By Clyde A. Milner
In 1893, Fredrick Jackson Turner released his innovative essay, "The importance of the Frontier in American History." A century later, a few of the country's such a lot leading edge students of Western historical past assembled at a convention at Utah kingdom collage lower than the path of historian Clyde A. Milner II. right here they brought essays intended to map the fascinating new territory opened lately within the heritage of the West. collecting the simplest of those essays, this assortment goals to supply a compelling evaluate of the most recent Western historiography. The entries contain William Deverell at the value of the West in American historical past; David Guti?rrez on Mexican american citizens; Susan Rhodes Neel on nature and the surroundings; Gail M. Nomura on Asia and Asian american citizens; Anne F. Hyde on cultural perceptions; David wealthy Lewis on local american citizens; Susan Lee Johnson on males, girls, and gender; and Qunitard Taylor on race and African-Americans. each one essay is followed by way of commentaries written via different best students, and the eminent historian Allan G. Bogue offers a penetrating creation.
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Additional info for A New Significance: Re-Envisioning the History of the American West
34. Richard W. , Writing Western History: Essays on Major Western Historians (Albuquerque, 1991), 152. 35. Robert E. Riegel, America Moves West (New York, 1930); Dan Elbert Clark, The West in American History (New York, 1937); Ray Allen Billington, Westward Expansion: A History of the American Frontier (New York, 1949); Thomas D. Clark, Frontier America: The Story of the Westward Movement (New York, 1959). 36. Robert E. Riegel, America Moves West, 2d ed. (New York, 1947), 624. 37. Billington, Westward Expansion, vii, 756; Clark, frontier America, 24, 762.
This essay is about different significances and about different Wests; what I am concerned with here is probing the meanings behind those plurals. "4 What does this mean? My expedition is bracketed by an assumption that there exists one great narrative of the American West. It is a mythic image cultivated by all sorts of entities, from journalists to politicians to corporations, and it is a view fiercely protected by nostalgia and sentiment. It is a West both understood and explained by Ralph Lauren, Frontierland, Levi's, High Noon, rodeos, and Ronald Reagan, as well as countless history texts and tests.
Scholars tussle with themselves and those outside the academy in a contentious debate over representations of the West as true America. The so-called new western history adds an edge to western scholarship along with an inclination to saddle the West with different representations, different significances. Membership in the new western history club is hardly so important as learning from the insights of reinvigorated thinking. Perhaps more so than their predecessors, new western historians admit just how extraordinarily slippery history can be.
A New Significance: Re-Envisioning the History of the American West by Clyde A. Milner