"A Companion to the American West" is a rigorous, illuminating introduction to the history of the American West. Twenty-five essays by expert scholars synthesize the best and most provocative work in the field. Each essay covers a subtopic of western American history, its major concerns, and its major works to provide a comprehensive overview of themes and historiography. The essays not only come from the perspective of the 'new western history,' reflecting a resurgence in both scholarly and public interest in the region, but also reflect other schools and positions, such as ethnic studies, cultural studies, and subfields of environmental and gender history. The Companion covers such topics as industrialism, women, Native Americans, exploration, religion, politics, and art. Also included is a combined bibliography to aid further research. The essays are lively, well written, and suited to the student, scholar, and all interested readers of the history of the American West.
William Deverell is Professor of History at the University of Southern California and director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West. He is the author of Railroad Crossing: Californians and the Railroad, 1850-1910 (1994) and Whitewashed Adobe: The Rise of Los Angeles and the Remaking of Its Mexican Past (2004). He co-authored Eden by Design: The 1930 Olmsted-Bartholomew Plan for the Los Angeles Region (2000) and The West in the History of the Nation (2000) and co-edited California Progressivism Revisited (1994) and Metropolis in the Making: Los Angeles in the 1920s (2001).
Notes on Contribuors.Introduction. (William Deverell).Part I: Thinking Through the American West.1. The Making of the First American West and the Unmaking of Other Realms. (Steven Aron).2. Thinking West. (Elliott West).Part II: Conquest and Its Patterns. The Nineteenth Century.3. Passion and Imagination in the Exploration of the American West. (James P. Ronda).4. Environment and the Nineteenth-Century West; or, Process Encounters Place. (Andrew C. Isenberg).5. Engineering the Elephant: Industrialism and Environment in the Greater West. (David Igler).6. Mining and the Nineteenth Century American West. (Malcolm J. Rohrbough).7. Law and the Confluence of Legal Cultures. (Sarah Barringer Gordon).8. Native Americans in the Nineteenth-Century American West. (David Rich Lewis).9. Western Violence.(Michael A. Bellesiles).10. Bringing It All Back Home: Rethinking the History of Women and the 19th Century West. (Elizabeth Jameson).11. Empire and Liberty: Contradictions and Conflicts in Nineteenth Century Western Political History. (Jeffrey Ostler).Part III: Exceptionalism or Regionalism? The Twentieth-Century American West.12. African Americans in the Twentieth-Century West. (Douglas Flamming).13. The West and Workers, 1870-1930. (James Gregory).14. Societies to Match the Scenery: Twentieth Century Environmental History. (Dan Flores).15. Where to Draw the Line? The Pacific, Place, and the U.S. West. (Chris Friday).16. Religion and the American West. (Philip Goff).17. Transients and Stickers: The Problem of Community in the American West. (Anne Hyde).18. American Indians in the Twentieth Century. (Peter Iverson).19. The New Deal's West. (Karen Merrill).20. Art, Ideology, and the West. (Douglas R. Nickel).21. The West Plays West: Western Tourism and the Landscape of Leisure. (Marguerite Shaffer).22. Hispanics and Latinos. (Ramon A. Gutierrez).23. City Lights: Urban History in the West. (Robert O. Self).24. Politics and the Twentieth Century West. (William Deverell).25. The Literary West and the Twentieth Century. (David M. Wrobel).Bibliography.Index