The Great Plains

Front Cover
U of Nebraska Press, 1959 - History - 525 pages
11 Reviews
This classic description of the interaction between the vast central plains of America and the people who lived there has, since its first publication in 1931, been one of the most influential, widely known, and controversial works in western history. Arguing that "the Great Plains environment. . .constitutes a geographic unity whose influences have been so powerful as to put a characteristic mark upon everything that survives within its borders," Webb singles out the revolver, barbed wire, and the windmill as evidence of the new phase of civilization required for settlement of that arid, treeless region. Webb draws on history, anthropology, geography, demographics, climatology, and economics to substantiate his thesis that the 98th meridian constituted an institutional fault?comparable to a geological fault?at which "practically every institution that was carried across it was either broken and remade or else greatly altered."
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4
4 stars
1
3 stars
3
2 stars
2
1 star
1

Review: The Great Plains

User Review  - Mathew Powers - Goodreads

This is a tough book to grade. Obviously, the test of time has proven to dispel many of the romantic myths, as well as show the book for its racism, misogyny, and allusions of grander when it comes to ... Read full review

Review: The Great Plains

User Review  - Gigi - Goodreads

The Classic Eco-history Read full review

Contents

CHAPTER PAGE
3
The Physical Basis of the Great Plains Environment
10
The Plains Indians
47
The Spanish Approach to the Great Plains
85
The American Approach to the Great Plains
140
The Great Plains block the Expansion of the South
184
CHAPTER PAGE
205
The Spread of the Kingdom
216
the Roundup
255
Transportation and Fencing
270
The Search for Water in the Great Plains
319
New Laws for Land and Water
385
The Literature of the Great Plains and about
453
CHAPTER PACE
485
Why is the West considered Spectacular and Romantic?
491
Why is the West politically Radical?
502

The Evolution of the Range and Ranch Cattle Industry
227
The Ways of Life on the Cattle Range
244

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1959)

One of the unquestionably major historians of the American West, Walter Prescott Webb taught at London University, Oxford, and the University of Texas. He was the author of a number of highly provocative books, including The Great Frontier and this, his most famous study, The Great Plains.

Bibliographic information