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Historical Atlas of the American Westby Derek Hayes
Synopses & Reviews
In the summer of 1883 Belgian travel writer Jules Leclercq spent ten days on horseback in Yellowstone, the worldand#8217;s first national park, exploring myriad natural wonders: astonishing geysers, majestic waterfalls, the vast lake, and the breathtaking canyon. He also recorded the considerable human activity, including the rampant vandalism. Leclercqand#8217;s account of his travels is itself a small marvel blending natural history, firsthand impressions, scientific lore, and anecdote. Along with his observations on the parkand#8217;s long-rumored fountains of boiling water and mountains of glass, Leclercq describes camping near geysers, washing clothes in a bubbling hot spring, and meeting such diverse characters as local guides and tourists from the United States and Europe. Notables including former president Ulysses S. Grant and then-president Chester A. Arthur were also in the park that summer to inaugurate the newly completed leg of the Northern Pacific Railroad.
A sensation in Europe, the book was never published in English. This deft translation at long last makes available to English-speaking readers a masterpiece of western American travel writing that is a fascinating historical document in its own right.
Spectacular in scope and visually brilliant, this atlas presents a sweeping history of the American West through more than 600 original, full-color maps and extended captions. From the earliest human inhabitants and the first European explorers to the national parks and retirement resorts of today, this extensive collection chronicles the West from uncharted territory to a well-populated Eden. We bear witness as state lines strike through Native American territories, see the frontier crack open and the railroad's iron belt snake across the Plains, and watch as the West's cities, from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and Albuquerque to Anchorage, rise and prosper. This is the first atlas to compile all the historically significant maps relating to the American West; it includes field sketches of battles, the first maps to show the West, maps depicting mythical rivers and fictional towns, and maps showing early conceptions of California as an island. Distilling many centuries into one fascinating volume, this atlas traces history as redwoods, mountains, and deserts become California, Montana, and Arizona, and offers a rare opportunity to see the west through the eyes of its earliest explorers.
About the Author
Derek Hayes is the author of Historical Atlas of the United States, Historical Atlas of California, and Historical Atlas of the Pacific Northwest, among other books.
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