Latest addition to the bookshelves of the leading book shop in Peasedown St. John!
Category: History U.S.A.
The West: An Illustrated History by Geoffrey C. Ward
London: George Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1996
Hardback with Dust Jacket over Brown boards with Gilt titling to Spine
Illustrated by way of: Photographic endpapers & blanks; Black & White Photographs; Facsimiles; Colour Photographs;
From the cover: Nothing has defined America and the American character more than the westwards expansion of the United States. It is a story of epic proportions and profound contradictions played out on a vast and majestic landscape, a story of discovery, heroism and greed, of unrelenting hardship and undying hope.
The Wild West, most potent symbol of the American dream, was acquired only by exacting a terrible price on those already living on the land, on the pioneers who set out to make it theirs, and on the environment and the wildlife that inhabited it. The story of the West was once told as an unbroken series of triumphs the victory of civilization over barbarism, a relentlessly inspirational epic in which greed and cruelty were often glossed over as enterprise and courage. Later, that epic would be turned upside down, becoming another equally misleading morality tale. The truth about the West is far more complicated, and much more compelling.
In the belief that history is really biography, The West focuses on the experiences of the myriads of men and women explorers and soldiers and Indian warriors, outlaws, railroad-builders and showmen who peopled this drama. Coronado and Custer, Jesse James and Chief Joseph, Brigham Young and Buffalo Bill Cody are all here. But so are scores of lesser-known westerners whose no less extraordinary lives are vividly recounted in their own words, through diaries and letters and memoirs, and richly illustrated with a combination of paintings and photographs, many of them previously unpublished.
Beautifully written and meticulously researched, this is the history of the West as it really happened, and as it has never been told before. With its heroism and iniquity, exploitation and adventure, bright myths and sober realities, it is the story of a unique part of the continent that provides a metaphor for America as a whole.
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