Peace and Friendship: An Alternative History of the American West by Stephen Aron
Featuring well-known figures such as Daniel Boone, William Clark, and Wyatt Earp, Peace and Friendship highlights locales where unexpectedly peaceful relations occurred, examining the particular circumstances that gave way to concord. These instances of peace may not have been long-lived, but what is critical is that the mainstream history of conflict and the alternative history of concord play out on the same historical plain (or plane). Take, for example, the shaky cohabitation that occurred in the Clatsop encampment, the terminal point of Lewis and Clark's westward expedition. The peace with the Clatsop tribe would not last, as the friendships and alliances struck up were forged in the interest of commercial advantage and survival, and eventually ended in theft. But examining the instance of cohabitation itself deepens our understanding of how the West came to be: through colonization, violence, misunderstanding, and, surprisingly, at times, peace.
About the Author
Stephen Aron is Professor Emeritus of History at UCLA and President and CEO of the Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles. He is the author of The American West: A Very Short Introduction, How the West Was Lost: The Transformation of Kentucky from Daniel Boone to Henry Clay and American Confluence: The Missouri Frontier from Borderland to Border State, the co-author of Worlds Together, Worlds Apart: A History of the World from the Beginnings of Humankind to the Present, and the co-editor of Trading Cultures: The Worlds of Western Merchants.
Published by Oxford University Press, 2022. Hardback, 320 pages.