In this readable history, Cayton (The Frontier Republic, Kent State Univ., 1986) traces the development of Indiana from 1700, when the Miami tribe dominated the region, to 1850 and the end of the frontier. While some scholars might quibble with Cayton’s definition and use of the term frontier, he does succeed in producing an enjoyable narrative history of the people who occupied Indiana for 150 years. While not as encompassing as James H. Madison’s Indiana Way (Indiana Univ./Indiana Historical Society, 1986), this title focuses on some of the individuals involved in key aspects of Indiana history. Cayton admits that the people he includes are not necessarily those who played the most pivotal roles but are those about whom there is ample source material. He nonetheless provides a balanced perspective and never lapses into the “great man” notion of history. At times, though, one does lose a sense of the broader context in which some of these individuals lived. For the serious reader, the bibliographic essay is particularly good. Recommended for general readers and academic libraries.
Author: Andrew Cayton
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN-13 Code: 9780253212177