In this Book

Oral History, Community, and Work in the American West
summary
Nurses, show girls, housewives, farm workers, casino managers, and government inspectors—together these hard-working members of society contributed to the development of towns across the West. The essays in this volume show how oral history increases understanding of work and community in the twentieth century American West.

In many cases occupations brought people together in myriad ways. The Latino workers who picked lemons together in Southern California report that it was baseball and Cinco de Mayo Queen contests that united them. Mormons in Fort Collins, Colorado, say that building a church together bonded them together. In separate essays, African Americans and women describe how they fostered a sense of community in Las Vegas. Native Americans detail the “Indian economy” in Northern California.

As these essays demonstrate, the history of the American West is the story of small towns and big cities, places both isolated and heavily populated. It includes groups whose history has often been neglected. Sometimes, western history has mirrored the history of the nation; at other times, it has diverged in unique ways. Oral history adds a dimension that has often been missing in writing a comprehensive history of the West. Here an array of oral historians—including folklorists, librarians, and public historians—record what they have learned from people who have, in their own ways, made history.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. 1-1
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. 2-5
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-19
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  1. Part I: Reflections
  2. pp. 9-21
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  1. 1. Stories of Community and Work in the Redd Center Oral History Program - Jessie L. Embry
  2. pp. 11-28
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  1. 2. A Two-Way Street: Explaining and Creating Community through Oral History - Barbara Allen Bogart
  2. pp. 29-41
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  1. 3. Probing Memory and Experience: The Untapped Potential of Oral History (Re)Collections - Laurie Mercier
  2. pp. 42-60
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  1. Part II: Examples of Neglected Groups
  2. pp. 58-71
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  1. 4. “Everybody Worked Back Then”: Oral History, Memory, and Indian Economies in Northern California - William Bauer
  2. pp. 61-81
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  1. 5. Bittersweet Memories: Oral History, Mexican Americans, and the Power of Place - José M. Alamillo
  2. pp. 82-101
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  1. 6. “That’s All We Knew”: An Oral History of Family Labor in the American Southwest - Skott Brandon Vigil
  2. pp. 102-126
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  1. 7. “Colorado Has Been Real Good to Us”: An Oral History Project with Japanese Americans in Weld County, Colorado - Georgia Wier
  2. pp. 127-149
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  1. 8. Using Oral History to Record the Story of the Las Vegas African American Community - Claytee White
  2. pp. 150-174
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  1. 9. Women at Work in Las Vegas, 1940–1980 - Joanne L. Goodwin
  2. pp. 175-196
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  1. 10. “Every Woman Has a Story”: Donna Joy McGladrey’s Alaskan Adventure - Sandra K. Mathews
  2. pp. 197-221
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  1. 11. Searching for the Rest of the Story: Documenting the Dee School of Nursing - John Sillito, Sarah Langsdon, and Marci Farr
  2. pp. 222-246
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  1. 12. The Utah Eagle Forum: Legitimizing Political Activism as Women’s Work - Melanie Newport
  2. pp. 247-264
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  1. Part III: Essential Sources
  2. pp. 265-277
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  1. 13. Creating Community: Telling the Story of the Mormons in Fort Collins, Colorado - Linda M. Meyer
  2. pp. 267-283
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  1. 14. Every Mine, Every Cow Camp, Every Ranch: Oral History as Fieldwork - Leisl Carr Childers
  2. pp. 284-304
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  1. 15. Oral History among the Orchards: A Look at the James George Stratton Family - Kristi Young
  2. pp. 305-326
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  1. Afterword: When History Talks Back - Clyde A. Milner II
  2. pp. 327-338
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  1. Contributors
  2. pp. 339-344
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 345-350
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