DOI link for Introduction
The Cold War was an all-too-real danger, and it was intensively present in the everyday lives of everyday people as Finland teetered between the communist East and the capitalist West. The American West signaled colorful adventure with its Indians, buffalos, cowboys, and gunslingers. John Wayne, Randolph Scott, and Clint Eastwood made a lasting – and, in retrospect, quite possibly harmful – impression on a youngster trying to understand the world and figure out what it meant to become a man. A significant domain of convergence and conquest, the West has been a crossroads of the Atlantic and the Pacific worlds shaped by globe-spanning structured transformations and multidirectional entanglements; initial as a shared world with an international cast and then as a settler colonial project with a globally interwoven history. Frederick Jackson Turner's view of Western history centered on a westbound process where the existence of free land, its continuous recession, and the advancing Anglo settlement explained a profoundly national development.