American West and Biography

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Western Lives: A Biographical History of the American West

Edited by Richard W. Etulain

The history of the American West is full of intriguing life stories, and the fifteen essays in this collection weave a selection of those lives together to focus on the main currents in the region's history. The first five essays cover the period from contact to the mid-nineteenth century and feature Indian leaders and Spanish colonizers, characters from the Mexican period, explorers, mountain men, and missionaries. Familiar names in this portion are Juan Bautista de Anza, Stephen F. Austin, Doña Tules, Lewis and Clark, Jedediah Smith, and Narcissa Whitman.
The second group of essays reflects on Mormons, miners, California Hispanics, American Indians, ranchers, farmers, and the Wild West of Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley. The essays on the twentieth-century West examine the careers of James J. Hill, John Muir, Jeannette Rankin, Aimee Semple McPherson, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Walt Disney, César Chávez, Barbara Jordan, Microsoft's Paul Allen, and the mythical figure of Rosie the Riveter.

The Contributors
Carl Abbott is professor of urban studies and planning at Portland (Oregon) State University.
Katherine G. Aiken is professor and chair of the department of history, University of Idaho.
Gary Clayton Anderson is professor of history, University of Oklahoma.
Barton H. Barbour is assistant professor of history, Boise State University.
Cheryl J. Foote teaches history at TVI Community College, Albuquerque.
Mark S. Foster is professor of history, University of Colorado, Denver.
Richard Griswold del Castillo is chair of the Chicana and Chicano Studies Department, San Diego State University.
Mark W. T. Harvey is associate professor of history, North Dakota State University, Fargo.
Jon Hunner directs the program in public history, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces.
R. Douglas Hurt is chair of the history department, Purdue University.
Anne F. Hyde is professor of history, Colorado College, Colorado Springs.
John L. Kessell is professor emeritus of history, University of New Mexico, and founding editor of the six-volume Vargas Series (UNM Press).
William L. Lang is professor of history and former director of the Center for Columbia River History, Portland State University.
Glenda Riley is Alexander M. Bracken Professor Emeritus of History, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana.
Elliott West is Distinguished Professor of History, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.


Richard Etulain is professor emeritus of history at the University of New Mexico and the author or editor of more than forty books. Etulain lives in Clackamas, Oregon.


"This is a thorough book that makes a significant contribution to understanding the history and dynamics of the American West."


Statesman-Journal, OR

"This volume is a masterpiece of good factual info, fascinating biographies and good writing. The contributing scholars have taught the reader a new way to grasp the totality of the Western experience."


The Cortez Journal, CO

"Accurate and easy to read, Western Lives is intended as a text for students and general readers and serves that purpose admirably. . . The book has a consistently high level of scholarship and writing clarity for a work with multiple authors."


American Reference Books Annual

"This book will be of interest to all for whom the West is not an interest but a passion."


The Bloomsbury Review

". . well-written essays on the lives of other people."


East Texas Historical Journal

"Noted scholar and engaging author of western US history Etulain has produced yet another exceptional, thought-provoking study. . . A book that historians, western historians, biographers, and, perhaps even more importantly, students, will find not just engaging, but also valuable for their own research and study. . . Essential."


CHOICE Magazine

"Richard Etulain continues to be a force in the historiography of the American West. . .Etulain has assembled 15 lively, well-written, and amply illustrated essays in a roughly chronological order to tell the story of the American West. . . A solid contribution to the field."


Pacific Northwest Quarterly

" Western Lives is an excellent resource book. . This book would benefit any upper-level or graduate class on the American West, and should be enjoyed by anyone interested in the history of the region."


Nebraska History

"( Western Lives) is truly useful as a basic history and reference tool. It is a book you will enjoy reading."


Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal

Published in association with the University of New Mexico Center for the Southwest

6.13 x 9.25 in. 464 pages 50 halftones, 11 maps, 1 tables