The Road On Which We Came


A History of the Western Shoshone

A hundred forty years ago, the Western Shoshone occupied a vast area of present-day Nevada—from Idaho in the north to Death Valley in the south. Today, the Newe hold a fraction of their former territory, still practicing native lifeways while accepting many aspect of American culture. Their story deserves telling.

The Road on Which We Came is the first comprehensive history of the Great Basin Shoshone. Written by historian Steven Crum, an enrolled tribal member, this book presents the Shoshone as an active force in their own history, effectively adapting to harsh physical environment, defending their territory in the nineteenth century, and working to modify or reject assimilationists policy in the present.

Noting that Native American history did not end with Wounded Knee, Crum gives substantial attention to twentieth-century events up to 1990 and emphasizes that in every period tribal actions can be characterized by a plurality of voices and opinions.

A hundred forty years ago, the Western Shoshone occupied a vast area of present-day Nevada—from Idaho in the north to Death Valley in the south. Today, the Newe hold a fraction of their former territory, still practicing native lifeways while accepting many aspect of American culture. Their story deserves telling.

The Road on Which We Came is the first comprehensive history of the Great Basin Shoshone. Written by historian Steven Crum, an enrolled tribal member, this book presents the Shoshone as an active force in their own history, effectively adapting to harsh physical environment, defending their territory in the nineteenth century, and working to modify or reject assimilationists policy in the present.

Noting that Native American history did not end with Wounded Knee, Crum gives substantial attention to twentieth-century events up to 1990 and emphasizes that in every period tribal actions can be characterized by a plurality of voices and opinions.


Steven J. Crum is professor of Native American Studies at the University of California, Davis.


Praise and Reviews:

"The definitive history of the tribe."—Books of the Southwest


“The first comprehensive history of the Western Shoshone. Historians of the 20th century American West or anyone interested in tribal histories should be satisfied with this solid history.”—Journal of the West

“A definitive history of a people who have never before had an all-inclusive account. Kudos for Crum.”—Utah Historical Quarterly

“A thorough and insightful history of the Newe. Crum’s far-reaching research, especially in twentieth-century documents, reveals rich details about Shoshone experience.”—Western Historical Quarterly

“Intriguing. Sets a new academic standard in Shoshone historical literature. It is well-researched and the incorporation of non-traditional sources such as songs and oral tradition significantly add to its value. Unlike so many accounts of Native-American life, the voice of the Western Shoshone comes through clearly in this book.”—Nevada Historical Society Quarterly

“Refreshing and significant. The research undertaken for the book is deep, comprehensive, and thoroughly documented. The text is well organized and has exceptional clarity. This book is a fine contribution to the now extensive literature on Native Americans, especially with an author who understands the nuances and unique circumstances involved in the history of the Western Shoshone.”—Idaho Yesterdays