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The American West
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About the Author

Robert V. Hine is professor emeritus of history at the University of California, Riverside and Irvine. John Mack Faragher, Arthur Unobskey Professor of American History at Yale University, is author of Sugar Creek: Life on the Illinois Prairie and Women and Men on the Overland Trail.

Reviews

In a stirring and enlightening reexamination of the American West, Yale history professor Faragher (Women and Men on the Overland Trail) and Hine (Second Sight), a University of California professor emeritus of history, gauge the impact of key trends and events--the American Revolution, the multiethnic Gold Rush, the 1867 purchase of Russian America (dubbed Alaska, an Aleut word meaning "the big land"), the U.S.-Mexican War, the New Deal, etc.--in shaping the West's socioeconomic development. The American West of legend, brimming with ruggedly individualistic cowboys, intrepid pioneers and gunslingers, scarcely exists in this myth-shattering history. The real West was and continues to be a land of immigrants and of conflicting and melding cultures. "Manifest destiny," the authors maintain, was not a deeply held folk belief: rather, it was the deliberate creation of political propagandists determined to unyoke the policy of westward expansion from the growing sectional controversy over slavery in the 1830s and '40s. As the book moves from the West of the past to the present, the authors show how the region has become the nation's economic, political and cultural pacesetter: Hollywood became the capital of the U.S. "culture industry"; aerospace and defense industries soared; Silicon Valley booted up; Western states absorbed mass migrations from Mexico, Central America and Asia. A substantial revision and update of standard history, this gripping, wonderfully accessible populist saga deserves a place on the shelf alongside the works of Howard Zinn, William Appleman Williams and Ronald Takaki. 233 illus. (many from Yale's treasure-house, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library). (Dec.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

"The book is elegantly written, brims with telling details and choice anecdotes, and is simply illustrated with a fine selection of images. Taken as a whole, Hine and Faragher succeed admirably in providing a unified interpretation of Western American history that recognizes the need to acknowledge and ameliorate legacies of conquest in the West, while looking optimistically towards the future."-Martin Padgett, Times Literary Supplement

"[Hine and Faragher] have come out with a new edition of Hine's very well received The American West; An Interpretive History. The text is a survey of the American West or frontier, broadly defined and examined from many levels. . . . This work will be widely used in classes on the American frontier and West and is highly recommended for academic and public libraries."-Library Journal

"In a stirring and enlightening reexamination of the American West, [Hine and Faragher] gauge the impact of key trends and events-the American Revolution, the multiethnic Gold Rush, the 1867 purchase of Russian America, the U.S.-Mexican War, the New Deal, etc. -in shaping the West's socioeconomic development. The American West of legend, brimming with ruggedly individualistic cowboys, intrepid pioneers and gunslingers, scarcely exists in this myth-shattering history. The real West was and continues to be a land of immigrants and of conflicting and melding cultures. . . . A substantial revision and update of standard history, this gripping, wonderfully accessible populist saga deserves a place on the shelf alongside the works of Howard Zinn, William Appleman Williams, and Ronald Takaki."-Publishers Weekly (A Starred Review)
Winner of the 2000 Western Heritage Award in the non-fiction category
Winner of the 2001 Caughey Western History Association Prize

-A strong, readable, and wide-ranging book."-Elizabeth Jameson, University of New Mexico


"The authors have a superb eye for telling details and quotations. Much has been done to incorporate a multi-angled perspective and bring in material on women's, ethnic, and environmental history. This is a very fine book."-Elliott West, University of Arkansas


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