The American West Paperback – 4 May 2004
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'A riveting and definitive history of the West by the man who transformed our understanding of it' -- Matthew Engel, GUARDIAN
'With unerring eye and unflinching irony, Brown shows how history, myth and business worked hand in hand' -- NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
About the Author
Dee Brown is the author of the international bestseller BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE, which has sold over 5 million copies worldwide. He spent the early years of his life in the lumber camps and oil fields of the American South West, and went on to write more than twenty books relating to American frontier history. He died in December 2002.
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Top Customer Reviews
For no other than the above reasons, Brown's "The American West" deserves much consideration. The book is not "scholarly," which could be a recommendation for many, since that particular genre has its own flaws. Does it have an Indian "bias," as one reviewer charged, without giving a specific example? Well, if raising the issue of shredded treaties is "bias," Brown is guilty. And there is no unifying theme; it is a series of vignettes that focus on portions of the settlement experience, and include `whites only' stories, such as "The Saga of Dodge City" and "The Myth and its Makers."
Simply the pictures and the maps make the book a worthwhile purchase.Read more ›
The American West is not an exhaustive study or history of the era, but a good starting point and introduction to a very important era of American history - if you just have a passing interest in the subject. The book does focus a lot on Native Americans and their wars and interaction with the settlers, soliders and ranchers. The other chapters in the book are quite secondary, providing a good overview of the development of the cattle industry, stories of colourful characters and events.
If you want an overview of the settling of the West, the cowboys, Native Americans, soldiers, dance hall girls, gamblers, settlers, thieves, con artists and more, this is a good start.
Yet, it was not an enjoyable read, and I found it hard going at times. The introduction describes how this material was first compiled to accompany three books of photographs (Indians, Cowboys and Settlers) and this shows in the finished work; each chapter sets its own scene, and there is little attempt to analyse, merge or draw together the threads of the different stories.
Thus, with the Indians (or Native Americans...), we have a separate chapter giving an account of each individual tribe as they are forced from their hunting grounds into reservations. Each story is depressingly similar, and I was left with little notion of the chronology, or of the overall government thinking that was guiding this policy. It would have helped me immensely if there had been a good introductory chapter outlining the framework of events and the reasons and motivations behind them, and perhaps a comparison of the various different tribes and how they related to each other.
Of the original Settlers, and the opening up of the American West, very little was said.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I don't know why I have missed reading this book for son many years - Dee Brown is a great story teller. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Jim thorup
An enjoyable read and sparked me to seek out more on American history. At times it was a bit too much like Bury my Heart at Wooded Knee with over emphasis on native Americans but... Read morePublished 6 months ago by srameen
I like to read about the american history. Also learning about how life was lived back then. Well written xPublished 7 months ago by jason..
Like all of Dee Browns works, this again is another masterpiece. Highly recommend it for both those who have passing interest and want a clear overview of this period of time and... Read morePublished 12 months ago by mr t kyle