The American West
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The American West

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  235 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Dee Brown is most renowned for authoring the all-time bestselling book on the West, "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee," which has sold more than 5,000,000 copies in English and has had countless translations the world over. This was the first fully realized, sympathetic history of Native Americans and became an immediate classic. Here, now, is "The American West," a brilliant...more
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published by Scribner Book Company (first published November 1st 1995)
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Imagine that you own a television that can only play multiple iterations of the History Channel. Imagine also that on your dozens of History Channels, all are focused on discussing the American west. Imagine, lastly, that Dee Brown is sitting next to you with the remote control, and he won't stop changing the fucking channel. That's pretty much what American West is like.

For every section that begins to become interesting, Brown almost immediately switches gears and moves onto a new subject, and...more
Elle Druskin
I really enjoyed this book even if not new. If you want a good overview of the settling of the West, the cowboys, Native Americans, soldiers, dance hall girls, gamblers, settlers, thieves, con artists and more, this is good start.
"American West" is the synthesis of Brown's and Schmitt's three earliest books--"Fighting Indians of the West," "Trail Driving Days," and "The Settlers' West"--and in the introduction he tells how they researched and wrote those books during and just after World War II, while the both of them were stationed in Washington D.C., as Army librarians. Also in the introduction, Brown tells how the American West has morphed from a reality into a myth, and even a metaphor. But he points out, "Today it h...more
Abraham Gustavson
I wanted a survey of the American West, this book delivered about half of what I was looking for. My main complaint is that Dee Brown jumps from story to story with little regard to chronology or story-telling. Some of the chapters are interesting, specifically chapters on the different Native American tribes of the West. The chapter on Wounded Knee made me want to read Brown's Book Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. But overall I found the book too focused on the Dakotas and Wyoming in particular....more
I love reading about American west!
I like to read about the early west.
Annie Crouch
I really liked this book. It had great information and was pretty interesting. I loved Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee and wanted to read more of Dee Brown's informative books on the American West. With that being said, I was disappointed that some chapters seem extremely repetitive of Bury My Heart - it includes much of the same information/characters and battles from Bury My Heart. As well, it seems that some of the authors feelings towards certain characters or events changed from Bury My Heart...more
The American West is more or less a collection of short histories of various events and topics related to the settling of the states between the Mississippi and California in the second half of the century. Dee Brown is the author of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee so his stories of the major "Indian Wars" are well documented and, naturally, very sad. Each one seems to further reduce ways of life along with territories. While George Washington and other early presidents may have struggled with the...more
Ken Mahieu
While this 410 page book has a pub date of 1994, most of the material comes from three earlier books written in the 50's by the same authors, Dee Brown and Martin Schmitt. These are "Fighting Indians of the West", "Trail Driving Days", and "The Settler's West". The book includes over 50 very interesting photos and about 20 helpful and well illustrated maps. For the most part, the material was interesting, but there were passages when it seemed to slip into the 50's textbook approach of too many...more
I really enjoyed this brief and sweeping retelling of the Old West and its conflicts. The book succeeded in fascinating me with cattle, cowmen, and ranchers. When Brown revisits the conflicts with Native Americans, he is authoritative, brief, and still heartbreaking, as in Bury My Heart, his earlier book. He's great on outlaws and social forces in brief. Pictures are well chosen by an old colleague from old collections, a described in the Preface. This had me considering that the book appeared j...more
Pioneers, Spaniards, frontiersmen, trappers, soldiers, outlaws, Native Americans collide in the American West. I focused on the tribes and Native Americans like Geronimo, Cochise, Victorio who lived in the southwest and the historical parts taking place in New MExico like the Lincoln County War and Billy the Kidd. Dee Brown is known for Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee which everyone should read.
Great read, and a good intro into the American West. Not an exhaustive study or history of the era, but good starting point and pretty much all you need, if you just have a passing interest in the subject. The book does focus alot on Native Americans and their wars and interaction with the settlers, soliders and ranchers. Overall a facinating glimpse into a facinating era of American history.
Larry Van bibber

Very interesting panoramic history of the West. Short on detail but covers a broad range of western history and adds some insights that I have not gotten from more detailed histories in terms of interactions between several famous people.I received a much better understanding of Charles Goodnight and his major impacts.

I really struggled reading this book. The content to me was not particularly interesting and it got quite repetitive after a while. I think I would have found it more interesting if he has picked just a few individuals to write about, as a lot of the stories about Native Americans/ Western towns tend to follow fairly similar patterns.
Eric Molicki
We head out west in a month and this has provided a good general 30k foot overview of western history. The writing is dated, but the photos are excellent and the right amount of detail is given most of the time to keep the flow moving.
This western primer tells the stories of Native Americans, settlers, cowboys, miners, and ranchers. The narrative explains in a straightforward manner the conflicts, struggles, and conquests that led to settlement of the West. lj
Really liked my first foray into American history, but just as I was getting interested in a particular subject the next chapter would go elsewhere. This I found a little frustrating. Will read more from this Author in the future
This was a really interesting read, stripping away something of the mythology of the pioneering west as filtered through folk tales and Hollywood.

Very enjoyable read, and looking forward to more of the same.
I love Dee Brown books. They are very well written in the way that you can really imagine what it must have been like to live during an era of American expansion into the West.
Pedro Plassen
Great introduction on the American West history. In the end you think how America can preach Democracy and Freedom knowing what they did to the Indians.
Vividly written book that covers the major stories and themes of the history of the American West.
Loved this book. Now I want to go on a road trip and see all the places he mentioned.
Interesting stuff and OK read, but somewhat repetitive.
Lots of history in one book!
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Dorris Alexander “Dee” Brown (1908–2002) was a celebrated author of both fiction and nonfiction, whose classic study Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee is widely credited with exposing the systematic destruction of American Indian tribes to a world audience. Brown was born in Louisiana and grew up in Arkansas. He worked as a reporter and a printer before enrolling at Arkansas State Teachers College, wh...more
More about Dee Brown...
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West Creek Mary's Blood The Gentle Tamers: Women of the Old Wild West Hear That Lonesome Whistle Blow: The Epic Story of the Transcontinental Railroads The Fetterman Massacre

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