Book Review: "Out Where the West Begins"

By Marold, Richard | The Gazette (Colorado Springs, CO), April 12, 2015 | Go to article overview

Book Review: "Out Where the West Begins"


Marold, Richard, The Gazette (Colorado Springs, CO)


Philip Anschutz, in writing "Out Where the West Begins," takes a decidedly businesslike examination of the Western U.S. from 1800 to 1920. He accomplishes this by writing a series of essays about 50 men who made contributions to the development of the West.

For the book's title page, Anschutz selects a poem by Arthur Chapman, "Out Where the West Begins," which includes: Out where the sun is a little brighter, Where the snows that fall are a trifle whiter, Where the bonds of home are a wee bit tighter, That's where the West begins.

Anschutz is well-known in Colorado as owner of The Anschutz Corp., based in Denver. Its major investments are communications, transportation, natural and renewable resources, real estate, lodging, and entertainment. He recently was selected as the 2015 Citizen of the West.

Knowing the success that Anschutz has achieved in the financial/ business world (he owns The Gazette, The Broadmoor and more in Colorado Springs), it is not surprising that he chose entrepreneurs and businessmen as his subjects. In the book's foreword, Anschutz writes, "Like all great moments in history, the West is about people, so I decided to focus on those who made important early contributions to the region's development, turning their visions of what might be into realities."

If you wish to read business success stories, this book offers a full menu, featuring characters such as John Jacob Astor, Charles Boettcher, Leland Stanford, John D. Rockefeller, Samuel Colt, J.P. Morgan and Fred Harvey. A few of the men never lived in the West, but what they developed had a profound influence on Western life.

Two Colorado Springs men featured are William Jackson Palmer and Spencer Penrose. In writing about Palmer, the city's founder, Anschutz discusses his great influence on railroads. "Palmer improved American railroading with his widely distributed and influential research on switching from wood to coal. …

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