"This segment of Missouri history is a fascinating time of strong leaders, of sectional conflicts within the state, and of a booming frontier economy. . . . It recounts the hectic years of fur traders and slave traders, the time of the Honey War with Iowa, the time of the persecution and harassment of the Mormons, the settlement of the Germans in mid-state, the development of improved agriculture, and through it all the pervading presence of the hot-tempered, vain, ever-preaching Thomas Hart Benton, whose personality and political power permeated the years. It is a solid book and a worthy addition to the published histories of the state."—Western Historical Quarterly
"McCandless has done an exceptional job in his treatment of the waves of immigration which swept into Missouri and the reception given to the strangers by the native inhabitants. The section devoted to the Mormons in Missouri is especially noteworthy for the well-balanced account of this chapter of the history of the state. . . . The readable style enables the general reader, as well as the scholar, to enjoy this well- balanced account of the history of Missouri."—Journal of the West
"This thoroughly researched study describes the development of Missouri from a frontier society into a diverse region torn by struggles over economic policies, slavery, and the question of its allegiance as the Civil War approached. Discussing the physical environment; the origins and character of the people; economic growth and urbanism; and literature, fine arts, and recreation, the author demonstrates a broad knowledge and deep understanding. . . . The author has unraveled the maze of Missouri politics during the 1840s and 1850s with uncommon skill."—Journal of Southern History
"The author has developed a concise and sound synthesis based on extensive research in both primary and secondary sources, and the result is a well-balanced history that describes and analyzes the social, political, and economic growth of the state."—Indiana Magazine of History
Perry McCandless is Professor Emeritus of History at University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg. He is the author of several books on Missouri history, including Missouri Then and Now, New and Enlarged Edition.