This book on Colorado is part of the `The States and the Nation" series, published as part of the 1976 bicentennial celebration. Like the rest of the books in this series this one provides a capsule (200-page) history of the state. Being only 200 pages long and covering the period from the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 to 1976 (with a few pages on the earlier Spanish history of the region), the story can only be briefly told. The book contains two maps, one which shows the major cities and rivers and another which shows the peaks and passes of the Colorado Rockies. Both are single-page, with sharp line drawings, but since the book is only 5x8 inches the print is quite small (I needed a magnifying glass to clearly read the names of the peaks and passes). It should also be noted that the book was written in 1976, so it does not cover the most recent history of the state.
As a new resident of Colorado I found the book very enlightening. I learned of the early pioneers and politicians whose names grace Colorado's streets and cities. I learned quite a bit about the geography of the state, its perennial water problems and the many solutions to the problems of getting water to where it is needed. I learned of the various clashes that shaped the state - those between Indians and White Settlers, those who raised Cattle versus those who raised Sheep and those who raised crops, of mining interests versus environmentalists. I learned how the prices of silver, gold, coal and later molybdenum and uranium shaped the economic fortunes of the state, how federal programs (for national forests and parks, and military bases) shaped the state and how WWII and helped create the ski industry. All of this is told in a clear and very readable style. This is not a great work of literature, nor was it meant to be. It was meant to be a readable capsule history of Colorado and in this it succeeds admirably.