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West of Wichita: Settling the High Plains of Kansas, 1865-1890 Paperback – May 12, 1986

ISBN-13: 978-0700603640 ISBN-10: 0700603646

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West of Wichita: Settling the High Plains of Kansas, 1865-1890 + Kansas: The History of the Sunflower State, 1854-2000
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas (May 12, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0700603646
  • ISBN-13: 978-0700603640
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 7.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #728,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A poignant account of human pathos and triumphs, of dreams and despair, of illusion and disillusion." -- Kansas History

"A wonderful book . . . about survivors who faced things head on." -- Kansas City Times

"Magnificent. . . . A subtle and often moving account of pioneer life. . . . A truly splendid book." -- Choice

"Miner treats the stuff of Plains history . . . with true originality and insight." -- Great Plains Quarterly

"Rich in detail, warmed by the affection its author obviously feels for his subject." -- Journal of American History

"This first-rate book is an important addition to the history of Kansas and to the study of western settlement." --American Historical Review

About the Author

Craig Miner is Willard W. Garvey Distinguished Professor of Business History at Wichita State University. Among his books are Harvesting the High Plains: John Kriss and the Business of Wheat Farming, 1920-1950; Wichita: The Early Years, 1865-1880; and (with William E. Unrau) The End of Indian Kansas: A Study of Cultural Revolution, 1854-1874.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 5 customer reviews
A very good, well written book, I would recommend to all history buffs.
G. Saddoris
Loaded with interesting facts and characters while at the same time doing an excellent job of conveying the overall progression of the settlement of Western Kansas.
Kansas history buff
The book is filled with information but written in a very readable style.
L. Fenwick

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mary Jamba on November 28, 2000
As a frequent reader of historical fiction and non-fiction, I found this book to be both enjoyable and informative. I learned a great deal about the cultural history of the individuals who attempted to settle this difficult land and how they interacted with the environment, the government and the Indians. I found the insights regarding life in a dugout or a sod house particularly interesting, and the enclosed historical jokes about certain Kansas towns and prairie insect pests made me laugh out loud. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about the truth of the "Wild, Wild West" of North America. Miner helps to dispell many of the myths.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By G. Saddoris on August 29, 2011
Verified Purchase
I was looking for information about conditions in western Kansas in the early 1880's. I knew my great grandfather died in Garden City in the fall of 1883 at the age of 34. I have no idea why he was in Garden City and no information from my family as to cause of death. I was always told my grandfather was an orphan with no explanation as to what happened to his parents. This book provided a very comprehensive look into the conditions in western Kansas in 1883. The author describes conditions plus reasons people were coming to western Kansas at that time to homestead. It also provided knowledge of conditions at that time that caused early deaths of pioneers moving into the region. This is a very well researched book with a very comprehensive bibliography that provides for additional research into conditions plus incentives for people to move to this area during those times.
As you read this book you can tell Craig Miner became very impressed with the tenacity of the people that settled western Kansas. He describes in detail the hardships they had to endure to establish a life in this very desolate frontier. He takes you through the lack of building materials causing the early settlers to use sod for constructing their houses, the drought, insects, snakes and less than honorable human beings that made life in this area a living hell at times.
A very good, well written book, I would recommend to all history buffs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kansas history buff on December 15, 2004
I loved this book. One of the few history books I've read that I would describe as a page-turner. Loaded with interesting facts and characters while at the same time doing an excellent job of conveying the overall progression of the settlement of Western Kansas.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. Fenwick on October 29, 2010
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Having been raised on a farm in the very county this book describes and as the descendant of a homesteader, I should know much of the information this book contains...but until beginning research for a writing project of my own a few months ago, I had only vague notions of the era described in this book. Admittedly, I have particular reasons for finding it so interesting--my personal background and my professional research, but I recommend it to readers who lack those predispositions to stimulate their curiosity. The book is filled with information but written in a very readable style. People are most likely to know Kansas for its history connected to the cattle drives and cow towns or its fictional depiction in "The Wizard of Oz." The title clearly identifies the geographic area and time period Craig Minor describes, and it is an engrossing examination of a nearly forgotten people and their times. They faced dangers just as dramatic as stampeding cattle and real tornadoes that didn't land them in Oz. It is a history that offers insights into dreams, greed, propaganda, manipulation, and policy that provide valuable lessons for present readers. I recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By B. McKinney on June 30, 2013
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"West of Wichita" is filled with all kinds of interesting information - and so well written that it is a joy to read.
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