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A most significant phase of our national expansion, it has always been recognized, was the social development of the West resulting from railroad colonization. Burlington West not only strikingly confirms this fact, but suggests that a reappraisal of the role of the land grant railways may be necessary. Richard Overton, who has made full use of a tremendous amount of archival material, presents the story of the Burlington’s colonization against a background of the system’s general history. Although his volume covers the period 1850 to 1940, he has laid special emphasis on the years between 1852 and 1883 when the Burlington did most of its colonization work. His book presents a vivid account of one of the most important steps in the winning of the West.