Conquest of the American West: The good, the bad, and the ugly
American Trinity offers New Sprawling History of the American West is Packed with Fresh Insights
In the tradition of Guns, Germs, and Steel, author and cultural historian Dr. Larry Len Peterson explores the politics of hate and racism against the backdrop of Manifest Destiny in American Trinity.
“I had been haunted by the question of who were we as a people and who are we as Americans and a nation,” Dr. Peterson says, “and I believe a nation is defined by the people who create its history.”
Wide-ranging and brimming with fresh insights, American Trinity focuses on how the West was shaped by three implacable forces: Christian imperialism, Thomas Jefferson’s Doctrine of Discovery, and Euro-American hubris as embodied by George Armstrong Custer.
Profiling dozens of notable individuals and cultures and showcasing the “Father of the West,” Thomas Jefferson, and “Son of the West,” George Armstrong Custer, Dr. Peterson presents a deeply insightful study ideal for anyone interested in the American West. “Shining the light on all the dark corners of American history is painful,” he says. “Unfortunately America’s dealing with Native Americans in almost every area of life has been an abject failure.”
However, in examining these failures, American Trinity encourages readers to discover a deeper understanding of our national history and human nature. The painstaking and detailed research collected from multiple academic disciplines yields a formidable compendium that brilliantly illuminates the influences, factors, and forces that culminated in the collision of European and Native American civilizations and the bloody aftermath.
Written in a scholarly style, yet easily accessible, American Trinity emphasizes the tragic history of American Indians, while connecting their treatment to other cultures in prior centuries such as the Jews, enslaved Africans, and beleaguered Christians. “This history is important,” Peterson says. “When there is no knowledge of the past, there cannot be a vision of the future.”
American Trinity (ISBN: 978-1-59152-188-4, $34.95, Larry Len Peterson 2018) is available at local bookstores and gift shops, through online retailers, or from Farcountry Press at 1.800.821.3874, www.farcountrypress.com. You can also purchase American Trinity on Amazon.com here.
About the Author
Larry Len Peterson, recipient of the 2016 C. M. Russell Heritage Award, is an award-winning scientist, physician, cultural historian, and author. Above all, he is a searcher. Peterson grew up in Plentywood on the Great Plains of northeastern Montana.
He graduated from the Oregon Health and Sciences University (OHSU) in Portland and completed an internal medicine internship, a residency in the visual field of dermatology, and a NIH research fellowship. He has published in numerous scientific and medical periodicals, including the prestigious The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Molecular and Cellular Biology and The Journal of Clinical Investigation. Peterson is the recipient of The Henry W. Stelwagon Award (College of Physicians of Philadelphia) and The Sommers Research Award (OHSU) for outstanding scientific research, among many others.
His distinguished biographies include Philip R. Goodwin: America’s Sporting and Wildlife Artist; The Call of the Mountains: The Artists of Glacier National Park; L. A. Huffman: Photographer of the American West; Charles M. Russell: Photographing the Legend, A Biography in Words and Pictures; and John Fery: Artist of Glacier National Park & The American West. He is a member of the Western Writers of America, Western History Association, and Little Big Horn Associates.
He is the recipient of two Western Heritage Awards, the Scriver Award, The High Plains Book Award, and the Will Rogers Gold Medallion Award. Dr. Peterson lives with his wife, LeAnne; two Vizsla dogs, and two horses, on their Spirit of Winter Ranch near Sisters, Oregon.