Wordtrade.com LogoWordtrade.com/ American History


Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences



Journey into the Land of Trials by Manley F., Jr. Cobia (Hillsboro Press) is a detailed account of Davy Crockett's trip from Tennessee that ultimately led to his death at the Alamo . Stunning portraits of the key players in Crockett's real-life drama illustrate this thoroughly researched volume.

By the time he set out for Texas, Davy Crockett was already a national celebrity. The United States congressman encouraged his reputation as a wild man for political purposes, but by 1834 he had written an autobiography to counteract some of the more unpleasant popular notions of his personality. Since Crockett's death in 1836, history has continued to foster these two divergent personas while obscuring the man behind the legend.

In Journey into the Land of Trials, Manley F. Cobia Jr. offers a portrait of the authentic Davy Crockett. Cobia's detailed account of Crockett's trip from Tennessee that ultimately led to his death at the Alamo reveals how modern historians along with images in the popular media have revised the historical M record on this important individual. Stunning portraits of the key players in Crockett's real-life drama illustrate this thoroughly researched volume.

For students of history and casual readers, Cobia's work is an enlightening glimpse into the man who continues to inspire patriotic myths even today-and the ever-changing lens through which we understand our past.

Chinese on the American Frontier by Arif Dirlik and Malcolm Yeung (Pacific Formations: Rowman & Littlefield) Chinese immigrants played a dynamic role in frontier America, yet scholars of Asian America have focused for the most part only on the Pacific Coast, especially California. This reader fills that gap by collecting memoirs, documents, and historical analyses from the other Western states‑from the Cascades to the Great Plains‑to provide a comprehensive overview of Chinese in nineteenth‑century America. Selecting among a wealth of primary and sec­ondary material, Arif Dirlik has chosen works that enlarge our understanding of the Chinese presence in the West and the development of Chinese cultural formations on the frontier. Together, they illustrate that the U.S. frontier is far from a unified concept. Dirlik points to an "Eastern" as well as a "Western" frontier and highlights how cultural development differed significantly from the emerging Chinese American culture on the Pacific Coast. Providing insights not only into frontier society in the United States, but also into U.S.‑Chinese relations of the time, this volume will be invaluable for all readers interested in China, Western history, and the history of Asian America.

  FREDERICK JACKSON TURNER: Strange Roads Going Down by Allan G. Bogue ($34.95 hardcover, 576 pages, University of Oklahoma Press, ISBN: 0806130393)

This biography examines the life and legacy of Frederick Jackson Turner. Best known for his 1893 essay "The Significance of the Frontier in American History" the most enduring explanation of our national development Turner was a leader in establishing the field of western American history and in shaping the broader history discipline. Placing Turner’s ideas in the context both of his own times and of current historiography, Allan G. Bogue elucidates his far-reaching influence as thinker, scholar, mentor, and teacher.

Born in 1862, Turner grew up in Portage, Wisconsin. In the course of his career as history professor at the University of Wisconsin and at Harvard, he achieved unparalleled success. Initially his frontier thesis made no significant impact, but in time it and his theory on sectionalism established him as the founder of a new school of thought.

Weaving together accounts of Turner’s personal and professional life, Bogue addresses intriguing questions: Why did Turner fail to produce that great work of substantive research on which he labored for more than half his career? And why have his ideas inspired so much debate and controversy, even to this day?

Bogue’s reinterpretation of Turner’s life weighs the historian’s successes against his failures, his strengths against his shortcomings. Elegantly written and exhaustively researched, this book is a significant contribution to western history, American studies, and the history of ideas.

Headline 3

insert content here