the contested plains book review

1054 words 5 pages
“The Contested Plains: Indians, Goldseekers, and the Rush to Colorado” Written by Elliott West. I chose to write about this book because of the large range of events and transitions that occurred throughout the American West that the author includes in the text. Elliot West highlights the struggles that many endured while trying to create better circumstances for not only themselves but also their families by moving to the west. He chronicles the adaptations that many white settlers arriving in the west faced in order to be able to make a living for themselves. But another reason why I found the book interesting was because of the way Elliot West provided perspective for each side of the struggle over the American West. He gives us the …show more content…

Guns are a good example of this because in the woodland areas, Native Americans and settlers could hunt better by using trees and other foliage to hide from their prey. But on the plains this was almost impossible because there was almost always nothing to hide behind. Animals like the buffalo could see hunters coming from far way and escape before the hunters were ever in range. But on the battlefield or in a fight guns proved to be valuable, “the ability to kill and wound from farther distance away was an unalloyed blessing, particularly if the enemy was outgunned or ungunned. Raiders with firearms attacking a village could remain at a distance and do their worst, out of dangers range. If attacked by warriors with bows and arrows, defenders with firearms, even if badly outnumbered, could keep their foes backed away and relatively harmless while taking their own long distance toll. The value of the horse is something else that I picked up on throughout the book. The plains were a perfect place for the horse and there were many advantages of possessing them. They were large living tools that permitted owners to move farther and faster while carrying larger burdens. But unlike dogs, horses had another practical advantage, they didn’t need to eat other animals to survive which made it easier for their owners because they didn’t have to go out and hunt for food for their horse like they would have to do if they had a dog. Elliot


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