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Under an Open Sky: Rethinking America's Western Pastby William Cronon
Synopses & Reviews
The history of the American West is being transformed by exciting new ideas, new questions, new scholarship. For many years this field was dominated by popular images of the lone cowboy and the savage Indian, and by Frederick Jackson Turner's concept of the frontier as a steadily advancing source of democracy and social renewal. But now historians and even the merchants of popular culture are reshaping our views of the frontier and the West by taking up a rich array of new subjects, including the stories of diverse peoples as well as the history of the land itself. A new generation of scholars is reformulating the broader questions also: What was the significance of the frontier in American history? What are the bases of western identity? What themes connect the twentieth-century West to its more distant past? The transformation of western history continues to be an open-ended, turbulent process. The original essays in this volume are reports from the frontier of change. In their diverging assumptions and conclusions, they reflect the vitality of this field. They succeed when they make the case for new questions and suggest possible answers. They advocate no single agenda. But taken together they well represent the passion and high craft with which scholars are creating a new western history.
"If you prefer history served in a dozen fresh ways, get this book." --Chicago Tribune
Includes bibliographical references (p. 275-342) and index.
About the Author
William Cronon is Frederick Jackson Turner Professor of History, Geography, and Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Table of Contents
Becoming West : toward a new meaning for western history / William Cronon, George Miles, Jay Gitlin — Kennecott journey : the paths out of town / William Cronon — To hear an old voice : rediscovering Native Americans in American history / George Miles — On the boundaries of empire : connecting the West to its imperial past / Jay Gitlin — Americans, Mexicans, Mâetis : a community apprpoach to the comparative study of North American Frontiers / John Mack Faragher — Landscape of enclaves : race relations in the West, 1865-1990 / Sarah Deutsch — Engendering the West / Katherine G. Morrissey — Religion in the American West / D. Michael Quinn — Making the most of words : verbal activity and Western America / Patricia Nelson Limerick — Views and reviews : western art and western history / Martha A. Sandweiss — View from wisdom : four layers of history and regional identity / Clyde A. Milner II — History for the masses : commercializing the western past / Ann Fabian — Is there a Twentieth-Century West? / Michael E. McGerr — Westering in the Twenty-first Century : speculations on the future of the western past / Howard R. Lamar.
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