Between 1800 and 1920, an extraordinary cast of bold innovators and
entrepreneurs—individuals such as Cyrus McCormick, Brigham
Young, Henry Wells and James Fargo, Fred Harvey, Levi Strauss, Adolph
Coors, J. P. Morgan, and Buffalo Bill Cody—helped lay the
groundwork for what we now call the American West. They were people of
imagination and courage, adept at maneuvering the rapids of change,
alert to opportunity, persistent in their missions.
|They had big
ideas they were not afraid to test. They stitched the country together
with the first transcontinental railroad, invented the Model A and
built the roads it traveled on, raised cities and supplied them with
water and electricity, established banks for immigrant populations,
entertained the world with film and showmanship, and created a new form
of western hospitality for early travelers. Not all were ideal role
models. Most, however, once they had made their fortunes, shared them
in the form of cultural institutions, charities, libraries, parks, and
other amenities that continue to enrich lives in the West today.
the West Begins profiles
some fifty of these individuals, tracing the arcs of their
lives, exploring their backgrounds and motivations, identifying their
contributions, and analyzing the strategies they developed to succeed
in their chosen fields.
volume of Out Where
the West Begins follows the saga of more than one
hundred influential men and women—political and military leaders,
religious thinkers, civil rights proponents, suffragettes, African
American pioneers, writers and artists, explorers and surveyors,
architects, inventors, innovators, medical professionals, and
conservationists—who together wove the story of early western
frontier America. The engaging account of their lives forms a unique
tapestry of human experience.
In the words of the author, “Understanding our distinctive past
helps us better comprehend who we are now and who we wish to