Beyond the Missouri: The Story of the American West
This new historical overview tells the dramatic story of the American West from its prehistory to the present. A narrative history, it covers the region from the North Dakota-to-Texas states to the Pacific Coast. This West has always been home to richly diverse cultural groups, including today's growing numbers of Indian, Hispanic, Asian and African Americans.
Other distinctions have marked the western past: first, the differences among prehistoric peoples and among hundreds of Indian tribes at first white contact; next, the varied western subcultures that emerged in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; third the social, cultural, and political complexities of the West in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.
In Beyond the Missouri, Richard Etulain provides a fresh, balanced narrative of this geographically and culturally vast area and emphasizes two themes: change and complexity. His perspective is neither the too-optimistic, homogenized position of the Turnerian school of historians nor the less optimistic, conflicted approach of the revisionist western historians.
Etulain begins his study with a discussion of western landscapes and Native inhabitants. He next examines the Spanish Southwest, colonial rivalries, mountain men, missionaries, and the Oregon Trail. Then Etulain looks at Mormons, miners, western communities, ranching and farming, and transportation networks. He treats western frontier social patterns and cultures and contributes several chapters on the modern West, including the pre-World War II and the Cold War Wests. Etulain concludes with today's continuing search for an American West. Each of the fifteen chapters contains a helpful list of suggested readings.
"Richard Etulain has done a remarkable job in this major new book. He incorporates current research into a West-centered narrative, all the while being judicious in his interpretations. Beyond the Missouri is sure to have classroom appeal, but it will also attract readers interested in an engaging and lively narrative history of the West."--Elliott West, Alumni Distinguished Professor, University of Arkansas