This poignant history of the great migrations of the Cheyenne Indians and Anglo pioneers onto the arid Central Plains tells a complex story of the relationship between people and the environment. Elliott West, a distinguished western historian, turns his attention here to land, animals, families, and stories. Focusing on a region embracing parts of present-day Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, and Wyoming, he examines both the facts and myths of the migrations. How did the environment and people affect one another? How did families respond to the challenges of the Central Plains? How have our stories shaped our consciousness of that history? The Way to the West combines deep research with insightful analysis and narrative skill to present a story that both historians and students will enjoy.
"An accomplished social historian, West argues forcefully here that history can never be only about human society. It always takes place—unfolds within the shifting, particular complexity of nature. His treatment of the Indian era on the plains is a particularly fresh, insightful demonstration of that fact."—Donald Worster
"It may not be possible to take a fresher look at a slice of the West that Elliott West does here. These are inventive, compelling and original essays. Like their author, they are wry, learned, and just plain curious. A wonderful book."—Richard White
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