Introduction to Worldviews and the American West: The Life of the Place Itself

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Worldviews and the American West: The Life of the Place Itself


Utah State University Press

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This book, a collection of essays on worldview and the American West, started life some years back as a festschrift honoring Barre Toelken. The four of us who edited this volume are all past students of Barre's. We wanted to assemble essays written by students and colleagues who over the years had, like us, benefitted from Barre's thought and wished to celebrate him as friend, colleague, and mentor. Yet, as we four eagerly began consulting (we hoped clandestinely) with a few trusted colleagues and publishers, we realized that although the traditional potpourri of festschrift-as-testimonial might have its special pleasures, we could honor Barre best by producing an anthology meant to stand on its own merits. We think readers will like the resulting book, which is diverse in approaches and writing styles but harmonious in its venture, variously applying Toelken's path-breaking ideas about worldview to the topic of the American West, a region that is both prominent in his work and a source of endless fascination to the rest of us. In our selections, we have aimed for a range of voices, methods, and visions but have integrated them through the focus of one theme, worldview, in one region, the American West.

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