Imagining the Big Open: Nature, Identity, and Play in the New West / Edition 1

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The American West has long played a role in our consciousness as a place apart, a site of perpetual optimism and romanticism. In Imagining the Big Open a wide range of scholars deftly examine our projections upon and uses of the New West—a projection that not only includes how we imagine the West but how we use Western places. Addressing the history, popular culture, geography, and public policy of the region the contributors unravel our collective psyche where SUVs and REI cards exist in symbiosis with the wilderness movement and Sierra Club memberships.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Imagining the Big Open skillfully dissects the warring notions that threaten to rip apart the places and products that define the New West."—Western Historical Quarterly
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780874807387
  • Publisher: University of Utah Press
  • Publication date: 4/15/2003
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 311
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Elaine Bapis is a doctoral candidate in history at the University of Utah and teaches at Westminster College of Salt Lake City.

Thomas Harvey is a doctoral candidate in history at the University of Utah and a news editor of government and education at the Salt Lake Tribune.

Liza Nicholas lives, writes, and teaches in Bozeman, Montana. Her first book, Culture and the Cowboy State: The Making of Westerners, is forthcoming.

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Table of Contents

Pt. 1 Power Shifts 1
Regional Unifier or Social Catspaw? A Social and Cultural Historical Geography of Salmon Recovery 3
"Way Out West ... Ghost Towns, Gray Wolves, Territorial Prisons & More!" Celebrating the Wolf in the New West 27
Narratives of Place and Power: Laying Claim to Devils Tower 45
Pt. 2 Playing in the Wild 71
Patagonia, Gary Snyder, and the "Magic" of Wilderness 73
Urban Climbers in the Wilderness: Mounts Hood, Rainier, and Shasta and the History of Popular Mountaineering 92
Fishing the Hatch: New West Romanticism and Fly-Fishing in the High Country 111
Pt. 3 Making Places 123
Reinventing Red Lodge: The Making of a New Western Landscape, 1884-2000 125
Yellowcake to Singletrack: Culture, Community, and Identity in Moab, Utah 151
From "Last of the Old West" to First of the New West: Tourism and Transformation in Jackson Hole, Wyoming 163
Pt. 4 Choosing Histories 181
Buffalo Chips or Computer Chips? The Battle over the Future of the Great Plains 183
Reno's Silver Legacy: Gambling on the Past in the Urban New West 203
Contesting Boot Hill: The Saga of Metaphorical Dodge City 220
Pt. 5 Deconstructing Sundance 239
Scripting the West: Robert Redford's Persona and Film 241
1-800-SUNDANCE: Identity, Nature, and Play in the West 259
The Sundance Kid and Sundance: The West as Nature 272
Contributors 281
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