Limerick first wrote in this book, nearly 20 years ago, that she’d probably change her mind about some of the points she raised.
And she has. Her reconsideration of leaving out the fur trade and other slights, addressed in a new foreword, is done with grace and eloquence, and positions her as a historian who is not above reconsidering her earlier beliefs. That also happens to be the crux of her thesis on the “New Western History,” which she argues should combat the stereotypes of noble savages and pioneers, and aim at informing Americans about how conquest tested the ideals of the U.S. and still shapes events today. Limerick’s humor and powerful narrative goes a long way in proving that the American West is not “inconsequential” and is worthy of reexamination. —Meghan Saar