By invoking the intentionally provocative phrase "Won the West," Carl Abbott's tide alerts readers of two important themes outlined in his story: the centrality and, indeed, "triumph" of cities on the western landscape and the author's desire to situate cities at die heart of historical debates on the American West. Regarding the latter point, his book is as much a history of the North American West as it is a history of cities within it—a relationship inextricably linked. Abbott also traces the changes western cities experienced from their earliest frontier stage to their present-day status as centers for global innovation. The cities of the West evolved from a dependent, almost child-like relationship with the East to themselves being the mature parent, stimulating economic, social, and intellectual change in North America and the world. In short, Abbott asserts, "We can say that the cities of western North America have come into their own" (275).
English, Linda, "How Cities Won the West: Four Centuries of Urban Change in Western North America (review)" (2009). History Faculty Publications and Presentations. 12.
Southwestern Historical Quarterly