The West (1996)
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This series chronicles the saga of the American West, tracing the lives of a diverse cast of characters, from explorers, soldiers and Indian warriors to settlers, railroad builders and ... See full summary »


Stephen Ives


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Coyote ... Himself - Narrator (voice)
N. Scott Momaday ... Himself - Writer
T.H. Watkins T.H. Watkins ... Himself - Writer / Historian
J.S. Holliday J.S. Holliday ... Himself - Historian
Richard White Richard White ... Himself - Historian
Michael Dorris Michael Dorris ... Himself - Writer
Jo Allyn Archambault Jo Allyn Archambault ... Herself - Anthropologist
Alfonso Oritz Alfonso Oritz ... Himself - Anthropologist
Rudolfo Anaya Rudolfo Anaya ... Himself - Writer
Mary Armstrong Mary Armstrong ... Herself - Southern Cheyenne
Adrian Bustamante Adrian Bustamante ... Himself - Historian
Dayton Duncan Dayton Duncan ... Himself - Writer
Allen Pinkham Allen Pinkham ... Himself - Nez Perce
Philip Bosco ... Himself (voice)
Tantoo Cardinal ... Herself (voice)


This series chronicles the saga of the American West, tracing the lives of a diverse cast of characters, from explorers, soldiers and Indian warriors to settlers, railroad builders and gaudy showmen, who share their stories in their own words, through diaries, letters and autobiographical accounts. Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

15 September 1996 (USA) See more »

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Did You Know?


Himself - Narrator: The West stretches from the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean, from the north plains to the Rio Grande- more than two million square miles of the most extraordinary landscape on Earth. Its terrain has always beckoned, and repelled. It is a land of almost impenetrable mountain barriers: the Rockies and Wasatch, the Bitterroots and Bighorns, the Sierra Nevada and Sangre de Cristo, the Confusions, the Crazies and the Black Hills. It is a land of rivers: the Colorado and Colombia and Missouri, the ...
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User Reviews

An excellent start.
11 August 2018 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

"The People" is the first episode of the wonderful PBS series "The West". Not surprisingly, the initial portion of the show was a broad overview--mostly about how diverse the natives were in the Americas before the arrival of the Europeans. I really appreciated how the natives were NOT described like they were tree-hugging peacenicks....but instead very different. Some were very peaceful and agrarian, some others were anything but. Later the show discusses the arrival of the Spanish explorers--and some who respected their ways and culture (Cabeza de Vaca*) and others who simply exploited them. Finally, the show jumps 200 years ahead--discussing the Lewis & Clark expedition.

For me, I loved the content of the show. But I did find it a bit confusing how the show jumped so far ahead without even a mention of the English and French in the New World. Yes, I know the show is about the West and the Spanish mostly settled the west, but their choice to never mention them seemed odd and confusing. Still, a perfectly nice first episode...and hopefully they'll only get better.

*Cabeza de Vaca, in Spanish, means 'Cow Head'. I do not understand this odd name. I assume his family came from a town called Vaca...but why name him Cabeza? Was that a thing folks did back in the day??

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