North American Cattle-Ranching Frontiers: Origins, Diffusion, and Differentiation (Histories of the American Frontier)

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9780826314215: North American Cattle-Ranching Frontiers: Origins, Diffusion, and Differentiation (Histories of the American Frontier)
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Cattle ranching in the Old World and New is reinterpreted in this pathbreaking study that both recasts the history of a well-known topic and is also truly original. Jordan begins by tracing how different cattle-raising cultures in Spain, the British Isles, and North Africa helped shape varieties of ranching in the New World. He then delineates the American adaptations of ranching beginning with European expansion into the Caribbean and then considers continued evolution in Mexico, the American South, and the West. By 1850, three distinct ranching cultures existed - Midwestern, Californian, and Texan. Jordan argues that over the next fifty years the Midwestern system triumphed over its two rivals throughout the West. In particular, the role of Texas is depicted as less important than previously thought.
The reinterpretation of how ranching evolved in the New World is broad, including discussions of grazing and foraging and their relation to vegetation and climate - that is, cultural ecology - cultural diffusion, and local innovation. Above all, Jordan emphasizes place and region, illustrating the great variety of ranching practices.

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About the Author:

Terry G. Jordan holds the Walter Prescott Webb Chair in Geography at the University of Texas at Austin. He has written numerous books on aspects of historical and cultural geography.

Review:

Ordinary superlatives seem inadequate to describe this remarkable book. For it is, indeed, as definitive as historical scholarship can be. -- The Journal of Southern History

Teachers and students of frontier and environmental history will find Jordans work an invaluable study. -- Environmental History Review

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