Land in American West / Edition 1

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Throughout the history of the United States, the concepts of "land" and "the West" have fired the American imagination and fueled controversy. The essays in Land in the American West deal with complex, troublesome, and interrelated questions regarding land: Who owns it? Who has access to it? What happens when private rights infringe upon the public good, or when one ethnic group is pitted against another, or when there is a conflict between economic and environmental values? Many of these questions have deep historical roots. They all have special significance in the modern American West, where natural resources are still abundant and large areas of land are federally owned.

University of Washington Press

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Editorial Reviews

Originally presented at a 1997 symposium at Oregon State U. in Corvallis, these papers contemplate the controversies over land that develop between private claims and the common good. Property rights, rural and urban vantage points, and land use issues are the main themes, with papers discussing individual instances of each in the western states and the larger historical background for each question in the US as a whole. Foster and Robbins teach history and political science, respectively, at OSU; the contributors are academics, a National Park employee, and one graduate student in political science, urban studies, applied economics, and history. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780295980201
  • Publisher: University of Washington Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 222
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgmentsIntroduction: In Search of Western Lands - William Robbins

PART I: Three Perspectives on Property RightsPrivate Property and the Public Interest: Land in the American Idea - Daniel BromleyProperty Rights, Freedom, and Evolving Social Order - Bruce YandleNew Property Rights Debates: The Dialectics of Naming, Blaming, and Claiming - Sarah Pralle & Michael McCann

PART II: Urban and Rural Vantage Points on PropertyLand for Cities, Scenery for City People: Managing Urbanization in the American Grain - Carl AbbottFrom Open Range to Closed Range on the Public Lands - William RowleyPART III: Three Case Studies of Land UseDividing the Land: The Taylor Ranch and the Case for Preserving the Limited Access Commons - Maria MontoyaPublic Lands and Public Sentiment: A Comparative Look at national Parks - Arthur GomezOwning It All in Alaska: The Political Power of a Rhetorical Paradigm - Stephan Haycox

EpilogueContested Terrain: The Business of Land in the American West - Richard White


University of Washington Press

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