By Wallace Stegner
No library of western/southwestern fabrics might be with out this booklet. . . . --Books of the Southwest
This publication is going a ways past biography, into the character and soul of the yankee West. it truly is Stegner at his most sensible, assaying a whole period of our background, packing his pages with insights as sensible as his prose. --Ivan Doig
The writer recounts the successes and frustrations of John Wesley Powell, the celebrated ethnologist and geologist who explored the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon, and the fatherland of Indian tribes of the yankee Southwest. "No library of western/southwestern fabrics will be with out this publication. . . ."-- Books of the Southwest.
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Extra resources for Beyond the hundredth meridian: John Wesley Powell and the second opening of the West
And in the arid region the traditional political organization within the states, by counties, would be cumbersome, illogical, and intolerably expensive. Far better to avoid such irrational units and to organize politically in accord with the Western realities, by river valley or watershed. This does not state all the immutable conditions of the West against which institutions and eventually ideas shattered but it will do here. The history of the West derives from them — a history of experience failing to overcome in time our thinking, our illusions, our sentiments, and our expectations.
2. Grand Canyon above Lava Falls. 3. The mirror case. Major Powell and a Ute woman. 4. Picturesque America, 1873. Thomas Moran and his writer Colburn, on Moran’s first trip to the Grand Canyon country. INTRODUCTION A BOOK called The Growth of American Thought was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for history in 1944. At the end of a chapter on “The Nature of the New Nationalism” the central figure of Mr. Stegner’s book makes a momentary appearance. ” Here are four fixed and indestructible stereotypes about the West, all of them meaningless.
Stegner uses so effectively to illuminate Powell’s achievements, is and always was nonsense. But the point is that anyone who is not well grounded in Western geography, topography, and climate could easily be led to dismiss Powell as precisely the kind of eccentric Gilpin was. Well, there isn’t much rain out west. There is not enough rain to grow crops and so additional water has to be brought to them for irrigation. The additional water falls as snow on the mountains, it melts, and it flows down the brooks to the creeks and down them to the rivers.
Beyond the hundredth meridian: John Wesley Powell and the second opening of the West by Wallace Stegner