Although it gives only a nod to Native American resistance to westward expansionism, this may still provide American history students with some useful background on boat construction and frontier waterways. Considering both commercial and personal travel, Nirgiotis details the rigors of waterway journeying and gives a much clearer view of the networks of rivers and the difference between upriver and downriver travel than is available in many classroom textbooks. He also gives a vivid accounting of the importance of steamboats. Illustrations, including maps and archival photos, are plentiful and capture a sense of the frontier. A glossary is appended.