The Mountainous West: Explorations in Historical Geography

The Mountainous West: Explorations in Historical Geography

The Mountainous West: Explorations in Historical Geography

The Mountainous West: Explorations in Historical Geography

Synopsis

Traditional interpretations of the American West have concentrated on the importance of its aridity to the region's cultural evolution and development. But the West is marked by a second fact of physical geography that distinguished it from the east.

Excerpt

The idea for a collection of essays on the Mountainous West began several years ago amongst an informal network of like-minded historical geographers who realized that they stood on common yet little-explored ground. The Historical Geography Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers proved to be a congenial and fertile meeting place, and this book grew from their many discussions and paper sessions. The volume also developed from the collective experiences and wisdom of the contributors, whose varied research careers have taken them to diverse corners of the Mountainous West. What they have brought back with them to share in this volume should be seen not as a culmination, but rather as a beginning, an attempt to deepen our understanding and appreciation for that distinctive American subregion we have called the Mountainous West. For nongeographers reading this volume--and our hope is that there will be many--our distinctive perspective should be clear from the outset as we focus upon landscape change, spatial patterns, and the interconnections between people and environment.

In addition to the contributors, we have many people to thank, including anonymous reviewers for the University of Nebraska Press. Thanks also go to Chris Exline, Leonard Guelke, Theron Josephson, Paul Kay, Roy Ryder, Rob Bonnichsen, John Callahan, James Muhn, Paul Andrews, Steve Bicknell, Amy Morin, Marilyn Denton, and Joanne Needham for their assistance. We especially would like to acknowledge the sharp eye and thoughtful suggestions of Fritz Gritzner. Ann Parker proved to be a wizard in the intricacies of word processing, and Lee Murray contributed his cartographic expertise and ink to many of the base maps in the volume. Portions of Victor Konrad's research were supported by Montana Historic Preservation Office grants 5430-12244-6 and SP 30-12332-3, and by the University of Maine. Finally, we express our special appreciation to Linda and Robin for their constant patience and support as we wandered off amidst the sometimes rarefied terrain of the Mountainous West. The Mountainous West . . .

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