The Old Booksmith


Migration: Basic Sources

(in order of usefulness)






Turner, Frederick Jackson. "The Significance of the Frontier in American History." [many editions!] {Basic, essential reading in this subject by one of the most influential thinkers in American history.}

Billington, Ray Allen. The American Frontier Thesis: Attack and Defense. NY: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1966. {Excellent survey of major arguments for and against Turner.}

Billington, Ray Allen. The Frontier Thesis: Valid Interpretation of American History? NY: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1966.

Putnam, Jackson K. "The Turner Thesis and the Westward Movement: a Reappraisal." Western Historical Quarterly 7 (October 1976).

Mattson, Vernon E. & William E. Marion. Frederick Jackson Turner: a Reference Guide. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1985.

Weber, David J. "Turner, the Boltonians, and the Borderlands." American Historical Review 91 (February 1986): 66-82.

Bogue, Allan G. Frederick Jackson Turner: Strange Roads Going Down. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1998. {Excellent up-to-date survey of Turner-related revisionism.}




Billington, Ray Allen. Westward Expansion: a History of the American Frontier. 5th ed. NY: Macmillan, 1982. [Includes a 159-page bibliographical essay.] {Best overall introduction to the broader subject, with much attention given to settlement patterns and routes.}

Atwood, Wallace W. The Physiographic Provinces of North America. Boston: Ginn, 1940. {Still the standard work.}

White, C. Langdon & Edwin J. Foscue. Regional Geography of North America. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1943. {Still a standard work & a good supplement to Atwood.}

Van Minnen, Cornelius A. & Sylvia L. Hilton (eds). Nation on the Move: Mobility in U.S. History. Amsterdam: VU University Press, 2002.