With the televised sound of hoofbeats beginning to fade away and the fictional gunsmoke perhaps about to clear a little, Gressley believes there will be a deep new interest in the truth about the economic development of the American West. His title has a purse-lipped-Yankee quality, but his text is rich, expansive, and as filled with worthwhile detail as the Western Plains were full of forage. In the Preface he laments the very limited records left by persons in the financial and managerial side of the cattle industry, but he sought and got access to much material that had never been generally available before, and his documentation is both broad and polished. His opening chapter, ""Wall Street,"" establishes the economic character of the period. Several chapters describe the types of men and the organizational machinery that combined to get some of the nation's money flowing westward. Astonishing complexities of speculation, manipulation, intrigue, hard work, educated guessing, and sheer persistence went into building up the commission firms, the stockyards, the railroads, the banks, and the cattle ranches themselves; politics played a part that Gressley does not ignore. He is an excellent writer, and his book probably does foreshadow a welcome new trend to Westerns with meat on their bones.