Book Notes

Kyle E. Ciani, Reviews Editor

Atlas of the New West: Portrait of a Changing Region.

William E. Riebsame, General Editor. New York: W. W. Norton & Company for the Center of the American West, University of Colorado, 1997. 192 Pages, maps, photographs, charts, notes, sources, index. $35.00 Hardcover.

This handsome atlas-history, was put together by historians and cartographers at the University of Colorado. The authors have tried to show how the historical, myth-based west has been brought into the new world of hyperdevelopment and modernity. They show displacement of traditional western worlds of logging, mining, ranching with the new economies based on service and information, tourism, and ostentatious displays of wealth. They do this in a series of chapters (each with text, maps, graphs and photographs) defining and explaining the infrastructure of the region, water, people, lifestyle, and the future of the west. The book concludes with an essay by one of the premier practitioners of the “New West” historiography, Patricia Limerick. It is a fine book, illustrating many aspects of that “New West” view of the modern west. Readers of the Journal of San Diego History will be disappointed that the authors have defined the “New West” as the area roughly between the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra and Cascade ranges, thus eliminating California and the coastal Northwest.


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