AMERICA'S WESTERN FRONTIERS by John Hawgood
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AMERICA'S WESTERN FRONTIERS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An engrossing narrative history of trans-Mississippi United States recreates the whole order of experience from the Indian cultures of the Southwest to the land settlement problems of the 1870's-80's through the Judicious inclusion of lengthy quotes from contemporary accounts. Here is Coronado thwarted and Sacajawea placed in perspective; the lively twenty years of hunting and trapping at their heyday; the unique achievement of the Mormons in settling ""the land between""; the betrayal of the Indians and many last stands; home on the range without Hollywood. In drawing to a close, Mr. Hawgood, a British scholar who has won the first Alfred A. Knopf Western History Award for this effort, examines Frederick Jackson Turner's theory of the frontier as a ""safety valve"" in the context of later studies and finds it limited in relation to the American experience, but with potential for identifying pioneer traits generally. A short recap of recent developments in the region, a brief suggestion of world-wide parallels for further study, complete a book which unites scholarly documentation and immediate observation and shines brightest in dim moments trapping the beaver in the Rockies, struggling with homesteaders on the arid plains.

Pub Date: May 9th, 1967
Publisher: Knopf