The Pacific Northwest

Growth of a Regional Identity

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About the Book

The Pacific Northwest—for the purposes of this book mostly Oregon and Washington—has sometimes been seen as lacking significant cultural history. Home to idyllic environmental wonders, the region has been plagued by the notion that the best and brightest often left in search of greater things, that the mainstream world was thousands of miles away—or at least as far south as California.
This book describes the Pacific Northwest’s search for a regional identity from the first Indian-European contacts through the late twentieth century, identifying those individuals and groups “who at least struggled to give meaning to the Northwest experience.” It places particular emphasis on writers and other celebrated individuals in the arts, detailing how their lives and works both reflected the region and also enhanced its sense of self.

About the Author(s)

The late Raymond D. Gastil was a social scientist and writer on American culture. He lived in Deep River, Connecticut.
Barnett Singer is a professor emeritus of history at Brock University. He has published a number of other books in French history.

Bibliographic Details

Raymond D. Gastil and Barnett Singer
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 227
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4540-0
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5591-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments (Barnett Singer)      1

Introduction      5

1. The Bitter Spiritual Harvest of Displacement      19

2. The Business and Moral Notables: Respectability, Refinement, Enlightenment      40

3. Literature of the Frontier      63

4. Populists, Progressives, and Radicals      88

5. The Northwest Achievement of V.L. Parrington      109

6. Literature and the Development of the Northwest Novel      123

7. Reflecting the Northwest: Historical and Other Non-Fiction Writing      151

8. Distinguished Achievement: Northwest Poetry Since World War II      164

9. Conclusion      173

Chapter Notes      175

Bibliography      201

Index      215

Book Reviews & Awards

“The fascination of this book is in its life stories…a remarkable tour de force…a fine and comprehensive guide and a rich bibliography”—Pacific Northwest Quarterly; “Gastil and Singer find important themes in surprising places”—Western American Literature; “valuable”—Pacific Historical Review; “achieves what no other book has done for the Pacific Northwest…fills a gap…a valuable guide to an often-overlooked topic and deserves wide attention among professors, students, and general readers”—Oregon Historical Quarterly; “A unique book. All scholars in the field, as well as the educated public, will find it valuable.”—Michael Allen, Professor of History and American Studies, University of Washington, Tacoma.