Synopses & Reviews
Two eminent historians, Robert V. Hine and John Mack Faragher, present the American West as both frontier and region, real and imagined, old and new, and they show how men and women of all ethnic groups were affected when different cultures met and clashed. Their concise and engaging survey of frontier history traces the story from the first Columbian contacts between Indians and Europeans to the multicultural encounters of the modern Southwest.
The book attunes us to the voices of the frontiers many diverse peoples: Indians, struggling to defend their homelands and searching for a way to live with colonialism; the men and women who became immigrants and colonists from all over the world; African Americans, both slave and free; and border-land migrants from Mexico, Canada, and Asian lands. Profusely illustrated with contemporary drawings, posters, and photographs and written In lively and accessible prose, the book not only presents a panoramic view of historical events and characters but also provides fascinating details about such topics as western landscapes, environmental movements, literature, visual arts, and film.
Following in the tradition of Hine's earlier acclaimed work, The American West: An Interpretive History, this volume will be an essential resource for scholars, students, and general readers.
"The authors, who teach history at the University of California, Riverside and Yale respectively,
take aim at a target that has long been shot full of holes. Their reexamination of this much mythologized part of the U.S.contains much fascinating information. There is material here that will surprise and delight many who may have felt that the older and more heroic versions of Western history had little of interest to them. Hine and Faragher range widely in their quest to give many hitherto neglected contributors to the great national enterprise their due. In doing so, they look at movies, photography, and dimestore novels, to name but a few of the sources they use. Indeed, it is popular culture and the images it fostered and perpetuated that come in for the lion's share of the attention. The book is profusely illustrated, a fact that should give it an appeal much broader than most academic books. Despite its being, in fact, a work that is heavily academic in its attempt to revise our views of the West, it is readable and might find its greatest audience outside the world of professional historians. It is not, however, as new as the authors (or publishers) would have the reader believe. Nor does their reinterpretation diminish the mythic quality that this region and its historical experience will have for the devoted reader of history. The insight that there was more to the West than John Wayne will surprise few. It remains a stimulating work of history." Reviewed by Andrew Witmer, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
A survey of frontier history, tracing the story from the first Columbian contacts between Indians and Europeans to the multicultural encounters of the modern southwest. It provides details about topics such as western landscapes, environmental movements, literature, arts and film.
Table of Contents
Dreams and homelands --New world begins --Contest of cultures --Struggle of empires --Land and its markers --Fur trade --From Texas to Oregon --War and destiny --Mining frontiers --Power of the road --Open range --Safety valve --Search for community --Urban frontier --Plunder and preservation --Myth of the west --Frontier and west in our time.