This is one of the most dramatic of the River series, though it seems to depart a bit from the river theme, and manages to turn into a regional history. Viewed as such, here is a first rate panorama of the Colorado of Buckskin Joe, of Cripple Creek boom days, of California Gulch and Leadville; the Colorado of quick fortunes in silver and in gold, of Walsh and Tabor and Guggenheim; Colorado of conflicts between railroads for right of way, of strikes and labor difficulties; and finally the Colorado of fruit lands and beet farms -- and the Dust Bowl. Then western Kansas, cattle country, and Dodge City; then the Indian problems, the discovery of oil and the land rush when Oklahoma opened up. Next the Ozarks -- the Mississippi Bubble and the river the highway for the western course of empire. Good telling.