Frederick Jackson Turner: Wisconsin's Historian of the Frontier

By Martin Ridge (editor)

Paperback: $12.95

ISBN: 978-0-87020-246-9

80 pages, 24 b/w photos and illus., 6 x 9"


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Rediscover the best-known and most influential essay by and about the American frontier by renown historian Frederick Jackson Turner (1861-1932), the University of Wisconsin-Madison professor whose famed 1894 "Frontier Thesis" was 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 had a profound impact upon the way Americans view their past, and their place in the world.

This is a book not only for the scholar and teacher (who will find it both useful and incisive), but also for the mythic "general reader" who wants to broaden and enrich his aquaintanceship with Turner and the celebrated Frontier Thesis. In addition to essays by Turner -- and by editor Martin Ridge of The Huntington Library and the late Ray Allen Billington -- the book is illustrated with photos from the Wisconsin Historical Society collections.

Newly reprinted in 2016, these essays will help highlight the importance of the American frontier for a whole new generation of readers.


Martin Ridgewas 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.

Frederick Jackson Turner was an American historianbased at the University of Wisconsin, and later Harvard University, in the early 20th Century who is most remembered for his "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.


Introduction, Martin Ridge

Young Fred Turner, Ray Allen Billington

The Significance of the Frontier in American History, Frederick Jackson Turner

The Significance of History, Frederick Jackson Turner

Bibliographic Note, James P. Danky

Notes to the Text