Wisconsin Historical Society Press
Press Release

Rediscover Turner’s Frontier Essays in Society Press Book

The book is illustrated with photos from Wisconsin Historical Society collections.

By - Dec 20th, 2016 09:03 am
Frederick Jackson Turner: Wisconsin's Historian of the Frontier

Frederick Jackson Turner: Wisconsin’s Historian of the Frontier

Rediscover one of the most influential essays by and about the American frontier–the celebrated 1894 “Frontier Thesis” by renowned historian Frederick Jackson Turner (1861-1932), the University of Wisconsin-Madison professor whose celebrated work was the first to suggest how the American national character had been influenced by the freedom of the frontier. The Wisconsin-born historian’s ideas and writings, published in the newly-reprinted Wisconsin Historical Society Press classic Frederick Jackson Turner: Wisconsin’s Historian of the Frontier, continue to have a profound impact upon the way Americans view their past and their place in the world.

In addition to his “Frontier Thesis,” this frontier collection also includes an essay upon which Turner based his thesis, “The Significance of the Frontier in American History,” as well as introductory essays by editor Martin Ridge of The Huntington Library and the late Ray Allen Billington, a historian of the American West. The book is illustrated with photos from Wisconsin Historical Society collections. Newly reprinted in 2016, this collection will highlight the importance of the American frontier for a whole new generation of readers.

Frederick Jackson Turner (1861-1932) was an American historian based at the University of Wisconsin, and later Harvard University, in the early 20th Century who is most remembered for his 1894 “Frontier Thesis,” which drew from his essays on the American frontier like “The Significance of the Frontier in American History.” In his thesis, Turner argued that the moving western frontier shaped American democracy and the American character. Turner died in 1932 but his “Frontier Thesis” is still studied today.

Editor Martin Ridge was a Senior Research Associate at the Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, California — a position first held by Frederick Jackson Turner. He died in 2003.

The Wisconsin Historical Society Press has been publishing the best of Wisconsin history and culture, as part of the Wisconsin Historical Society, since 1855

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