Earl Pomeroy is one of the most influential Western historians of the twentieth century, a scholar whose writings have reconceptionalized the entire discipline. The Pacific Slope, his most ambitious and significant work, synthesizes the history of six western states by examining the historical forces that made the West what it is today. His West is a region of considerable diversity rather than the product of a process of steady and fairly homogeneous settlement, and his focus is on urbanization over rural life and on the West's varied populations of people of color as well as on Euro-American elites. As Pomeroy states in his preface, "conventional emphasis leaves a large part of the story untold, even the story of people who accepted conventions. I have tried to focus on men and events that explain the West as a developing community, emphasizing traits and institutions."