Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves – and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives – and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are.
Subjects include "The First Official Frontier of the Massachusetts Bay," "The Old West," "The Ohio Valley in American History," "Contributions of the West to American Democracy," "Social Forces in American History," "Middle Western Pioneer Democracy," and many other topics. This edition features a new Introduction that traces the book's significance. Students, teachers, historians, and anyone with an interest in American history will find it a fascinating resource.
According to Frederick Jackson Turner, the distinct qualities of the American character are inseparable from the idea of the frontier. One of the nation’s most influential historians, Turner sets forth his “frontier thesis” in the eight brilliant, enlightening, and provocative essays that make up his seminal work, The Frontier in American History—a book which profoundly altered the way Americans viewed themselves.
Disputing the traditionally held emphasis on European cultural influences, Turner argues that the American frontier fostered self-reliance, optimism, ingenuity, individualism, restlessness, materialism, and democratic ideals—traits that collectively shaped the national character. His groundbreaking work continues to influence American culture, politics, and history more than eighty years after it was first published.