Oregon’s Promise: An Interpretive History

David Peterson del Mar
$19.95

A concise and compelling general history, Oregon’s Promise explores familiar and neglected people and movements in the state’s history, while challenging readers to view Oregon’s past, present, and future in a new way.

The first new history of Oregon to appear in twenty-five years, Oregon’s Promise spans the period from that of the region's earliest inhabitants to the present. Praised as a “People’s History of Oregon,” the book is concerned with the events that most profoundly affected the everyday lives of ordinary Oregonians. The words “Oregon history” conjure up images of Lewis and Clark and rugged pioneers. In Oregon’s Promise, David Peterson del Mar shows that the explorers’ impact was both different from and less significant than commonly assumed, and that the state’s settlers were much more varied, contentious, complicated, and interesting than conventional heroic stereotypes would suggest. The book’s many themes revolve around Peterson del Mar’s consideration of how Oregonians have attempted to build a prosperous and just society. He examines both the traditional center of Oregon history and its often overlooked margins-the people who have struggled to be included in Oregon’s promise. Each chapter includes brief biographies of noteworthy Oregonians. The author is both a respected historian and an engaging writer, with a talent for explaining Oregon’s past in a way that will appeal to all readers, from natives to newcomers, from students to scholars.