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The Pacific Northwest: An Interpretive History (Revised and Enlarged Edition) / Edition 2

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Carlos Arnaldo Schwantes has revised and expanded the entire work, which is still the most comprehensive and balanced history of the region. This edition contains significant additional material on early mining in the Pacific Northwest, sea routes to Oregon in the early discovery and contact period, the environment of the region, the impact of the Klondike gold rush, and politics since 1945. Recent environmental controversies, such as endangered salmon runs and the spotted owl dispute, have been addressed, as has the effect of the Cold War on the region’s economy. The author has also expanded discussion of the roles of women and minorities and updated statistical information.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Schwantes surveys the economic and social history of the Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon, Idaho) from the time of the first white-Indian contact to 1987. He focuses on three major themes: economic development based on natural resources, the urbanization of society, and an increasing concern for the environment. The analysis is generally careful and the writing clear, but the chapters dealing with the 1890-1914 period are somewhat disjointed and contain some unsupported assertions, making it difficult to trace the course of Populism and Progressivism. Nevertheless, this is a useful survey and can be recommended for most collections.-- Stephen H. Peters, Northern Michigan Univ. Lib., Marquette
Schwantes (history, U. of Idaho) argues that the isolation of the Pacific Northwest contributed to a pronounced time lag in its development. He sees the region encompassing Washington, Oregon, and Idaho as a hinterland of sorts even today, but one with a distinctive and colorful history. Cloth edition $32.95 not seen. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

"A superb book."—Columbia
Journal of the West

"This eminently readable book provides a refreshing current perspective on the Northwest. . . . More than 100 illustrations, maps, and figures drawn from archival repositories in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho provide a valuable visual dimension . . . an excellent synthesis."—Journal of the West
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"Essential reading . . . an excellent overview of the region. . . . The well-chosen photographs are a superb counterpoint to the text. . . . Arguably the best collection of photos and drawings anywhere in print that illustrate the whole of Northwest history."—Seattle Post-Intelligencer
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803292284
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/1996
  • Edition description: Revised and Enlarged Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 570
  • Sales rank: 335,186
  • Product dimensions: 5.92 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 1.31 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface to the Revised Edition
Preface to the First Edition
Ch. 1 A Sense of Place: The Essential Pacific Northwest 1
Profile: The Third Voyage of Captain James Cook 19
Ch. 2 The First Pacific Northwesterners 25
Ch. 3 Encounters with a Distant Land 41
Ch. 4 Continental Dreams and Fur Empires 53
Profile: The Whitman Tragedy at Waiilatpu 83
Ch. 5 Bound for the Promised Land 91
Ch. 6 Oregon Country: Rearranging the Political Landscape 110
Ch. 7 Growing Pains: New Territories, Gold Fever, and a Civil War 124
Ch. 8 Holes in the Social Fabric 143
Profile: Henry Villard and the Last Spike 169
Ch. 9 Metropolitan Corridors: Forging New Transportation Links 179
Ch. 10 The Stumps of Enterprise: A Natural Resource Based Economy 200
Ch. 11 A Quickening Pace of Life: Immigration and Urban Growth 225
Ch. 12 A Time of Testing: Omnibus States and the Excesses of the 1890s 251
Ch. 13 Removing the Rough Edges: Society, Education, and Culture 271
Ch. 14 Envisioning a New Northwest 287
Profile: The World of May Arkwright Hutton 315
Ch. 15 Commonwealth of Toil 326
Ch. 16 Adjustments: Progressivism and World War I 345
Ch. 17 Birth of the Modern 363
Ch. 18 Depression Decade 381
Profile: Tom McCall of Oregon 399
Ch. 19 From World War to Cold War 408
Ch. 20 Roller-Coaster Years 429
Ch. 21 The Politics of Anxiety and Affluence 454
Ch. 22 Environment at Risk 477
Epilogue: Redefining the Pacific Northwest 503
Appendix: The Pacific Northwest: A Statistical Portrait 523
Suggestions for Further Reading 531
Index 561
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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2013

    I was required to read this book for a Pacific Northwest history

    I was required to read this book for a Pacific Northwest history class. I found the information to be enlightening, but the overall structure of the book was very difficult to understand. For example, the book jumps from a chapter on the Depression to a chapter on Tom McCall to a chapter on WWII. In my opinion, this book would be a far better history reference if it would stick to some sort of chronological order.

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