The Contested Plains, by Elliot West, didn"t read much like a story about Colorado, instead it read more like a biography. The book goes into much detail to describe the hardships and the developments that helped create the Centennial State. The book painted a picture for the reader that showed the step-by-step process of how Colorado received its notability over a period of time and not instantaneously. .
West's novel read very easily due to the specific examples he used and the way he defined of terms. It was a little confusing because the story did not follow precise chronological order, which made it tougher to understand. West jumped from one event that occurred to a totally different even that had occurred previously. He did, however, relate to past events in order to help him describe a particular current event, which helped me understand it. I felt this book is a strong source to use for researching the history of Colorado due to its wide list on the bibliography. It was obvious to tell the amount of research that West put into the novel, which led to accurate descriptions, and explains the number of awards that he has received for it. .
If I just picked up this book and started reading it I would not have understood it as good I do now by taking History of Colorado. I was able to recognize a number of events, people, geographic locations, and topics that we have discussed in class. Some of the names that were mentioned were the Turk, the untrusting Indian; William Bent, the founder of Bent's Fort and a vulnerable trader, and Col. Edwin Sumner, a powerful leader. Some of the events that we have discussed, being Zebulon Pike's great encounter with an over-sized peak, Coronado's meetings with various groups of Indians, and even the Colorado Gold Rush, appeared in the novel. .
Today, we are amazed when we see high technology that we never have seen before and amazed at the new inventions being made available to us daily.