Out Where the West Begins
American History, Biographies, Book Review, Business, Historical Nonfiction, Nonfiction

Out Where the West Begins: Profiles, Visions, and Strategies of Early Western Business Leaders, Vol. 1 by Philip F. Anschutz


For America, the period of 1800 to 1920 was an unparalleled time of broad expansion and growth driven by extraordinary factors unlike almost any other in history. It was a period of empire building and empire builders. The risks are high, but then too, the opportunities and rewards were high as well. The men in this book made a lasting impact on the American West.

I chose to review this book because I love to read about history and I found it contains more than just the oil barons, robber barons and well-known entrepreneurs and businessmen. I was fascinated by the many unknowns (to me) who made not one, but several innovative changes to the American West.

The book is separated into 7 sections with colorful hand-painted images of the American West: Early Trade and Commerce, Agriculture and Livestock, Railroads and Transportation, Mineral Extraction, Manufacturing, Finance and Banking, and Entertainment and Communication.  Under these sections are short chapters, about 6-12 pages long, with a photo of the man being covered.  Citations are listed at the end of each chapter and there is a very thorough index listed in the back.

Along with the men’s great accomplishments in the period of 1800 to 1920, readers can find out who created revolving credit and money-back guarantees, who created the first chuck wagon, who started the Bank of America, who created the first chain restaurant, and who was the father of Universal Studios.

These men were Quakers, orphans, abolitionists, butchers, farmers, educators, and miners. Some started with nothing and some were born into wealth. Some were ruthless and unscrupulous and some were generous and honorable. The things they had in common were their innovative minds and unwavering drive to conquer and improve the American West.

I enjoyed this very informative and well-organized historical biography.  If you love American history and the men who overcame the odds and achieved greatness and notoriety, give this book a try.  Highly recommend.

Thank you to Mr. Anschutz and The University of Oklahoma Press for giving me the opportunity to review this book with no expectation of a positive review given.

More information can be found on the website.

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Philip F. Anschutz is an American entrepreneur who owns many companies in a variety of industries, including energy, railroads, real estate, sports, newspapers, movies, theaters, arenas, and music. 

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