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History > U.S. History > Local and Regional > Pacific Northwest

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Multnomah Cover

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Multnomah

The Tumultuous Story of Oregon's Most Populous County

Covering people and events from 1854 to the present day, this definitive history of Multnomah County provides compelling details about public works triumphs and political scandals.

Founded as a convenience so residents of the fast-growing city of Portland wouldn’t have to ride by horseback to Hillsboro, Oregon’s tiniest county geographically soon grew to be the state’s most populous.  Through nearly sixteen decades, Multnomah County’s history seldom has been calm and peaceful.  From hangings that turned into grim public spectacles in the nineteenth century to a glaring failure to deal with urban growth in the middle of the twentieth, the county survived several attempts to revamp its structure or merge with Portland’s better-known municipal government.

Highlighted episodes include the construction of the iconic Columbia River Highway between 1914 and 1918, the tragic flooding of Vanport City in 1948, the employee strike of 1980, the library scandal of 1989-1990, and the same-sex marriage license debacle of 2004.

Historian Jewel Lansing and journalist Fred Leeson make effective use of archival sources, oral histories, newspaper articles, and personal interviews to create the definitive reference on Multnomah County history, politics, and policy. History buffs and informed Portland citizens will be particularly engaged by the regional trivia and narrative details.

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National Park, City Playground

Mount Rainier in the Twentieth Century

by Theodore R. Catton

Looks at the evolving relationship between the mountain and its surrounding residents, from the late 1890s when the Pacific Forest Reserve became Mount Rainier National Park. Catton tells the history of the park and examines the many controversies that affected its development, from proposals to develop a chairlift for downhill skiers to environmental degradation from overuse of popular areas.

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The Nature of Borders

salmon, boundaries, and bandits on the Salish Sea

Lissa K. Wadewitz

The Nature of Borders is about the ecological effects of imposing cultural and political borders on this critical West Coast salmon fishery.

Nikkei in the Pacific Northwest Cover

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Nikkei in the Pacific Northwest

Japanese Americans and Japanese Canadians in the Twentieth Century

edited by Louis Fiset and Gail M. Nomura

Comprised of all-new and original research, this is the first anthology to highlight the contributions and histories of Nikkei within the entire Pacific Northwest, including British Columbia. It focuses on the theme of resistance within Japanese American and Japanese Canadian communities to 20th-century political, cultural, and legal discrimination.

Nisei Soldiers Break Their Silence Cover

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Nisei Soldiers Break Their Silence

Coming Home to Hood River

Linda Tamura

Northwest Lands, Northwest Peoples Cover

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Northwest Lands, Northwest Peoples

Readings in Environmental History

Dale D. Goble

This collection of essays addresses questions of how humans have adapted to the northwestern landscape and modified it over time, and how the changing landscape in turn affected human society, economy, laws, and values.

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Oregon and the Collapse of Illahee

U.S. Empire and the Transformation of an Indigenous World, 1792-1859

Gray H. Whaley

Whaley argues that the process of Oregon's founding is best understood as a contest between the British Empire and a nascent American one, with Oregon's Native people and their lands at the heart of the conflict. He identifies race, republicanism, liberal economics, and violence as the key ideological and practical components of American settler-colonialism. Native peoples faced capriciousness, demographic collapse, and attempted genocide, but they fought to preserve ###Illahee# even as external forces caused the collapse of their world. Whaley's analysis compellingly challenges standard accounts of the quintessential antebellum Promised Land.

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Oregon Archaeology

C. Melvin Aikens, Thomas J. Connolly, and Dennis L. Jenkins

Archaeological research has revealed much about Oregon’s history in the last twenty years. Oregon Archaeology incorporates this new knowledge, telling the story of Native American cultures in Oregon beginning with the earliest evidence of human occupation about 14,000 years ago and continuing into the nineteenth century. It includes selected studies in contact-historic period archaeology to illustrate aspects of first encounters between Native Americans and newcomers of European and Asian heritage, as well as important trends in the development of modern Oregon.

Oregon’s early human history is linked to four of the five major cultural regions of western North America: the Great Basin, the Columbia Plateau, the Northwest Coast, and California. Oregon Archaeology offers a coherent and unified history of an area that is highly differentiated geographically and culturally.

A historical narrative informed by evidence from critical sites, Oregon Archaeology is enriched with maps, photographs, line drawings, and an extensive bibliography. Oregon Archaeology is an essential reference for archaeology professionals and students, and also for general readers interested in Oregon’s Native American culture and history.

Pacific Northwest Cheese Cover

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Pacific Northwest Cheese

A History

Tami Parr

In this rich and engaging history, Tami Parr shows how regional cheesemaking found its way back to the farm. It’s a lively story that begins with the first fur traders in the Pacific Northwest and ends with modern-day small farmers in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.

For years, farmers in the Pacific Northwest made and sold cheese to support themselves, but over time the craft of cheesemaking became a profitable industry and production was consolidated into larger companies and cooperatives. Eventually, few individual cheesemakers were left in the region. In the late sixties and early seventies, influenced by the counterculture and back-to-the-land movements, the number of small farms and cheesemakers began to grow, initiating an artisan cheese renaissance that continues today.

Along with documenting the history of cheese in the region, Parr reveals some of the Pacific Northwest’s untold cheese stories: the fresh cheese made on the Oregon Trail, the region’s thriving blue cheese and regional swiss cheese makers, and the rise of goat’s milk and goat’s milk cheese (not the modern phenomenon many assume it to be).

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Planning Paradise

By Peter A. Walker and Patrick T. Hurley

“Sprawl” is one of the ugliest words in the American political lexicon. Virtually no one wants America’s rural landscapes, farmland, and natural areas to be lost to bland, placeless malls, freeways, and subdivisions. Yet few of America’s fast-growing rural areas have effective rules to limit or contain sprawl.

Oregon is one of the nation’s most celebrated exceptions. In the early 1970s Oregon established the nation’s first and only comprehensive statewide system of land-use planning and largely succeeded in confining residential and commercial growth to urban areas while preserving the state’s rural farmland, forests, and natural areas. Despite repeated political attacks, the state’s planning system remained essentially politically unscathed for three decades. In the early- and mid-2000s, however, the Oregon public appeared disenchanted, voting repeatedly in favor of statewide ballot initiatives that undermined the ability of the state to regulate growth. One of America’s most celebrated “success stories” in the war against sprawl appeared to crumble, inspiring property rights activists in numerous other western states to launch copycat ballot initiatives against land-use regulation.

This is the first book to tell the story of Oregon’s unique land-use planning system from its rise in the early 1970s to its near-death experience in the first decade of the 2000s. Using participant observation and extensive original interviews with key figures on both sides of the state’s land use wars past and present, this book examines the question of how and why a planning system that was once the nation’s most visible and successful example of a comprehensive regulatory approach to preventing runaway sprawl nearly collapsed.

Planning Paradise is tough love for Oregon planning. While admiring much of what the state’s planning system has accomplished, Walker and Hurley believe that scholars, professionals, activists, and citizens engaged in the battle against sprawl would be well advised to think long and deeply about the lessons that the recent struggles of one of America’s most celebrated planning systems may hold for the future of land-use planning in Oregon and beyond.

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