Reviewed by Ramond Starr, San Diego State University
The Twentieth-Century West: Historical Interpretations.
Edited by Gerald D. Nash and Richard W. Etulain. Albuquerque; University of New Mexico Press, 1989. Bibliography. Index. 454 pages. $40.00 cloth; $17.50 paper.
The Twentieth-Century West: Historical Interpretations provides an excellent context for the study of San Diego history. In this collection of essays, the various authors have attempted to “delineate major trends and approaches that will contribute to a clearer image of the twentieth-century west.” They seek to do so in articles on demography, women, immigrants, Mexican-Americans, Indians, economics, politics, the environment, and culture. The authors are among the best known in the field, and include Gerald Nash, Howard Lamar, Walter Nugent, Carl Abbott, and H. Wayne Morgan, for example. The essays on specific topics are bracketed between Richard Eutlain’s introduction in which he surveys the scholarship on the twentieth-century west; and Gerald Nash’s conclusion, in which he attempts to draw it all together. Some of Nash’s comments on heterogenous populations, the importance of urbanism, the need for interdisciplinary approaches, and the concept that the history of the West may not be as unique as many would like to think, all could be fruitfully applied to the serious study of San Diego.