Regular price: £51.29

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – choose any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • Free, unlimited access to Audio Shows
  • After your trial, Audible is just £7.99/month
OR
In Basket

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
    21
  • 4 Stars
    8
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    26
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    17
  • 4 Stars
    10
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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

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.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mark
  • 09-09-17

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.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Russell Bernard
  • 04-10-17

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.

5 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
  • Cindy
  • 09-11-17

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
  • Keven A. Gambold
  • 24-10-17

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
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • QuantumNorth
  • 07-06-18

Very enjoyable overview of the American West

The professor does an excellent job explaining how the American West evolved through time, including many important events that were not included in my past history classes.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Bradley
  • 04-06-18

Incredible.

Absolutely amazing. Highly recommend this course for anyone looking to learn more about the American West. The only thing I didn’t like was it ending. Listening to these lectures every day on my 30 minute commute to work have been one of the highlights of my day. Loved learning about the history and Professor Allitt has done an incredible job.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kimberly Nagy
  • 07-05-18

American History that fills in gaps.

I felt this did a good job of filling in gaps missing from American History taught in school in the 70’s, 80’s. Lets face it, mostly the Revolutionary War and the Civil War were repeatly taught. This goes into detail the history that shaped the rest of our country. As a conservative I had no problem listening to a Professor from Berkeley. He kept things in perspective and I especially enjoyed his reference to other books and art. He also has a pleasant speaking voice and speech pattern. Now when I travel out west I have a greater appreciation of the history.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • M. Killam
  • 14-04-18

You'll be surprised how much you didn't know.

Or maybe how much you thought you knew but were wrong. I believed I knew quite a bit about the history of the West before I listened to this but it turns out my knowledge barely scratched the surface. The series provides a great overview of the history of the West. I've listened to many Great Courses lectures and some can be a drag to get through but not this one. This course kept me interested form beginning right up to the very end. One of my new favorites.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ben Stein
  • 16-01-18

I only wish it were longer!

As with many Great Courses lectures like The Rise and Fall of Soviet Communism, I wish it were longer. Now I feel like I have to go read a book to learn as much as I can about it!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Chris B
  • 21-12-17

Fantastic

I have enormously enjoyed every course by Professor Allitt. I've lived in western states my whole life, but learned a great amount from these lectures, which, as with all of this professor's courses, are as entertaining as educational.