Shaped by the West is a two-volume primary source reader that rewrites the history of the United States through a western lens. America’s expansion west was the driving force for issues of democracy, politics, race, freedom, and property. William Deverell and Anne F. Hyde provide a nuanced look at the past, balancing topics in society and politics and representing all kinds of westerners—black and white, native and immigrant, male and female, powerful and powerless—from more than twenty states across the West and the shifting frontier.
The sources included reflect the important role of the West in national narratives of American history, beginning with the pre-Columbian era up to 1877 covered in Volume 1 and taking us from the industrialized West to the twenty-first century in Volume 2. Together, these volumes cover first encounters, conquests and revolts, indigenous land removal, slavery and labor, trade and diplomacy, industrialization, migration and immigration, and changing landscapes and environments. Personal letters, government documents, editorials, photos and visuals will highlight connections between western and national histories to foster critical thinking about America’s diverse history.
William Deverell is Professor of History and Chair of the History Department at USC and Director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West. He has published numerous books on the history of California and the American West, including Whitewashed Adobe, A Companion to Los Angeles, and A Companion to California History.
Anne F. Hyde is Professor of History at Colorado College. She has published widely in the history of the American West. Her most recent book, Empires, Nations, and Families: A New History of the North American West, 1800–1860, won the Bancroft Prize and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.