Now in his 89th year, Dee Brown, our foremost popular historian of the American West and author of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, offers this collection of 25 short pieces with a forword by Dee Brown. The book was edited by Stan Banash, who reviews non-fiction books on the American West.
Known for his forceful and well-documented narratives, Dee Brown has been exploring the “true history” of the American West for more than 50 years in some 30 books and dozens of historical articles. Enriched and supported with material from letters, diaries, and historical archives, Dee Brown has changed the way we look at the West. Stripping away familiar stereotypes and romanticized images, he has always shown us the Old West as it really was. Drawing on his prodigious research, Brown found time to write shorter pieces–substantial as well as thoroughly researched articles that were beyond the scope of his longer works. Now, in Best of Dee Brown’s West, a collection of his shorter works covers the development of the West over a 100-year period and includes pieces on noted figures such as Lewis and Clark and Geronimo, as well as men and women whose roles are less well known. Also included are the stories of the men who rode for the Pony Express, longhorn ranchers and cowboys, and women who were brought to the West to marry miners and ranchers; an account of the Trail of Tears; descriptions of the perils of the Santa Fe Trail; the trials of settlement; Indian life on the Plains; war and peace between whites and Indians; and tales of endurance and valor as well as an assortment of intrigues, crimes and scandals.
Best of Dee Brown’s West offers what is arguably some of Brown’s best work and without a political or ideological axe to grind, Brown has made us aware of both the real magic of the West and the depth of suffering of many participants and victims whose lives were transformed by the westward movement.