The regional appeal is obvious in the title (which is a rather boring handle for a very interesting book) but the builders emerge with so much vigor that they should prove memorable to even the most southern of the Atlantic Southeast. The author is a journalist who handles his words easily and whose research is evident in the quotations from old newspaper accounts that set the tone of the times. Jedediah Smith was the trailblazer for this territory, but all of them included here were trailblazers in one sense or another. To name a few, there was George Washington Bush, a pioneering Negro who helped settle Puget Sound; Narcissa Whitman, who sallied forth with a Bible and whose blonde beauty helped advance her missionary cause; the great Indian leader, Chief Joseph, and his troubles; and Abigail Scott Duniway, the wily suffragette who swung the country's first legislatures to the enfranchisement of ""hen voters"". Overshadowing them all is Pete French, a tragic cattle king as worthy of an opera as ever Baby Doe was. Adult collections should note.