"If you want to get the most out of How to Read the American West, please wander its pages in a spirit of play, much as you would the landscape itself.... Once you can identify the various features that William Wyckoff puts before you in these pages, you'll be well on your way to reading the western landscape for yourself, with endless stories waiting to be discovered wherever you look."
-William Cronon, From the foreword
"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."
"[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."
"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
"William Wyckoff, a professor of geography at Montana State University and talented photographer, has created a strange, fascinating and often humorous book that surveys our modern American landscape, both natural and human-built."
-Christian Martin, Cascadia Weekly
"[V]isually delightful and intellectually informative....[A] truly outstanding field guide to the American West."
-J. Clark Archer, Montana: The Magazine of Western History
"...a lavish coverage of western landscapes that will trigger remembrance of past place visits, and spur an almost inescapable urge to find competing views in scanned 35 mm slides or among recent images gone straight-to-digital... And the text here is fully equal to the visuals. Just in case you haven't yet guessed, I'm going to tell you that Bill Wyckoff's new book, a field guide explaining in delicious detail 'how to read the American West,' is a movable feast of narrative and landscape elucidation...So get thee into the field. Bring this book with you."
-Paul F. Starss, The Geographic Review
"I will not hide my fandom of this book. . . . The text is clear, descriptive, and appropriately analytical for a wide audience, thus making it equally useful in the classroom. The full color pictures are gorgeous. . . . [B]elongs on the shelf of any scholar, amateur or professional, with interests in the western half of this country."
-Chris W. Post, Historical Geography