Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Writer Wednesday: The American West
On Writer Wednesday I discuss another author and his or her book. Today's pick is The American West by Dee Brown.
Like a cowboy riding into the sunset, the American west is full of iconic images that are part legend and part history. In this fascinating book, Brown uncovers the truth behind the decades of the nineteenth century that forged the west.
From the American Civil War to the early 1900s, stories of Native Americans, ranchers and settlers are depicted in this book. Law-men, cattle owners, warriors and peacemakers are some of the colorful figures that populate this story. All areas of life are covered from what houses were made of to what sports were popular.
One interesting point in the book was the origin of the word, "maverick". Maverick was a cattle rancher in Texas who was away from his herd during the Mexican-American War. His herd grew while he was gone and went without branding. Maverick cattle thus wandered the countryside, unbranded, and a new word entered the English language.
The west is a land of dreams and stories, of songs and ambitions. In the story of the west, old ways of life flickered and were tragically swept aside as Native Americans were pushed off their land. In its place, rose a new form of the west, settled into towns and beckoning to the peoples of the world. The west is a land of enchantment, forever being changed. Brown captured the essence of that power and the stories of its people in this book.
My best to you all,