A lively history of the nineteenth-century American West from the #1 New York Times–bestselling author: “Glorious . . . Do not miss a page.” —Rocky Mountain News
Frontier life, Dee Brown writes, “was hard, unpleasant most of the time,” and “ lacking in almost all amenities or creature comforts.” And yet, tall tales were the genre of the day, and humor, both light and dark, was abundant. In this historical account, Brown examines the aspects of the frontier spirit that would come to assume so central a position in American mythology. Split into sections—“Gambling, Violence, and Merriment,” “Lawyers, Newsmen, and Other Professionals,” and “Misunderstood Minorities—it is mindful in its correction of certain stereotypes of Western life, and is a mesmerizing account of an untamed nation and its wild, resilient settlers. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Dee Brown including rare photos from the author’s personal collection.
In his first nonfiction work since Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee , Brown turns his attention to the social and cultural history of the 19th-century West. Observing certain similarities between the emigrants and Chaucer's pilgrims, he notes that their rates of progress were about the same and that each group had representatives from the trades and professions. Brown describes some famous visitors to the West: grand duke Alexis Romanoff, on a buffalo hunt; Oscar Wilde, wearing a sunflower in his lapel; Horace Greeley. He examines the tall tale and practical jokes played on greenhorns and tenderfeet, noting that the young Teddy Roosevelt, recuperating from respiratory ailments, was the butt of many. Brown writes about frontier lawyers and courtroom theatrics, ministers, schoolteachers, doctors, newspapermen, gold seekers, women, soldiers, actors, cowboys in this vivid portrait of the diverse elements comprising the westward movement. Paperback rights to HarperCollins.