Reviewed by Raymond Starr, San Diego State University
The Final Challenge: The American Frontier, 1804-1845.
By Dale Van Every. Reprint edition. New York: William Morrow, 1988. Bibliography. Index. 378 pages. $9.95 paperbound.
In the 1960s popular writer Dale Van Every published a series of volumes on the American frontier experience. This, the fourth in the set, came out in 1965. It covers the period from 1804 through 1845, essentially from Lewis and Clark to the eve of the conquest of California. The book is written in sweeping narrative style and celebrates the “extraordinary people” who won the West, upon which base Van Every thinks “the American world as we know it was built.” It is recommended as a highly readable, but basically uncritical, account of one of the most colorful and exciting aspects of the history of the United States.