Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyThe popular image of Western history is our own creation myth, writes the author, who teaches history at the University of Colorado. Frederick Jackson Turner's ethnocentric, nationalistic frontier is passe; modern historians have deemphasized the frontier, focusing on economics and the diversity of Western settlers. Limerick shows us a competitive, contentious West, an important meeting ground for Indians, Latin-Americans, Anglo- and Afro- Americans and Asians. On the subject of Western violence, she notes that the frontier environment is not a proper explanation for incidents involving Hispanics, Chinese, Japanese, blacks, Mormons, strikers and radicals. Limerick examines the key role of federal money in Western economya major issue of continuity in the area's history; she discusses ``borderland'' (Hispanic) history and immigration restrictions. History buffs will appreciate this dynamic perspective on the real, as opposed to fantasy, West. Photos not seen by PW. (June 29)
Library JournalThe purpose of this volume, never precisely defined, appears to be twofold: to debunk the popular myths and misperceptions surrounding the settlement of the American West; and refute the theory that western history was a period marked by the opening and closing of a frontier. The author argues for thinking of the West as ``a placeas many complicated environments,'' one that is a ``preeminent case study in conquest and its consequences.'' However, she does not successfully integrate the various topics she tackles. The point of her work becomes increasingly vague as she jumps from topic to topic, her style ranging from intellectual and scholarly to casual and journalistic. Not recommended. Frank Schroth, Technology Training Assocs., Cambridge, Mass.
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