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Lion of the Valley: St. Louis, Missouri, 1764-1980 (Western Urban History Series #3)
To begin the preface to the second edition of Lion of the Valley, James Neal Primm quotes the Reverend W. C. Bitting: "A city is more than an assemblage of buildings with streets between them. It has a soul, and an atmosphere, and a social significance to which all material things should be made to minister." If a history book can help define that atmosphere and significan ...more
Paperback, 640 pages
Published December 1st 1998 by Missouri History Museum Press
(first published 1981)
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This book was originally published two decades ago and has been subsequently updated and re-published twice. It is a history of the city of St. Louis and it is pretty dry (with the possible exception of the last couple of chapters). It is definitely written by a professional historian as a summary of the city for its Historical Society and not a "general public" read. Very thorough and interesting to someone from the city of St. Louis or (like myself) has a connection to the city through relativ ...more
I slogged through this book all summer. I am still in love with St. Louis and fascinated by it. All my father's German speaking ancestors landed in New Orleans in the 1840's-1850's and took paddle wheel steamers up the Mississippi to St. Louis, then headed to the next county west to settle. I research and research St. Louis and the next county over, Franklin County. I mostly enjoyed the book and the breadth of material he covered, but it was a bit disjointed and sometimes felt poorly organized. ...more
Especially interesting was how St. Louis provided public education to African Americans immediately after the Civil War, despite Missouri being a Confederate state. Also fascinating was the evolution of the city from a few slave holding French families to a major metropolis, then its decline. Learned a lot about progressive thinkers in education that I did not know about. Was surprised that is one of the few books even written about St. Louis' history, which is still an important city in the Uni ...more