Library Journal - Library JournalThese two titles show how much the American West continues to captivate the popular imagination. Put together by the editors of the Time-Life "American Story" series, Settling the West is composed of four vignettes, each representing a noteworthy aspect of the region's history and written by a professional historian. The four topics are the Gold Rush in Virginia City, Montana; Texas-Kansas cattle drives; the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad; and the Johnson County, Wyoming, War. With half the book devoted to cattle and ranching, there is a problem of balance. Still, this well-written book acknowledges the role of women and ethnic minorities. In The American West, the authors take a more process-oriented approach. Reviewing the westward movement in light of activities in Kentucky, Oregon, New Mexico, and South Dakota, they discuss topics ranging from migration and settlement to industrial development and recreation-an approach that allows for comparisons and contrasts between process and place. Surprisingly, California is barely discussed, and there is a single, woefully inadequate map. The title's strength is its engaging attention to everyday life. Both these works gloss over significant elements of the region's history, notably the role of the federal government and the military. Still, both copiously illustrated works will appeal to general readers.-Daniel D. Liestman, Seattle Pacific Univ. Lib.
Write a Review
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >