This paper will be a critical analysis of Charles W. Bailey's The Land Was Ours. The paper will focus on many points of critical analysis; however, the main focus will be historical. This paper will cover such areas as why the author may have written the book, historical validity, plot and style.
The book covers the turbulent period in America during the agrarian to industrial transformation with ample scope and validity. A thorough knowledge of the past is what will make people develop into well-rounded and admirable citizens. This book shows that many people, such as Franklin Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt and William Jennings Bryan were in part so well-rounded because of their thorough knowledge of history. Instead of being closed-minded individuals who based their actions on only their era's knowledge, they used the mistakes and victories of history to allow them to make better decisions for the present and future.
In Bailey's book, which chronicles the end of the agrarian era, readers get a picture of people who were tougher in character because necessity demanded it. Readers see in the final words of Dan Woods a wisdom that only historical perspective can instill. In bemoaning his own failed attempts, he is reminded by a friend that his experience is invaluable. Dan Woods' thoughts at this point reveal the very essence of America's true builders during the Great Plains era:
"He's right," Dan thought, "because they weren't there. They never saw their fathers struggle with a new country and fail. They never spent a winter in a sod house. They never watched grasshoppers eat the crops and drought crack the earthá.á.á.áJust like our politics, they blazed up, they lit the countryside--if only for a moment. They had to be strong just to survive and that carried over into politics. We were strong enough to make our mark. We had bigger men, we had more influence than we had votes and we hit on the right ideas befo...