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"Reeve's research into the diaries, memoirs, letters, newspaper accounts, government and court records, oral traditions, and ethnography is truly impressive, as is his handling of a vast but scattered secondary literature that crosses several topical fields . . . and research disciplines. . . . This is an important book that deserves wide readership and discussion, both for the history it uncovers and for the engaging scholarly model it presents."--Ethnohistory
"Well written and impressively researched, Making Space on the Western Frontier is recommended as an excellent study in microcosm of the forces that shaped western history in the post-Civil War era. Historians and students alike will benefit from this excellent monograph.--New Mexico Historical Review
"Reeve has furthered frontier studies by expanding beyond single group history to analyze complex, three-party interactions. The book should provide a compelling model for future research."--Western Historical Quarterly
Exploring the cultural interactions on the southern rim of the Great Basin in the last half of the nineteenth century
When Mormon ranchers and Anglo-American miners moved into centuries-old Southern Paiute space during the last half of the nineteenth century, a clash of cultures quickly ensued. W. Paul Reeve explores the dynamic nature of that clash as each group attempted to create sacred space on the southern rim of the Great Basin according to three very different world views.
With a promising discovery of silver at stake, the United States Congress intervened in an effort to shore up Nevada’s mining frontier, while simultaneously addressing both the "Mormon Question" and the "Indian Problem." Even though federal officials redrew the Utah/Nevada/Arizona borders and created a reservation for the Southern Paiutes, the three groups continued to fashion their own space, independent of the new boundaries that attempted to keep them apart.
When the dust on the southern rim of the Great Basin finally settled, a hierarchy of power emerged that disentangled the three groups according to prevailing standards of Americanism. As Reeve sees it, the frontier proved a bewildering mixing ground of peoples, places, and values that forced Mormons, miners, and Southern Paiutes to sort out their own identity and find new meaning in the mess.