Sacagawea's nickname : essays on the American West


Sacagawea's nickname : essays on the American West

Larry McMurtry

New York Review Books, 2001

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Includes bibliographical references

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For nearly forty years, Larry McMurtry's novels and essays have vividly portrayed the American West. He has explored life on the frontier, in small western towns, and in the increasingly urbanized stretches of what was once open country, with a keen and elegiac eye for the real, the mythical, and the changing and enduring aspects of the landscape. In these essays, all originally published in The New York Review of Books, McMurtry brings his unique sense of the West to bear on a variety of historical and literary topics. Included here are essays on James Wilson's history of the Native Americans, The Earth Shall Weep, and on the Oklahoma historian Angie Debo's early-twentieth-century studies of the Second Dispossession of the Five Civilized Tribes. One essay takes up Zane Grey; another is an appreciation of the insufficiently well-known poet and novelist Janet Lewis. Several deal with the exploration of the West: one is about John Wesley Powell, who led expeditions down the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon; two others treat the Lewis and Clark expedition; another traces travel down the Missouri River before and after Lewis and Clark. And one tries to untangle the web of myth and reality woven by Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley as the West was turning into a subject of public entertainment.

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