As Big as the West: The Pioneer Life of Granville Stuart

Clyde A. Milner, II, Author, Carol A. O'Connor, Author . Oxford Univ. $34.95 (430p) ISBN 978-0-19-512709-6

Milner and O'Connor, two leading historians of the American West, deliver an outstanding history of Granville Stuart (1834–1918), a Gold Rush miner, Montana cattle baron and hanging-hungry vigilante as well as a master of languages, a U.S. ambassador to Paraguay and Uruguay, and the author of an intriguing autobiography, Forty Years on the Frontier . Stuart's various successes were based not only on hard work, but on the unbridled exploitation of resources and native peoples, particularly the Shoshone. Although he learned the Shoshone language and married a Shoshone woman, Stuart disavowed their 11 children after 26 years, at the time of his second marriage, to a white woman. Stuart spent his final days in reduced circumstances, the one resource he had left to peddle being his romanticized memories of the early West. He left behind a room full of diaries—material that Milner and O'Connor, a husband-and-wife team and both history professors at Arkansas State, put to superb use as they probe the complexities of this archetypal Western settler. B&w illus., maps. (Dec.)

Reviewed on: 10/06/2008
Release date: 10/01/2008
Genre: Nonfiction
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