The West ââ home on the range where the deer and the antelope play; where seldom is heard a discouraging word and the sky is not cloudy all day.â The romantic idea of the land west of the hundredth meridian has often inspired songs and poetry, like this one, about idyllic conditions in this dry âparadise.â Often these ideas did not prove to be completely accurate, and a very few people attempted to present the facts
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his contemporaries would not listen to reason. Their lofty ideals about the romance of the West spread across the nation like wildfire, and the romance still exists today. With the asset of hindsight, Stegner knew the facts about western settlement, and because Powell was one of the few who tried to present these facts to a nation unwilling to listen, he viewed Powell as a hero.
West of the Hundreth Meridian by Wallace Stegner