Deborah W, Reviewer
"The Light Shines from the West" is a collection of 12 essays written by 6 different people about the development of the American West, from the Louisiana Purchase to present day. The intent was to include information on the people who lived in the West before American Easterners arrived and to look at factors that made living in the West a unique experience. The essays were still basically from the European/Eastern American viewpoint of events and about their migration into the West. Each chapter was on a new topic (though there was some repetition by other authors), and we're only provided with an overview or survey of the topic. The essays talked about how the land of the West was acquired, what it was physically like, the various deals that have been made with the American Indians up until present day, who settled Canada and Mexico and their expansion and consolidation, a brief history of the development of transportation and communications which allowed more rapid settlement and less isolation in the West, reasons people went West (agriculture, mining, logging, Homestead Act, etc.) and it's economic development, a multi-ethnic look at women's role in the West, what rural life was like, political issues, and more.