Stephen Aron

Executive Director, Institute for the Study of the American West, Autry National Center.






Fields of interest: North American Frontiers and American West; Early National U.S.

Education: Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, 1990



American Confluence: The Missouri Frontier from Borderland to Border State (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006).

Worlds Together, Worlds Apart: A History of the Modern World from the Mongol Empire to the Present, coauthored by Jeremy Adelman, Steve Kotkin, Suzanne Marchand, Gyan Prakash, Robert Tignor and Michael Tsin (New York: W.W. Norton, 2002).

Trading Cultures: The Worlds of Western Merchants, co-edited with Jeremy Adelman (Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols for the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies, Princeton University, 2001).

How the West Was Lost: The Transformation of Kentucky from Daniel Boone to Henry Clay (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996; paperback edition, 1999).





“Jewish Los Angeles in the Making: The Early Pioneer Merchants and Bankers,” in David W. Epstein and Gladys Sturman, eds., Pioneer Jews of Los Angeles in the Nineteenth Century: A Special Archival Issue of Western States Jewish History, 38 (Spring/Summer 2006), 1-2.

Returning the West to the World,” OAH Magazine of History, 20 (March 2006), 53-60. (To be reprinted in Gary Reichard, ed., America on the World Stage (Urbana: University of Illinois Press for the Organization of American Historians, forthcoming in 2007).

“The Western Man in the Eastern Parlor: Alfred Bush and the Princeton Collections of Western Americana,” Princeton University Library Chronicle, 67 (Winter 2006), 221-224.

What’s West, What’s Next,” OAH Magazine of History, 19 (November 2005), 22-25.

“The Meetings of Peoples and Empires at the Confluence of the Missouri, Ohio, and Mississippi Rivers,” in Bradley J. Parker and Lars Rodseth, eds., Untaming the Frontier in Anthropology, Archaeology, and History (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2005), 174-202.

“The Afterlives of Lewis and Clark,” Southern California Quarterly, 87 (Spring 2005), 27-46; reprinted in abridged and revised form as “Lewis and Clark and the Indians: The Rest of the Story,” Convergence, 3 (Winter 2006), 18-23; reprinted in Jacqueline Jones, ed., Best American History Essays, 2007 (New York: Palgrave for the Organization of American Historians, forthcoming).

“The Western Forum: Of Past and Presentism,” Journal of the West, 43 (Summer 2004), 3-4.

          “Rediscovering Lewis and Clark,” Convergence, 1 (Summer 2004), 12-15.

“The Making of the First American West and the Unmaking of Other Realms,” in William Deverell, ed., A Companion to the American West (Boston: Blackwell Publishers, 2004), 5-24.

“The Next Western History,” Western Historical Quarterly, 33 (Autumn 2002), 337-341.

Continental Visions,” Common-place, 3 (October 2002).

“Trading Culture: The Worlds of Western Merchants” (coauthored by Jeremy Adelman), in Jeremy Adelman and Stephen Aron, eds., Trading Cultures: The Worlds of Western Merchants (Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols for the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies, 2001), 1-6.

“The American West Reprised, Revised, and Revived,” Reviews in American History, 28  (June 2000), 245-250.

“Of Lively Exchanges and Larger Perspectives: Forum Essay: Responses to Borders and Borderlands” (coauthored by Jeremy Adelman), American Historical Review, 104 (October 1999), 1235-1239.

“Daniel Boone and the Struggle for Independence on the Revolutionary Frontier,” in Ian Steele and Nancy Rhoden, eds., The Human Tradition in the American Revolution (Wilmington: Scholarly Resources, 1999), 139-157.

“From Borderlands to Borders: Empires, Nation-States, and the Peoples in Between in North American History” (coauthored by Jeremy Adelman), American Historical Review, 104 (June 1999), 814-841; reprinted with chapters from Richard White’s The Middle Ground and Eric Wolf’s Europe and the People without History in Michael MacDonald, ed., “Contributions to Theory and Theme,” Cultural Configurations: Ethnic Relations and Power.

“'The Poor Men to Starve': The Lives and Times of Workingmen in Early Lexington,” in Craig Friend, ed., "The Buzzel about Kentuck": Settling the Promised Land (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1999), 174-193.

“Renewing the History of Kentucky,” Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, 96 (Summer 1998), 307-314.

“Pigs and Hunters: 'Rights in the Woods' on the Trans-Appalachian Frontier,” in Andrew Cayton and Fredrika Teute, eds., Contact Points: American Frontiers from the Mohawk Valley to the Mississippi, 1750-1830 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press for the       Institute of Early American History and Culture, 1998), 175-204.

“The Legacy of Daniel Boone: Three Generations of Boones and the History of Indian-White Relations,” Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, 95 (Summer 1997), 219-235.

“'The West' as America,” Perspectives: American Historical Association Newsletter, 34 (September 1996), 1, 7-10.

“Lessons in Conquest: Towards a Greater Western History,” Pacific Historical Review, 63 (May 1994), 125-147; reprinted in Gordon Morris Bakken and Brenda Farrington, eds., The American West: Volume I: Where Is the West? (Hamden, CT: Garland Publishing, 2001), 79-102.

“The Significance of the Frontier in the Transition to Capitalism,” in Christopher Clark, ed., “The Transition to Capitalism in America: A Panel Discussion,” The History Teacher, 27 (May 1994), 263-288.

“The Significance of the Kentucky Frontier,” Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, 91 (Summer 1993), 298-323.

          “The Backcountry Frontier,” Reviews in American History, 21 (March 1993), 31-36.

“Pioneers and Profiteers: Land Speculation and the Homestead Ethic in Frontier Kentucky,” Western Historical Quarterly, 23 (May 1992), 179-198.





A book that explores the role of the horse in the convergence of cultures on North American frontiers and in the making of American West.

A book that examines the history of American westward expansion through the lives of the children and grandchildren of Daniel Boone.

Jewish Los Angeles (publications and museum exhibition project supervised in conjunction with David Myers).

          The Autry History of the American West (General editor of projected six volume series).


Recent Courses Taught

History 13B: Nineteenth-Century America
History 99: North American Frontiers
History 99: California Frontiers
History 201: Frontiers, Borderlands, Wests
History 162: "History of the American West"
History 163: "History of California"
History 201: "Readings in California History"
History 263A-B, Fall '97/Winter '98: "Frontier and Western History"
History 263A-B, Fall '01/Winter '01: "Frontier and Western History"
History 263A-B, Fall '06/Winter '07: "American Frontiers, Borderlands, and Wests"





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