A New Significance: Re-Envisioning the History of the American West / Edition 1

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In 1893, Frederick Jackson Turner published his revolutionary essay, "The Significance of the Frontier in American History." A century later, many of the country's most innovative scholars of Western history assembled at a conference at Utah State University under the direction of historian Clyde A. Milner II. Here they delivered papers meant to map the exciting new territory opened in recent years in the history of the West. Gathering the best of these essays, this collection aims to produce a compelling assessment of the newest Western historiography. The timely, vigorous entries go beyond conventional narratives of westward expansion, and make clear the stimulating uses of scholarship informed by recent critical and multicultural theory. Contributors include William Deverell on the significance of the West in American history; David Gutiérrez on Mexican Americans and cultural identity; Susan Rhoades Neel on nature and the environment; Gail M. Nomura on Asia and Asian Americans; Anne F. Hyde on cultural perceptions; David Rich Lewis on twentieth-century Native Americans; Susan Lee Johnson on men, women and gender; and Quintard Taylor on the history of African Americans in the West. Each essay is accompanied by commentaries written by other top scholars in the field, and the eminent historian Allan G. Bogue supplies a lucid introduction.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This collection is an essential component of the field and points to all the exciting work that has been generated in the last decade. The collection may fuel future debates that will continue to transform historical interpretations of the American West well into the twenty-first century."—New Mexico Historical Review

"...the volume offers a set of fresh but varied approaches which together illuminate the healthy reality that the field's strength comes from its diversity."—Utah Historical Quarterly

"Serious scholars should welcome this thoughtful and well-documented collection of articles...Undoubtedly, the book also will provoke future comment and discussion that can only help sharpen our understanding about a process that was once trivialized in popular culture."—Kansas History

"Any student of the history of the United States West will find this work valuable for becoming acquainted with the major treatises in the many subfields of the West. A New Significance is also deserving of inclusion as a text for seminars and undergraduate classes in the American West."—The Chronicles of Oklahoma

"The collection is a valuable contribution to both 'western' and American history."—American Historical Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195100488
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 10/28/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 1,316,410
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.19 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

Clyde A. Milner II is Professor of History at Utah State University. Editor of the Western Historical Quarterly, he is co-editor of The Oxford History of the American West (1994).

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Envisioning a Second Century of Western History
1 The Course of Western History's First Century 3
2 Fighting Words: The Significance of the American West in the History of the United States 29
Commentary: Courage without Illusion 56
Commentary: The New Significance of the American West 61
3 Significant to Whom?: Mexican Americans and the History of the American West 67
Commentary: In Pursuit of a Brown West 90
Commentary: Interpreting Voice and Locating Power 97
4 A Place of Extremes: Nature, History, and the American West 105
Commentary: A Mosaic of Different Environments 125
Commentary: Place versus Region in Western Environmental History 130
5 Significant Lives: Asia and Asian Americans in the U.S. West 135
Commentary: Through Western Eyes: Discovering Chinese Women in America 158
Commentary: Extending Democracy's Reach 168
6 Cultural Filters: The Significance of Perception 175
Commentary: Looking West from Here and There 202
Commentary: The Shadow of Pikes Peak 205
7 Still Native: The Significance of Native Americans in the History of the Twentieth-Century American West 213
Commentary: We Are Restored 241
Commentary: New Awareness for an Old Significance 247
8 "A Memory Sweet to Soldiers": The Significance of Gender 255
Commentary: Staring at the Sun 279
Commentary: A Regendered, Reracialized, and Resituated West 283
Concluding Statement: Through the Prism of Race: The Meaning of African-American History in the West 289
Concluding Statement: Reintroducing a Re-envisioned West 300
Contributors 307
Index 311
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