A major goal of the New Western History is to chronicle the vast diversity of western experience. In this pathbreaking anthology, coeditors Elizabeth Jameson and Susan Armitage-who brought us "The Women’s West in 1987"-meet that challenge by bringing together twenty-nine essays that present women of all races as actors in their own lives and in the history of the American West and locate them in a framework that connects gender, race, and class.
In mythic sagas of the American West, the wide western range offered boundless opportunity to a limited cast of white men. Buffalo roamed, deer and antelope played, and women’s voices were never heard. Writing the Range allows us to hear many long-silenced women: Spanish-Mexican settlers and American Indians on New Spain’s northern frontiers; Chinese, Basque, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Slavic, and Irish immigrants; film stars Dolores del Rio and Lupe Velez; Navajos and African Americans who moved to western cities during World War II; and the activist Mothers of East Los Angeles, who organized to resist environmental dangers to their community.
A valuable introduction to the rapidly changing field of western history, Writing the Range explains clearly how race, class, and culture are constructed and connected. The first section examines issues raised by more than a decade of multicultural western women’s histories; following are six chronological sections spanning four centures. Each section offers a short introduction connecting is essays and placing them in analytic and historical perspective. Clearly written and accessible, Writing the Range makes a major contribution in ethnic history, women’s history, and interpretations of the American West.