Dreams of El Dorado by H.W. Brands


Brands is one of my favorite historian/authors. He has a way of telling a story that does not come off as overly professorial or long-windedly boring. This is another great example of his works. This book focuses on the development of the West, from the time of Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase to Teddy Roosevelts preservation of the American West. It is a glorious overview of American history, filled with names both familiar and scarcely known. Obviously, volumes can and have been written on the subject matter of each of these 54 chapters, and for someone who wishes to learn more than we are all welcome to do so, but here Brands gives us so many wonderful and tragic stories, characters and incidents that made the West. He breaks it down into 8 different sections beginning with the Louisiana Purchase, then we have Fur Traders, Texas and on and on it goes until we have reached the end of our Continental borders and begin to fill in the Midwest – great info on the Oklahoma Land Rush. All in all just a superb book by one of our leading historians

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