Cities rather than individual pioneers have been the driving force in the settlement and economic development of the western half of North America. Throughout the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries, western urban centers served as starting points for conquest and settlement. As these frontier cities matured into metropolitan centers, they grew from imitators of eastern culture and outposts of eastern capital into independent sources of economic, cultural, and intellectual change.
From the Gulf of Alaska to the Mississippi River and from the binational metropolis of San Diego-Tijuana to the Prairie Province capitals of Canada, Carl Abbott explores the complex urban history of western Canada and the United States. The evolution of western cities from stations for exploration and military occupation to contemporary entry points for migration and components of a global economy reminds us that it is cities that "won the West." And today, as cultural change increasingly moves from west to east, Abbott argues that the urban West represents a new center from which emerging patterns of behavior and changing customs will help to shape North America in the twenty-first century.
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The author traces the evolution of early frontier towns at the beginning of Western expansion to the thriving urban centers they have become today.About the Author:
Carl Abbott is professor of urban studies and planning at Portland State University and the coeditor of the Pacific Historical Review. He is the author of numerous books on urban history and the development of cities in the United States.
Howard R. Lamar is Sterling Professor Emeritus of History at Yale and a former president of that university.
Martin Ridge is a senior research associate in the Henry E. Huntington Library. He has taught at San Diego State University, Indiana University, and the California Institute of Technology. He is the former editor of the Journal of American History and the past president of the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association and Western History Association. He is the author of numerous scholarly and review articles dealing with the American West. He is the coeditor of Histories of the American Frontier.
David J. Weber is The Robert and Nancy Dedman Professor of History and the Director of the Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University.
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