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on 22 September 2014
This book will give you a good history of the West. It comes at a fairly high level, and is well written. It does not really go into great detail, but seems to cover all the main events. A good starting point for anyone looking to gain an overview of the subject.
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on 18 August 2017
GREAT BOOK.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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on 16 October 2001
This is a companion volume to Lewis' bestselling anthology of Western fiction, The Mammoth Book of the Western. And even better, He writes with real panache, gets down in the dirt of the true West and covers just about everything you can think of, from prostitution to use of animal membranes for windows. Its big, 500 plus pages, but tremendous reading.
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on 7 August 2001
Jon E. Lewis has edited a series of stories of the Old West outlining a path through the chronology of American history's last frontier from the early days of the Lewis and Clerk discoveries, through to the Indian Wars and the white cowboy settlements that followed the railroad and the gold fever boom towns.
The accounts are easily digestable in short chapters and discuss many of the well-recognised names and events such as Billy the Kid and the Battle of the Little Big Horn familiar to most Hollywood film audiences. The narrative appropriately dismantles many of the inaccurate legendary positions of the West's characters informing the reader that Calamity Jane may well have been a prostitute at one time and that Billy the Kid killed relatively few people compared to less-known gunmen. Punctuated with interesting facts and as much a social commentary on the harsh and basic reality of being a frontiersman, the book connects and corrects many of the isolated events that occured over such a vast area over such a long period of time.
Although not possessing the depth of historical research and text-book style accuracy of detail to satisfy a serious student of the American West (an impossiility given its breadth of subject material) and with some obvious ommissions (the Oklahoma Land Rush?) the book has a satisfying blend of story that will have drawn the reader to the subject in the first place and facts that rely upon first hand newspaper and eye-witness testimony to produce a satisfying read.
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on 18 April 2014
Okay, you'll see from my other reviews that I've a 'bit of a thing' about poorly produced Kindle books. The rush to make money has 'Publishers' throwing together all sorts of poorly formatted efforts that are simply a compendium of rehashed work that is now out of copyright.
This book was recommended to me by another author when I asked him for three or four titles that would give me a good backgrounding in the Old West, and I have to admit I bought it with some trepidation, thinking that it might simply be a compendium of stories.
It's far from that.
Nearly 600 pages of information - and the reviewers before me have done a great job of explaining the content, which is broken down into 5 parts.
1: The Way West - from the initial movement westwards from the Eastern seaboard, to the first gold rush.
2. The Trampling Herd - The growth of the cattle industry and the changes that brought about.
3. The Lawless Land - Lots of cameo stories of gunfighters known and not so well known.
4. The Indian Wars.
5. The Last Days of The West - covering the late 1890's and turn of the century.
All in all I've found this to be a very satisfying read. Jon Lewis is an engaging writer who holds your attention well. In 573 pages I found only one tiny typo, so a lot of effort has gone into presentation.
If you are looking for a not so potted history of the West (as I was) you won't go far wrong with this. Well written, well set out, and interesting to boot, and a hat tip to a fellow reviewer - Matthew - who pointed out the omission of the Oklahoma Land Rush, a major turning point in the expansion of the USA.
I'm glad I bought it, I enjoyed it, and I think you will too.
Hope this helped.
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on 29 December 2013
Did not realise how interesting this adventure gripped me I love reading about the great American history and how it grew Wonderful love it.
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on 8 August 2013
Anything and everything is here. From the Indian wars to the gold rush to oregon trail. What is great about having it kindle is the ability to easily highlight sections to come back to.
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on 17 July 2015
A fantastic read, lots of very interesting information. Recommended this book to my brother, He also agreed with my comments. One if the best books that either of us have read on the subject. A great price at 99p. Buy it you won't be disappointed n all that.
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on 6 January 2015
Thoroughly enjoyed reading this comprehensive but not overly indulgent book on one of my favourite periods in history. The author covers most area's and aspects well enough to satisfy the casual "West" fan but also leaves enough room for the more avid reader to search for more specialized titles covering certain periods or specific incidents.
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on 4 November 2014
Good for a free book but disappointing in trying to get racism in wherever it can. As for the Indians, everything was basically the White man's fault. Fashionable but inaccurate.
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