To grow up in the American West in the 20th century was to swing between inferiority and hubris. Our history books taught us that all great and elevated events happened back east. We should go there someday and study the monuments. At the same time, there was a sense — an understanding, as it turned out — that the East might be the past but the West was the future. … The Achilles’ heel, the hard ceiling on Western ambitions, was water, and everyone knew it.
-Written by David von Drehle, Washington Post columnist.
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