WHY THE WEST WAS WILD by Wayne Swanson

WHY THE WEST WAS WILD

Age Range: 9 - 11

KIRKUS REVIEW

Swanson invites readers to return to those thrilling days of yesteryear when “pioneers” hot for gold or land invaded the “untamed lands in the West,” drove fierce, faceless “Natives” into submission, transformed into cowboys or badmen (or both), and proceeded to either drink and gamble their meager wages away in saloons frequented by “hurdy-girls,” or to be strung up by vigilantes. Illustrated with a mix of melodramatic Charles Russell paintings and oddly sedate old photos, here is the Myth of the Wild West at its most romanticized—or nearly so, as the author does at least refer to female non-floozies, African-Americans, and racism. Readers after a truer picture would do better to decline his invitation in favor of studies closer to primary sources, such as Michael V. Uschan’s Westward Expansion (2001) or Russell Freedman’s Cowboys of the Wild West (1985). (Nonfiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2004
ISBN: 1-55037-837-6
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Annick Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2004




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