Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

August 1993


Published in Great Plains Research 3:2 (August 1993). Copyright © 1993 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


Writers of western history often assume that the West is a unified region, and thus impose a regional story on what is in fact a dynamically diverse area. Donald Pisani's study carefully avoids this pitfall. Viewing the West as a "fragmented" region, divided by geographic variety, economic competition, and local and state political jealousies, he underscores the region's numerous and very real divisions. His study, which is a thoroughly documented work of major importance in the field of water policy history, thus transcends his particular topic and offers an important insight into western history in general.