William WeiJul 20, 2023
The Centennial State in 100 Objects
University Press of Colorado 2021
In Becoming Colorado: The Centennial State in 100 Objects (UP of Colorado, 2021), historian William Wei paints a vivid portrait of Colorado history using 100 of the most compelling artifacts from Colorado’s history. These objects reveal how Colorado has evolved over time, allowing readers to draw multiple connections among periods, places, and people. Collectively, the essays offer a treasure trove of historical insight and unforgettable detail.
Beginning with Indigenous people and ending in the early years of the twenty-first century, Wei traces Colorado’s story by taking a close look at unique artifacts that bring to life the cultures and experiences of its people. For each object, a short essay accompanies a full-color photograph. These accessible accounts tell the human stories behind the artifacts, illuminating each object’s importance to the people who used it and its role in forming Colorado’s culture. Together, they show how Colorado was shaped and how Coloradans became the people they are. Theirs is a story of survival, perseverance, enterprise, and luck.
Providing a fresh lens through which to view Colorado’s past, Becoming Colorado tells an inclusive story of the Indigenous and the immigrant, the famous and the unknown, the vocal and the voiceless—for they are all Coloradans.
William Wei is professor of history at the University of Colorado Boulder. His major works include Counterrevolution in China: The Nationalists in Jiangxi during the Soviet Period, The Asian American Movement, and Asians in Colorado. Wei has held a Rockefeller Fellowship, Mellon Fellowship, and Fulbright-Hays Fellowship and was the 2019–2020 Colorado State Historian.
Daniel Moran earned his B.A. and M.A. in English from Rutgers University and his Ph.D. in History from Drew University. The author of Creating Flannery O’Connor: Her Critics, Her Publishers, Her Readers, he teaches research and writing at Rutgers and co-hosts the podcast Fifteen Minute Film Fanatics, here on the New Books Network.