A wide ranging selection of folk songs from the American West from roughly about 1840 to the turn of the century. It is Mr. Silber's intention to attract, to some extent, popular attention to the major historical events in an area bounded on the east by the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, and western Texas to the Pacific shore with bits of Mexico, Canada and Alaska. As with most collections of this ilk, some songs are the products of professionals, some must be labeled, ""anon."" Brief historical essays introduce each section, and documentation for each song is included. Although some of these songs have challenged embattled researchers, Mr. Silber writes easily, pleasantly, ignoring the temptation to take on the folk song scholars, and instead concentrates on the entertainment at hand. The music is annotated, edited and arranged by Earl Robinson. A reliable double entry for U.S. history classes, the folk song shelf. Also regional interest.