Top positive review
9 people found this helpful
on May 8, 2008
Hunt's "The Making of the West" concise edition is a good value. Coming in at under $40 used, it is easily $20 cheaper than the competition... and it's worth the money.
The good: Like the price, this textbook has some things going for it. Unlike larger, wider and weightier "doorstop" textbooks, its "regular book size" and weight fit easily in a backpack, under your arm, or when reading in your easy chair. Color maps, pictures, good online resources, and its general survey of western history make this book a "four star" value.
The bad. This text is general and best suited for AP or college undergraduate survey classes, and not for advanced readers or upper level courses. The suggested readings section doesn't give a historiography of the books it recommends. And, what I find unforgivable is that it doesn't give an introductory essay defining what "the west" is. Also, the accompanying source reader is terrible--poor document selection and too few sources used. Avoid it.
The text is heavy on social and cultural history, and uses lots of art to teach it. It lacks a lot of the standard political/great man treatments of the west that young undergraduates might need. So, if you're looking for a more traditional political/military narrative, you're not going to like this book.
In the final analysis--an OK book for the money, (Lynn Hunt is an excellent scholar) but if you want more weighty, traditional material look elsewhere.