The means of travel in that section of the U.S. to which Mr. Winther likes to refer as ""the trans-Mississippi West"", throughout the last third of the 19th century, is the subject of this leisurely, scholarly, and not very interesting volume. The fault, most certainly, does not lie in the material itself. The author travels from muleskinning and bullwhacking through stagecoaching, steamboating, railroading, bicycling, and the earliest days of the automobile. He has his best moments descriptions of the trials and tribulations attending the various methods of comotion, and in his brief account of the construction of the railroads. There are also a few rather good small anecdotes and quotations relating to gamblers, andits, Indians, and the League of American Wheelmen. An uphill northwest passage through thickets of details with which even more casual readers of American history are familiar.