THE OLD WEST IN FACT by Irwin R.  Ed.

THE OLD WEST IN FACT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Unlike most Western anthologies, this fine collection, companion-piece to the same editor's The Wet in Fiction, pays less attention to frontier violence than to personal records of the West as it was before paperbacks and TV turned it into a never-never land. Beginning with James Clyman's hair- raising experiences on his ""trip in and through the Rockey Mountains"" with the Ashley-Henry expeditions, 1823-29, it ends with an extract from ""the most important single document in American historiography"", Turner's The Significance of the Frontier in American History"". Except in a few instances the excerpts are taken from first hand records: Gregg's unsurpassed account of the Santa Fe trail in the of the , Parkman's Oregon Trail; Mark Twain's Roughing It; Louise Clappe's almost unknown letters from a California gold-camp in 1851-52; Keseberg's story of his part in the Donner tragedy, etc. Pat Garrett's account of his killing of Billy the Kid goes side by side with Gillett's story of the death of Sam Bass -- the only instances of violent killings in the book; ""Teddy Blue"" Abbott's fine account of cowboy life in the 188's is paired with Siringe's Cowboy, here given in its entirety. There is far more in the book than the titles here given; one of the best things in it, for any student of the West, is its Note, for a Reader's Bibliography. Edited by an authority on the Old West, this outstanding collection should form an excellent outside reading text for classes in Western history, and will appeal to scholars, teachers, students, and to those literate Western buffs who prefer historical accuracy to souped-up fiction.

Pub Date: May 4th, 1962
Publisher: Obolensky