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A Message From the Sponsor

General Motors Mark of Excellence

The men and women of General Motors are proud to join Ken Burns and Stephen Ives in bringing you THE WEST, an eight-part documentary journey through the boundless landscape that has been a proving ground for our character as a nation. We believe this landmark television series offers a valuable resource for teaching and learning about the rich history of this region, and to complement the series, we have pioneered a new dimension in our educational outreach efforts by creating this comprehensive World Wide Web site dedicated to research on the American West.

Called New Perspectives on THE WEST, the site provides students, teachers and others with direct access to many of the diaries, memoirs, journals, maps and archival photos that have gone into the making of THE WEST, enabling visitors to examine these sources of our Western heritage firsthand and to join the filmmakers in discovering new perspectives on this still vital part of our past.

In THE WEST, Ken Burns and Stephen Ives have teamed up with a host of eminent historians to bring us a broad cross-section of the many stories that give meaning to this region. Their film includes stories of the Native American experience, from the era before Europeans appeared on the landscape to the tragic days of Sand Creek, Washita and Wounded Knee; stories of the Spanish West, from the times of the conquistadors' expeditions to the emergence of the barrio as an enclave of cultural traditions; pioneer stories from the Oregon Trail and the Mormon Exodus; war stories from San Jacinto and Lawrence, Kansas; stories of miners and missionaries, ranchers and railroaders, educators and industrialists. It is a chronicle that captures all the grandeur of the West and all the energy of its people, and one that probes the conflicting visions and competing values that made an American nation on this vast land.

At General Motors we consider it our mission to share the American experience through television programming that portrays our nation's history, culture and ideals in an educational and entertaining manner. For this reason we are delighted to support THE WEST, which continues a decade-long relationship between General Motors and Ken Burns that has included both his Emmy Award-winning documentary series, THE CIVIL WAR, and his epic of our national pastime, BASEBALL. We are pleased to be the sole corporate underwriter of THE WEST and to designate it a "General Motors Mark of Excellence Presentation."

We hope you will return often to revisit THE WEST through this web site and continue the journey of discovery across this unique historical landscape on your own.

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