West Virginia: A History for Beginners Taking a comprehensive approach, Williams' book examines the geographic, cultural, political, economic and social factors shaping West Virginia as it traces the state's history. Well-illustrated and researched, covers the state from pre-historic times to today. Especially nice are the graphs, charts, pictures, and maps that help illustrate the history of the state. This book gives the best overall view of the state's history. West Virginia: A History for Beginners was used to create questions for the Golden Horseshoe Test, and was the only approved eighth-grade history text that was used to create questions for the Stanford 9.