"Creative, thoughtful, and compelling, How to Read the American West makes the reader think in new ways about the everyday landscape. It shows a deep and thoughtful knowledge of the diversity of the West, and the engaging 'eye' at work throughout is both trustworthy and provocative. While most books ask you to engage primarily with the book, this book gets readers to engage with the landscape itself. The author has true expertise, but rather than providing all the answers and connections, he pushes readers to develop their own expertise and command of western landscapes."
-Kathryn Morse, author of The Nature of Gold
"I don't think there has ever been a field guide quite like this one. Created by one of the leading historical geographers in the United States and drawing on his far-flung travels and his skills as a photographer, it is a truly comprehensive guide to the American West."
"Every coordinate on the landscape is much more than an intersection of longitude and latitude: it is a unique location representing the confluence of geography and geology, natural history and-probably most importantly-human history. With its awe-inspiring canyons and imposing mountains, its mesmerizing distances and daunting deserts, the American West has been a meeting ground for diverse populations, a dreamscape upon which one group after another has left its distinctive mark. Across this vast terrain of time and space, William Wyckoff has uncovered patterns in the land and the people who have populated it-and produced this handy field guide for those of us who choose to follow him."
"[Wyckoff] encourages us to see with fresh eyes even as we're barreling down the interstate - to remember to think about the role of time in shaping a landscape, as well as the role of water. He asks us to think about who controls the landscape, and how these places have been shaped by different human interventions. . . . [How to Read the American West] is a marvelous springtime tonic for wanderlust and a wonderful invitation to see our surroundings in a new light."
-Barbara Lloyd McMichael, Bellingham Herald
"A field guide unlike any other, with a focus on patterns, variations and the distribution of landscape features....it draws attention to eco-tones, watersheds, settlement patterns and corridors of connection...ultimately, it considers our grip on the land and the land's grip on us."
-Michael Engelhard, High Country News
"If you like to travel the American West, put this book on your holiday gift list...even the experienced Western traveler will come away with new ways to look at familiar places."
-Carl Abbott, Oregon Historical Quarterly