In the assembly line production of state histories, this story of the founding and development of the state of Oregon is exceptional. Dignified in tone, yet thrilling in its frankness, accepting as part of the story the lusty, bawdy, racy past of Oregon's early cities, notably Seattle. Nor does it dodge the blame for the lamentable story of the Indians, their exploitation, their decimation, the often ill-directed efforts of the early missionaries. After the historical and geographical review and the story of the Indians, the book turns to the adventures of white settlers, as the social fabric took form and the cities shaped themselves. Twice the young western giant was rescured from disappearing from the Union, as power politics were injected. In 1955, the Pacific Republic was a dream of Southern Democrats, slavery an explosive issue. As late as the '80's, terror rode the ranges, outlaws were legion. The pictures of the early society are almost incredible, and the book is livened with old ballads and poems of the period. Specific chapters are devoted to education, science, the arts, the theatre, and the press (this one of the best in the book). Readable-entertaining-highly informative.