storyteller."[37]

Historian Elliott West has called Flores "one of the most respected environmental historians of his generation"[38] and William Kittredge concurs, stating that Flores belongs in "the ranks of first-string Western American writers." "Engaging and provocative," "personal, passionate, and scholarly,"[39] Flores' work draws broad praise, including from author William deBuys, who calls Horizontal Yellow "one of the best books about place you'll ever read.".[40]


Dan Flores' archives, research papers, and extensive photographs are housed in the Conservation Collection of the Western History and Genealogy Division of the Denver Public Library.


  1. ^ Dan Louie Flores, The Natural West: Environmental History in the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press. 2001. p. i. ISBN 9780806133041. Retrieved June 26, 2010.
  2. ^ "Dan Flores". University of Montana. Archived from the original on October 5, 2011. Retrieved July 30, 2011.
  3. ^ http://www.basicbooks.com/full-details?isbn=9780465052998 Archived 2017-02-10 at the Wayback Machine; https://kuecprd.ku.edu/~upress/cgi-bin/subjects/history-american-west/978-0-7006-2227-6.html Archived 2016-04-23 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ https://www.newmexico.org/nmmagazine/articles/post/coyote/
  5. ^ http://www.historynet.com/author-dan-flores.htm
  6. ^ https://www.newmexico.org/nmmagazine/articles/post/trails-end/
  7. ^ http://www.foundationforlandscapestudies.org/pdf/sitelines_fall17.pdf
  8. ^ http://www.tamupress.com/product/Bison-and-People-on-the-North-American-Great-Plain,8595.aspx
  9. ^ http://www.historynet.com/wolf-west.htm
  10. ^ https://www.hcn.org/issues/154/4993
  11. ^ http://news.unl.edu/newsrooms/today/article/american-serengeti-wins-stubbendieck-great-plains-book-prize/
  12. ^ https://www.northland.edu/earth-day/earth-day-books-year/
  13. ^ https://nationalcowboymuseum.org/awards-halls-of-fame/western-heritage-awards/western-heritage-awards-current-winners/
  14. ^ https://pen.org/literature/2017-pene-o-wilson-literary-science-writing-award
  15. ^ http://pen.org/2017-pen-america-literary-awards-finalists/
  16. ^ http://westernwriters.org/winners/
  17. ^ https://sarweb.org/event/sar-summer-salon-flores/
  18. ^ https://www.unl.edu/plains/2018-ecotourism-symposium
  19. ^ https://reddcenter.byu.edu/Pages/Forthcoming-Lectures.aspx
  20. ^ http://www.unl.edu/plains/great-plains-great-ideas-paul-olson-seminars
  21. ^ https://www.wofford.edu/newsroom/2017/Tyson-Family-Lecture-to-focus-on-coyotes-in-the-South/
  22. ^ https://www.cmrussell.org/the-russell-events
  23. ^ http://www.nevadahumanities.org/calendar/dan-flores-2016-national-cowboy-poetry-gathering-keynote-address
  24. ^ http://www.wtamu.edu/aspx/calendar.aspx?m=10&y=2015&event=99585
  25. ^ http://www.csc.edu/modules/news/public_news/view/10447
  26. ^ https://centerforthesouthwest.unm.edu/events/horn-lecture-series/index.html
  27. ^ http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/nature/upload/2003summary.pdf
  28. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-08-30. Retrieved 2016-01-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  29. ^ http://newbooksnetwork.com/dan-flores-coyote-america-a-natural-and-supernatural-history-basic-books-2016/
  30. ^ http://www.themeateater.com/podcasts/episode-069-madrid-new-mexico-steven-talks-with-historian-and-author-dan-flores-along-with-janis-putelis-of-the-meateater-crew/
  31. ^ http://podcasts.joerogan.net/podcasts/dan-flores
  32. ^ http://www.themeateater.com/podcasts/episode-033/
  33. ^ https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3302926/?ref_=ttep_ep12
  34. ^ http://itvs.org/films/facing-the-storm/photos-and-press-kit
  35. ^ http://www.highplainsfilms.org/films/el_caballo
  36. ^ Caprock Canyonlands, Twentieth Anniversary Edition, ix.
  37. ^ Flores, Dan (7 June 2016). Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History. ISBN 978-0465052998.
  38. ^ The Natural West, back cover
  39. ^ https://kuecprd.ku.edu/~upress/cgi-bin/978-0-7006-2227-6.html
  40. ^ Horizontal Yellow, back cover