The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991

Book Reviews

regional history will find the questions raised in this study provocative
and applicable to other cities in the West and throughout the nation.
University of Houston JACK L. AUGUST, JR.
The Twentieth-Century West: Hzstorical Interpretations. Edited by Gerald D.
Nash and Richard W. Etulain. (Albuquerque: University of New
Mexico Press, 1989. Pp. xiv+454. Preface, prologue, maps, tables,
notes, epilogue, selected bibliography. $40.00, cloth; $17.50,
paper.)
Our understanding of the changes that have occurred in the Ameri-
can West since Frederick Jackson Turner declared it closed are woefully
inadequate. In recent years a nascent interest in the twentieth-century
West has emerged, and this book is a welcome addition to a growing
body of literature. In an attempt to clarify the image of the West in the
twentieth century, Nash and Etulain have selected for this volume thir-
teen essays that they feel exemplify the major trends and approaches
being taken by scholars of the region. The editors have chosen their
authors well. Before writing their essays, the authors were given a set of
guidelines asking them to examine within their essays the historiogra-
phy of their subject and identify areas for additional research. The
essays were then divided into five categories-the people of the twen-
tieth-century West, and its economy, environment, politics, and cul-
ture-that adequately present the attention to trends and approaches
Nash and Etulain intended to highlight. In addition, Etulain presents
an engaging prologue tracing the region's historiography while Nash
attempts to clarify the state of research in the book's epilogue.
Basing his argument on demographics, Walter Nugent opens Part i
with an essay in which he concludes that the region led the nation in its
change from an agrarian to an industrial society. Carl Abbott traces the
region's transformation from a rural to an urban one in the second es-
say. Karen Anderson, Ricardo Romo, and Donald Parman close out the
first section with adept analyses of the important roles played by women,
Chicanos, and Indians. Howard Lamar's essay in part 2 compares the
impact on and responses to the Great Depression in the United States
and Canada. A crucial catalyst throughout the West's development has
been and continues to be its environment, the subject of Part 3. In addi-
tion to John Opie's fine essay on the impact of environmental change
on the region, William Robbins and Donald Pisiani examine the history
of two of the West's most crucial natural resources: lumber and water.
The political life of the West is the concern of Part 4. Aided by com-
puter analysis of voting patterns, Paul Kleppner presents a suggestive
argument for the region's lack of party affiliation in this century, while

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101214/. Accessed June 30, 2015.