Cover image for Western places, American myths : how we think about the West
Western places, American myths : how we think about the West
Hausladen, Gary, 1946-
Publication Information:
Reno : University of Nevada Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
xiv, 343 pages : illustrations (some color), maps ; 25 cm.
Understanding western places : the historical geographer's view / William Wyckoff -- An inescapable range, or the ranch as everywhere / Paul F. Starrs -- Land tenure : the spatial musculature of the American West / John B. Wright -- National significance : representation of the West in the National Park System / Lary M. Dilsaver -- Mormon Wests : the creation and evolution of an American region / Richard H. Jackson -- Mex-America : from margin to mainstream / Terrence W. Haverluk -- Native America : the indigenous West / Akim D. Reinhardt -- Narrating imperial adventure : Isabella Bird's travels in the nineteenth-century American West / Karen M. Morin -- The return of the one-armed bandit : gambling and the West / Pauliina Raento -- Magical realism : the West as spiritual playground / Peter Goin -- "Good, by god, we're going to Bodie!" : ghost towns and the American West / Dydia Delyser -- Where the cowboy rides away : mythic places for western film / Gary J. Hausladen.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
F590.6 .W47 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



A dozen scholars from several disciplines examine popular perceptions about the West in their quest to interpret the region's geography.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Despite claiming to be a "spatial perspective'" on "things Western" by geographers and "closet geographers" in art and history, this volume transcends the usual historiographic essays on the "frontier" and addresses the role of this iconic place in the national imagination. Particular themes organized into three sections--continuity and change, enduring regional voices, and the West as visionary place--are addressed in imaginative ways: the ranch, land tenure, national parks, Mormons, Mexican Americans, First Nations, women travelers, casinos, artistic inscapes, ghost towns, Western film. Missing is a more outward-looking analysis of the impact of the West on contemporary US politics. Although Donald Meinig's work is heavily referenced here, there is no reference to his definition of the US "imperial" agenda. This is not lost on John B. Wright, who recognizes that the "spatial muscalature" of US territorial expansion is reflected in "the country's present global economic and military dominance [that] rose from the resulting land base and tradition of righteous aggression." Others are equally reflexive on issues of prejudice against Hispanics (Haverluk) and Native Americans (Reinhardt). Carping aside, this provocative, well-referenced, and lavishly illustrated study is worth buying simply for the superb images in Peter Goin's essay on magical realism in the spiritual West. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All levels and collections. B. Osborne Queen's University at Kingston