Regular price: $52.95

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
  • Get access to the Member Daily Deal
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Our understanding of the American West has moved far beyond pop culture in recent years. The legendary people and events we associate with the Wild West - the last stand at the Alamo, the Battle of Little Bighorn, the exploits of Calamity Jane, the hardships of the Oregon Trail - are even more fascinating once the historical realities have been separated from the myths.

Designed to shine a light on the American frontier, these 24 lectures are a way for you to experience the grit and grandeur of an epic period in American history. Professor Allitt uncovers new historical angles and perspectives about events and themes ranging from the Lewis and Clark expedition to the Indian Removal Act to the creation America's first national parks.

You'll cover more than 200 years of history and the most important events, themes, and ideas that form the backbone of the frontier's reality - and legend. Among these: the Transcontinental Railroad, the idea of Manifest Destiny, the Gold Rush, the Trail of Tears, and (yes) cowboys. You'll also learn how popular culture - novels like Little House on the Prairie, paintings by artists like Frederic Remington, and decades of Western films - can actually clue us in to the intimate details of life for everyday men and women.

Saddle up for an exciting adventure in learning.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2017 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2017 The Great Courses

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    226
  • 4 Stars
    72
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    3

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    212
  • 4 Stars
    54
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    205
  • 4 Stars
    60
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Professor, Great Course

Any additional comments?

I bought this course because I had listened to and enjoyed others by Professor Allitt. I'm glad I did, for once again he has delivered an engaging and informative series of lectures. Professor Allitt offers listeners a broad historical perspective on the opening of the American West, clearly explaining the context and significance of each topic he covers. What I liked most, though, were the details, anecdotes and stories he used to evoke the flavour of this period. It's important to learn, for example, how the gold rush contributed to the evolution of California as a state, but hearing the specifics of how the gold was mined, of the dangerous technology and toxins that were used, helped me visualize the harsh lives of the miners.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The wild wooly west comes to life

these lectures give a new meaning to the Wild West. from Lewis and Clark, Old Kentucky Home, Bloody Kansas, Trail of Tears, Little Big Horn, Mormon pioneers, Gold Rush days, John Wesley Powell. I learned many things I did not know living in the West. I enjoyed these lectures and plan on reading some of the books The Professor suggest. the professor might be an Englishman but he knows his stuff about the West. I live in Utah and many of the things he said are true.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Fine broad overview - but not much meat

I loved a previous course from the presenter and while I am a fan of the American West and its history...I am by no means an expert. However, I was surprised by how much of this I was already aware of and, for the length of the course, how few "deep dives" this contained. I would recommend this to someone wanting to learn of the West with no previous exposure, but even someone with a high school-level of exposure will find this somewhat lacking beyond superficial coverage, dates and notables. After completion of this, I didn't totally feel like I really walked away with a deeper understanding of the mechanics of the west.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Impressive

Balanced, thought-provoking, entertaining. Prof. Allitt includes many fascinating details previously unknown to this listener, who has studied western history—particularly legal history—for decades. Highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

bookgirl

This was my first Great Courses listen and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Well written and well read. I it won't be my last.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Enlighten ing

very worthwhile and has got me wanting to know
much more about the diverse topics covered.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

frustrating

it's not that the author provides anything in error. BUT he omits stuff. In doing the usual "colonists/ whites murdered American Indians" he omits that during the same period the same ethnic attitudes were felt English / French or against other groups, -- it doesn't excuse the behavior, but it certainly provides better context. It glosses over water wars of owens valley although it does cover Hetch Hetche & Frisco. it's an ok lecture series, but it isn't the extensive study of the West that it purports to be. I

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful Journey through the Historical West

A fascinating journey through time. Exceptional details of our past and wonderful stories that are shared to enrich our souls of how this nation made its Westward expansion.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another interesting course by Patrick Allitt

I've always enjoyed the courses by Patrick Allitt, and this one is no exception. He has a way of making a subject interesting by presenting it in a manner which shows how one thing (an idea, attitude, belief, action, etc.) logically leads to the resulting actions and consequences which make up history. Everything logically flows together and makes sense. You realize not just what happened, but also how and why it happened, and it all makes sense - almost as if it couldn't have been otherwise.

As a transplant from Britain, he isn't prejudiced by having grown up with the American concept of American history, yet he understands that concept and can explain & present it from the point of view of a neutral observer. Plus, I like his accent. The one thing I did find somewhat annoying, however, was his mispronunciation of place names, which could easily have been avoided with a bit of research. The most glaring (and oft-repeated) example is his mispronunciation of "Los Angeles" as "Los Angeleeze". That annoyance aside, however, I found this to be a very engaging and interesting course.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Comprehensive and Unbiased

A little hard to get used to the British accent speaking authoritatively on the American West. Comprehensive and balance treatment of thorny issues related to the Western movement in the United States. Some great insights and perspectives.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 08-27-17

unexpectedly fascinating

it's such an unknown subject to Europeans that it's fascinating to see how the west expanded so quickly. I had to do alot of reading up to find out more on the subject and learnt alot about US geography too. highly recommended

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Neil J. Pearson
  • 10-28-18

interesting and relatively concise

an enjoyable and balanced look at the western expansion of the United States. it was interesting to see how beaver fur, gold rushes and railways were all key factors in the expansion and development of the west. it also doesn't shy away from some of the negatives such as the treatment of natives. the narration was lovely and engaging and fun to have the history of the American West narrated by an Englishman.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Thomas Swade
  • 04-22-18

Informative albeit rather brief

Very interesting lectures but they really could have been longer. There is so much more that could be said about the West.