Academic journal article Journal of American & Comparative Cultures

Many Wests: Place, Culture and Regional Indentity

Academic journal article Journal of American & Comparative Cultures

Many Wests: Place, Culture and Regional Indentity

Article excerpt

Many Wests: Place, Culture and Regional Identity. David M. Wrobel and Michael C. Steiner, ed. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1998.

This book is built on the purpose of telling Americans and the world what seems to be obvious to any observant person who has ever traveled west of the Rockies, watched a Western on the silver screen or TV or, in fact, ever thought about the continental United States: that the West is more than one country, one culture or one set of desires and reactions to geography and climate. It should be clear to most of us that the 60 million people living west of the Great Plains come from varying backgrounds, with different cultures to encapsulate them, different feelings and attitudes. They are only in the slightest way-that is only so far as we all are victimized by mythology-members of the heroic West of legend and historical generalities. Yet, surprisingly, all the 60 million are caught up, to a certain extent, by the generality about the heart and soul of the West.

The author's purposes in the chapters of this book, which cover Alaska and Hawaii, Canada, down to the Texas border, is to catalogue and chart the general recognition that people in various parts of the West are different from others elsewhere. …

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