"Hell on the Range" by Daniel Justin Herman

Hell on the Range A Story of Honor, Conscience, and the American West Daniel Justin Herman

The Lamar Series in Western History
Publication date:
10 Sep 2013
Yale University Press
400 pages: 229 x 146mm
40 b-w illus.
Sales territories:

In this lively account of Arizona’s Rim Country War of the 1880s—what others have called "The Pleasant Valley War"—historian Daniel Justin Herman explores a web of conflict involving Mormons, Texas cowboys, New Mexican sheepherders, Jewish merchants, and mixed-blood ranchers. Their story, contends Herman, offers a fresh perspective on Western violence, Western identity, and American cultural history.

At the heart of Arizona’s range war, argues Herman, was a conflict between cowboys’ code of honor and Mormons’ code of conscience. He investigates the sources of these attitudes, tracks them into the early twentieth century, and offers rich insights into the roots of American violence and peace.

Published in Cooperation with the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University

Daniel Justin Herman is professor of history at Central Washington University. He lives in Ellensburg, Washington.

"This is a rich, deep, and rewarding work of western history - a genuine contribution to the histories of American violence, society and culture, politics, and economics. Herman's research is nothing less than extraordinary as it taps an especially rich body of personal papers as well as published and unpublished memoirs. It will become a classic in the historiography of the American West."—Durwood Ball, University of New Mexico


“This is a most impressive, well-documented, detailed and essentially interesting study. In Western history studies, it is a real and highly valuable breakthrough.”—Bertram Wyatt-Brown, University of Florida


"An original and provocative contribution to western history. By linking the Rim Country War to the often conflicting demands of honor and conscience, Herman demonstrates how frontier violence continued to shape western identity for generations to come."—Benjamin H. Johnson, author of Revolution in Texas