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Frontier Crossroads: Fort Davis and the West (Canseco-Keck History Series) Hardcover – December 2, 2005
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"Frontier Crossroads is a gem of a book, fully deserving attention from scholars working most every dimension of the history of the American West."
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Dates, statistics, maps, personal contemporary statements and a well written narrative give a detailed account of not just the fort, but the overall frontier army experience. I highly recommend "Frontier Crossroads". I wish all western forts had books like this one.
Wooster pulls the story in the direction of modern concerns by using the theme of "empire" throughout the book. Chapter 2 even calls the US Army an "agent of empire," which is obviously correct no matter what your political persuasion - - but at least nominally different from the usual hero-worship style of books on Fort Davis.
Wooster also knows that he should be uncomfortable using the term "frontier," but he justifies it in terms of prose style and his aim for a wider audience. That's reasonable, as this is an accessible and short book with less than 150 pages of text. If you're headed to Fort Davis and want to read a book-length treatment of the place, this is what you want. Wooster also has a 50-page pamphlet published in 1994 that is even more traditional, but it provides a good treatment at that length.
All the books on Fort Davis that I've seen cry out for a richer approach to the story that really sets the fort in a broader context, with rich treatment of Indians, Spaniards/Mexicans, and the United States. This is not that book. But it succeeds on its own terms.