Professor Pomeroy, the award-winning author of several earlier books on the American West, is himself of pioneer stock and draws upon lifelong familiarity with the ""material advantages and psychological effects of Western living."" The six states of the Far West grew into their statehood by cataclysmic process: gold rush, the novelty of citriculture, the revolution wrought by the railroad refrigerator car, ""business unionism,"" Prohibition, woman suffrage, exclusionism, tourism, religious revivalism, conservationism and progressivism. In recent times, Pomeroy observes, ""much of the Pacific slope..changed so fast that it skipped entire stages of normal social evolution and thus seemed less advanced than it was."" The many technical and historical footnotes here (strangely, printed in two columns) bear witness to the depth and diversity of Pomeroy's research; in addition there are at the back of the book chapter-by-chapter suggestions for further general reading. Continuously the West, particularly California, attracts immigrants from the East and Midwest. Though not, in the strictest sense, a ""popular"" treatment, this book could properly be the backbone for a library being collected with an eye to retirement years, or the kindling for a young executive's spark to ""go West.