Westward from the White House Review of Glenda Riley and Richard Etulains’ Presidents Who Shaped the American West.

Presidents Who Shaped the American West Glenda Riley Richard Etulain True West Magazine
Presidents Who Shaped the American West by Glenda Riley and Richard Etulain. (University of Oklahoma Press, $24.95)

Glenda Riley and Richard Etulains’ Presidents Who Shaped the American West is a highly satisfying narrative spanning two centuries.

The study traces the impact of various administrations since 1789 through the end of Barack Obama’s second term.

Historians Riley and Etulain maintain: “Even though the presidency has changed during these years and western issues varied,” their 11 core “essays reveal an amazing similarity in themes.”

According to the co-authors these themes include growing the West, negotiations with the Indian tribes, westward migration, transportation, resources, political power, and conservation. Arguably the only omission is Ulysses S. Grant, whose years in office embody many of the book’s subthemes.

John P. Langellier, former deputy director Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

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John Langellier

John Langellier received his PhD in military history from Kansas State University. After a 45-year career in public history, he retired in Tucson, Arizona, in 2015. He is the author of dozens of books, including Fighting for Uncle Sam: Blacks in the Frontier Army, due out in early 2016.