The Rise of the Centennial State: Colorado Territory, 1861-76

riseofcentennialThis volume on early Colorado history is concise, yet it offers nothing new, and the writing is very dry. I did enjoy the thumbnail sketches of the Indian Wars, and Berwanger’s coverage of transportation, homesteading and the politics involving statehood.

Yet I found the author’s tone disconcerting. Of all the struggles toward statehood, Berwanger alludes to events of happenstance rather than those of achievement. The book jacket also made me laugh: “I know of no other detailed history of Colorado Territory, particularly one relating the territory’s ‘story’ to the broader picture of America during the period.” On my bookshelves, I count at least a dozen that fit, many of which are listed in this book’s bibliography (which, by the way, is a great list for those interested in Colorado history). —Linda Wommack

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