Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Spring 1998


Published in Great Plains Research Vol. 8, No.1, 1998. Copyright © 1998 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Used by permission.


What do Dallas, Los Angeles, Omaha, and Seattle have in common? All are situated outside the New West, according to the creators of the Atlas of the New West. Should readers of Great Plains Research bother with this latest entry into the New Western genre? Yes. The book's effort to come to an understanding of a contemporary, identifiable region of the United States is commendable. Anyone interested in the study of western history and culture will find something to add to his or her understanding of the western region in this atlas. On the other hand, many readers will quibble with the boundaries established by contributors (after much wrangling, according to the editor), which hug the front range of the Rocky Mountains in the east and run along the crest of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the west, thus excluding the entire Plains region as well as the central valley of California and the entire Pacific coast. The volume leaves out many self-identified "western" people and regions.