In thirteen well-illustrated essays, Images of an American Land tells the story of the building of the American West and of the edifices that are as much a part of the history of the region as the people who built them. Organized in sequence according to central themes in the history of the West, the collection begins with two essays that describe the cultural connections between East and West during the late nineteenth century. The next two essays place American building forms in their western context, emphasizing the distinctive regional qualities of the buildings and the lifeways they represent.
The third pair of essays highlights the fact that in settling the West, Americans had to brush aside existing populations, often with serious ramifications for the displaced. Other essays focus on various ethnic groups and women and the exploitation of resources as a significant facet of western architectural development -- and the effect of such exploitation on the western landscape.