Intermountain Jewish News

Nov 29th
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Denver history index and The Lumber Baron Inn

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Since 1988, when Phil Goodstein’s first urban history, Denver’s Capitol Hill, was published, the historian has put out some 17 books on various facets of the city’s geographical, ethnic, religious, political and social history.

Taken together, this body of work is a massive and impressive reference — more, one suspects, than any other Denver historian has ever managed to amass. Set side by side, the books take up the greater part of an ordinary bookcase shelf.

The latest addition to that collection, is a cumulative index of all those volumes; a master key, if you will, to the life’s work of this prolific Denver Jewish historian.

Its obvious purpose — to make researching the Goodstein library considerably easier to do — is based on the belief that some of his readers probably have several (or, as in the case of this reviewer, all) of Goodstein’s tomes on the shelf.

The further supposition is that these readers are interested in Denver history and fond of Goodstein’s unique way of exploring and describing that history.

That approach — scholarly, subjective, anarchic, macroscopic, microscopic, misanthropic and muckraking by turns — is an acquired taste, to be sure, but once acquired, hard to resist.

Goodstein’s historical perspectives on the Mile High City may or may not be agreed with by his readers — they might even anger some — but it’s a sure bet that the reader will come away from his books with a keener and deeper understanding of how Denver came into existence and how it came to be the vibrant and distinctive city it is today — and likely have some fun in the process of such learning.

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Last Updated ( Friday, 22 November 2013 05:34 )  

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