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The West
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Program 16: The West

Donald L. Miller with Virginia Scharff and Louis P. Masur


Miller: The American frontier in the late 19th century. Was it part of Jefferson's Empire of Liberty, or something else?

Scharff: In the period that you're talking about, what counts as the United States has to be domesticated, okay? So there's this big old hunk of the country that still is not yet a part of this industrial democracy that you're talking about. The whole process of claiming and bounding and peopling and incorporating this large terrain, that's already obviously inhabited, is something that creates modern America. What happens out there on the ground shapes the American character in some fundamental ways. It reflects larger American processes.

Miller: More than cowboys and cattle, more than homesteading, the Gold Rush, and the tragedy of Native Americans. Today on A Biography of America, "The West".

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