After unearthing her great-grandparents’ diaries, Mary Ann Hooper set out on a journey to retrace their 1871 trip across the United States on the newly-opened Transcontinental Railroad—via Chicago, just destroyed by the Great Fire, then across the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains to the Golden City of San Francisco. Filled with rich details of time, place, and culture, Mary Ann’s thoughtful and compelling narrative is both a re-creation of a family journey and a thoughtful account of how the American West has changed over the last 150 years.
Using the common thread of the same train trip across the American landscape, she weaves together the two stories—her great grandparents, Charles and Fannie Crosby’s leisurely Victorian tourist trip described in both their diaries—and her own trip. Mary Ann’s adventurous and determined voice fills the pages with entertaining encounters on the train, escapades on her folding bike, and her reflections on her birth country and her own life story.
During her journey, she discovers the stories of her 1950s childhood reflect a “Wild West” at odds with the West her great-grandparents record in their diaries, leading her to uncover more of the real and meatier history of the American West—going through conquest, rapid settlement, and economic development. As Mary Ann fulfills her quest to understand better why glorified myths were created to describe the Wild West of her childhood, and reflects on the pitfalls of what “progress” is doing to the environment, she is left with a much bigger question: Can we transform our way of doing things quickly enough to stop our much-loved West becoming an uninhabitable desert?
Copublished with the Utah State Historical Society. Affiliated with the Utah Division of State History, Utah Department of Heritage & Arts
Andrew J. Russell is primarily known as the man who photographed the famous “East and West Shaking Hands” image of the Golden Spike ceremony on May 10, 1869. He also took nearly one thousand other images that document almost every aspect of the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad. Across the Continent is the most detailed study to date of the life and work of an often-overlooked but prolific artist who contributed immensely not only to documentation of the railroad but also to the nation’s visualization of the American West and, earlier, the Civil War.
The central focus in the book is on the large body of work Russell produced primarily to satisfy the needs of the Union Pacific. Daniel Davis posits that this set of Russell’s photos is best understood not through one or a handful of individual images, but as a photographic archive. Taken as a whole, that archive shows that Russell intended for viewers never to forget who built the Union Pacific. His images celebrate working people—masons working on bridge foundations, freighters and their wagons, surveyors with their transits, engine crews posed on their engines, as well as tracklayers, laborers, cooks, machinists, carpenters, graders, teamsters, and clerks pushing paper.
Russell contributed to a golden age of Western photography that visually introduced the American West to the nation, changing its public image from that of a Great American Desert to a place of apparently unlimited economic potential.
Amid the policy gridlock that characterizes most environmental debates, a new conservation movement has emerged. Known as “collaborative conservation,” it emphasizes local participation, sustainability, and inclusion of the disempowered, and focuses on voluntary compliance and consent rather than legal and regulatory enforcement. Encompassing a wide range of local partnerships and initiatives, it is changing the face of resource management throughout the western United States.
Across the Great Divide presents a thoughtful exploration of this new movement, bringing together writing, reporting, and analysis of collaborative conservation from those directly involved in developing and implementing the approach. Contributors examine:
the failure of traditional policy approaches
recent economic and demographic changes that serve as a backdrop for the emergence of the movement
the merits of, and drawbacks to, collaborative decision-making
the challenges involved with integrating diverse voices and bringing all sectors of society into the movement
In addition, the book offers in-depth stories of eight noteworthy collaborative initiatives -- including the Quincy Library Group, Montana's Clark Fork River, the Applegate Partnership, and the Malpai Borderlands -- that explore how different groups have organized and acted to implement their goals.
Among the contributors are Ed Marston, George Cameron Coggins, David Getches, Andy Stahl, Maria Varela, Luther Propst, Shirley Solomon, William Riebsame, Cassandra Moseley, Lynn Jungwirth, and others. Across the Great Divide is an important work for anyone involved with collaborative conservation or the larger environmental movement, and for all those who care about the future of resource management in the West.
Across the West and Toward the North compares how photographers in Norway and the United States represented the environment in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when once-remote wildernesses were first surveyed, developed, and photographed. Making images while traversing almost inaccessible terrain—often on foot and for months at a time—photographers created a compelling visual language that came to symbolize each nation.
In this edited volume, Norwegian and American scholars offer the first study of the striking parallels in the production, distribution, and reception of these modern expressions of landscape and nationhood. In recognizing how landscape photographs were made meaningful to international audiences—such as tourists, visitors to world’s fairs, scientists, politicians, and immigrants—the authors challenge notions of American exceptionalism and singularly nationalistic histories.
The book includes stunning photographs of mountainous landscapes, glaciers, and forests, punctuated by signs of human development and engineering, with more than one hundred rarely seen plates by photographers Knud Knudsen, Anders Beer Wilse, Timothy O’Sullivan, Charles R. Savage, and others.
For anyone who has looked at a map of the United States and wondered how Texas and Oklahoma got their Panhandles, or flown over the American heartland and marveled at the vast grid spreading out in all directions below, American Boundaries will yield a welcome treasure trove of insight. The first book to chart the country’s growth using the boundary as a political and cultural focus, Bill Hubbard’s masterly narrative begins by explaining how the original thirteen colonies organized their borders and decided that unsettled lands should be held in trust for the common benefit of the people. Hubbard goes on to show—with the help of photographs, diagrams, and hundreds of maps—how the notion evolved that unsettled land should be divided into rectangles and sold to individual farmers, and how this rectangular survey spread outward from its origins in Ohio, with surveyors drawing straight lines across the face of the continent.
Mapping how each state came to have its current shape, and how the nation itself formed within its present borders, American Boundaries will provide historians, geographers, and general readers alike with the fascinating story behind those fifty distinctive jigsaw-puzzle pieces that together form the United States.
Americans have chosen to invest one small part of their history, the settlement of the western wilderness, with extraordinary significance. The lost frontier of the 1800s remains not merely a source of excitement and romance but of inspiration, providing a set of unique and imperishable core-values: individualism, self-reliance, and a clear sense of right and wrong. As a construct of the imagination, our creation of the West is exceptional. Since this construct has little to do with history, David H. Murdoch argues that our beliefs about the West amount to a modern functional myth. In addition to presenting a sustained analysis of how and why the myth originated, Murdoch demonstrates that the myth was invented, for the most part deliberately, and then outgrew the purposes of its inventors. The American West answers the questions that have too often been either begged or ignored. Why should the West become the focus for myth in the first place, and why, given the long process of western settlement, is the cattleman's West so central and the cowboy, of all prototypes, the mythic hero? And why should the myth have retained its potency up to the last decade of the twentieth century?
After a career working and living with American Indians and studying their traditions, Barre Toelken has written this sweeping study of Native American folklore in the West. Within a framework of performance theory, cultural worldview, and collaborative research, he examines Native American visual arts, dance, oral tradition (story and song), humor, and patterns of thinking and discovery to demonstrate what can be gleaned from Indian traditions by Natives and non-Natives alike. In the process he considers popular distortions of Indian beliefs, demystifies many traditions by showing how they can be comprehended within their cultural contexts, considers why some aspects of Native American life are not meant to be understood by or shared with outsiders, and emphasizes how much can be learned through sensitivity to and awareness of cultural values.
Winner of the 2004 Chicago Folklore Prize, The Anguish of Snails is an essential work for the collection of any serious reader in folklore or Native American studies.
Historical archaeologists explore landscapes in the American West through many lenses, including culture contact, colonialism, labor, migration, and identity. This volume sets landscape at the center of analysis, examining space (a geographic location) and place (the lived experience of a locale) in their myriad permutations. Divided into three thematic sections—the West as space, the West as community, and the West today—the book pulls together case studies from across the American West and incorporates multivocal contributions and perspectives from archaeology, anthropology, Indigenous studies, history, Latinx studies, geography, and material culture studies.
Contributors tackle questions of how historical archaeologists theoretically and methodologically define the West, conveying the historical, mythological, and physical manifestations of placemaking. They confront issues of community and how diverse ethnic, racial, gendered, labor-based, and other demographic populations expressed their identities on and in the Western landscape. Authors also address the continued creation and re-creation of the West today, exploring the impact of the past on people in the present and its influence on modern conceptions of the American West.
Archetypal Light: Poems
Elizabeth Dodd University of Nevada Press, 2001 Library of Congress PS3554.O3177A89 2001 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Poet Elizabeth Dodd’s world stretches from the lightless cave home of the eyeless, transparent fish known as a blindcat to the imagination of painter Georgia O’Keeffe. In this brilliantly crafted collection, Dodd reveals her mastery of the medium—her closely observed images, compelling metaphors, and deep understanding of and sympathy for the natural world; the rhythms of geologic time; and the seasons of the living year. Dodd possesses the rare gift that links the vagaries of the human experience with the mysterious truths of universal life, the vastness of the night sky with the equally vast potentials of the human heart.
During the last third of the twentieth century, white supremacists moved, both literally and in the collective imagination, from midnight rides through Mississippi to broadband-wired cabins in Montana. But while rural Montana may be on the geographical fringe of the country, white supremacist groups were not pushed there, and they are far from “fringe elements” of society, as many Americans would like to believe. Evelyn Schlatter’s startling analysis describes how many of the new white supremacist groups in the West have co-opted the region’s mythology and environment based on longstanding beliefs about American character and Manifest Destiny to shape an organic, home-grown movement. Dissatisfied with the urbanized, culturally progressive coasts, disenfranchised by affirmative action and immigration, white supremacists have found new hope in the old ideal of the West as a land of opportunity waiting to be settled by self-reliant traditional families. Some even envision the region as a potential white homeland. Groups such as Aryan Nations, The Order, and Posse Comitatus use controversial issues such as affirmative action, anti-Semitism, immigration, and religion to create sympathy for their extremist views among mainstream whites—while offering a “solution” in the popular conception of the West as a place of freedom, opportunity, and escape from modern society. Aryan Cowboys exposes the exclusionist message of this “American” ideal, while documenting its dangerous appeal.