Dusty road shoot outs, roaming buffalo, bar brawls, gold, tragedy and genocide, damsels in distress, and cowboys riding off into the sunset--the taming of the Western frontier is one of the most colorful and fascinating periods of American history. In this beautifully illustrated and comprehensive book, Bruce Wexler brings the ruggedness of the old American West to life. The Wild West separates fact from the fiction, exposing the myths of the old West, and assesses its cultural impact on the indigenous people, American life, and the American dream--both past and present.
William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody was the most famous American of his age. He claimed to have worked for the Pony Express when only a boy and to have scouted for General George Custer. But what was his real story? And how did a frontiersman become a worldwide celebrity? In this prize-winning biography, acclaimed author Louis S. Warren explains not only how Cody exaggerated his real experience as an army scout and buffalo hunter, but also how that experience inspired him to create the gigantic, traveling spectacle known as Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. A dazzling mix of Indians, cowboys, and vaqueros, they performed on two continents for three decades, offering a surprisingly modern view of the United States and a remarkably democratic version of its history. This definitive biography reveals the genius of America's greatest showman, and the startling history of the American West that drove him and his performers to the world stage.
Albert Jerome Dickson was fourteen years old in 1864 when he left LaCrosse, Wisconsin, in a small caravan of covered wagons headed for Montana Territory. Thousands of emigrants had preceded him on the Oregon Trail, but none ever described the journey in sharper detail. "Covered Wagon Days" recreates the daily progress of Dickson's party, which included his guardians, Joshua and Rebecca Ridgley. The logistics of such a trip, the sights along a trail marked by ruts and fresh graves, the rigors of camping, the encounters with Indians and returning pilgrims and vigilantes running after road agents--all figure in Dickson's memoir. The payoff for the Ridgleys is not the gold being discovered in the mountains near Virginia City but a fine farm in Gallatin Valley. As vivid as any novel about the Oregon Trail and pioneering in the Northwest, "Covered Wagon Days," first published in 1929, is based on journals and materials that were edited by the author's son, Arthur Jerome Dickson.
Harriet Backus writes about her life as an assayer's wife and true pioneer of the West with heart-felt emotion and vivid detail. Sharing her amusing and often challenging experiences as a new bride in the high San Juan Mountains where the Tomboy Mine operated above Telluride, Colorado, she paints a poignant picture of the people, and the life centered around silver mining where most of the book takes place. It is a skillfully written account from a women's perspective in a rough and tumble mining town that has made this book a classic for women's studies. Harriet's life followed her husband George's career which took them many places beyond the San Juan Mountains including the rugged coast of British Columbia, and the mountainous mining town of Elk City, Idaho and back to Colorado's Leadville. Although both Hattie and George were from the San Francisco bay area where they eventually retired, her heart never quite left the rugged mountain trails of the high San Juans of Colorado.
One of the great works of American exploration literature, this account of a scientific expedition forced to survive famine, attacks, mutiny, and some of the most dangerous rapids known to man remains as fresh and exciting today as it was in 1874.The Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons, recently ranked number four on Adventure magazine's list of top 100 classics, is legendary pioneer John Wesley Powell's first-person account of his crew's unprecedented odyssey along the Green and Colorado Rivers and through the Grand Canyon. A bold foray into the heart of the American West's final frontier, the expedition was achieved without benefit of modern river-running equipment, supplies, or a firm sense of the region's perilous topography and the attitudes of the native inhabitants towards whites. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
The most complete exploration of the controversial cultural history and natural history of bison. Hear the astonishing tale of a brutal war and the comeback of the century. Nature Book Society selection.
From a rediscovered collection of autobiographical accounts written by hundreds of Kansas pioneer women in the early twentieth century, Joanna Stratton has created a collection hailed by Newsweek as "uncommonly interesting" and "a remarkable distillation of primary sources."Never before has there been such a detailed record of women's courage, such a living portrait of the women who civilized the American frontier. Here are their stories: wilderness mothers, schoolmarms, Indian squaws, immigrants, homesteaders, and circuit riders. Their personal recollections of prairie fires, locust plagues, cowboy shootouts, Indian raids, and blizzards on the plains vividly reveal the drama, danger and excitement of the pioneer experience. These were women of relentless determination, whose tenacity helped them to conquer loneliness and privation. Their work was the work of survival, it demanded as much from them as from their men--and at last that partnership has been recognized. "These voices are haunting" (The New York Times Book Review), and they reveal the special heroism and industriousness of pioneer women as never before.