"From his insightful treatment of the Native inhabitants encountered by the first Euro-Americans in 1805, to his recitation of the difficult choices facing contemporary Idahoans, Schwantes masterfully holds up the human side of the state's history. . . . Readers will appreciate this excellent example of lively and enlightening state history."-Oregon Historical Quarterly. In this history, Carlos A. Schwantes illustrates the extent to which Idahoans have always been divided by geography, transportation patterns, religion, and history. Reaching back to 1805 when Lewis and Clark were among the first white men to enter present-day Idaho, Schwantes describes the Indians of the Great Basin and Plateau and shows how fur traders, missionaries, and overland emigrants defined the land that became a territory in 1863 and, finally, a state in 1890. The vigilantism, Indian wars, mining booms and busts, and animosity toward Mormons and Chinese immigrants that marked the territorial years gave way to more troubles in the early years of statehood: an economic downturn, industrial violence, political protest. The arrival of automobiles promised to end isolation, but the formidable terrain slowed the building of north-south highways, just as it had railroads. Nevertheless, future Idaho would be a product of engineering and would witness the coming of irrigation systems and hydroelectric plants. Schwantes brings his history through the Great Depression, World War II, and the Cold War, noting everyday life, colorful personalities, political and economic cycles, raging controversies, and current trends. Carlos Arnaldo Schwantes is a professor in the Department of History, and director of the Institute for Pacific Northwest Study, at the University of Idaho. He is the author of a number of books, including Hard Traveling: A Portrait of Work Life in the New Northwest (Nebraska 1995).
"A colorful, fast-paced narrative, accented throughout by interpretive insights that give the book substance and meaning, but never at the price of critical insight or objectivity. A tremendous amount of thought and re-search have gone into this volume. It will find a wide and growing following among everyone interested in the state of ldaho."—Alfred Runte, author of Yosemite: The Embattled Wilderness
Carlos A. Schwantes is a professor of history at the University of Idaho. His books include Coxey's Army: An American Odyssey (1985) and The Pacific Northwest: An Interpretive History (1989), both published by the University of Nebraska Press.