The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Old West

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9780028629452: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Old West

You're no idiot, of course. You know that Annie Oakley, Calamity Jane, ane Belle Star could shoot'em up just as well as Wild Bill Hickok, Jesse James, and Buffalo Bill Cody. But when it comes to saddling up and learning the entire history of the Old West, you feel like one tired cowpoke. Don't hang up your spurs just yet! The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Old West presents a vivid panorama of American history, from the earliest settlers to the cowboys' final sunset. In this Complete Idiot's Guide, you get:

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From the Author:

HOW THE WEST WAS REAL
The story of the Old West is often referred to as "How the West Was Won," or even "How the West Was Lost." It is a saga that encompasses many themes, including the expansion of America, the struggle between the original and subsequent inhabitants, and an almost instantaneous change that came over an entire region.

To tell it, we'll start a very long time ago with the original mammoth hunters, and work our way across the region with the conquistadors, explorers, pioneers, and trail bosses. We'll smell the gunsmoke on the streets of Tombstone, duck while the bullets and arrows fly at the Little Bighorn, mourn the losses at Sand Creek, Wounded Knee, and other places, and cheer a wide range of signature personalities from Buffalo Bill to Geronimo. Most of all, we will stand in awe over how much happened in so little a span of time.

You may assume the Old West has been left behind, but it hasn't. The trouble is, like most subjects that are over fifteen minutes old, many details have been lost along the way. In the rush to glamorize and standardize the West, a lot of truth got scattered with the tumbleweeds. That's the main reason for this book.

Take the Old West out of our lives and you carve out a good sized huge chunk of cultural real estate, even more than what President Jefferson got from Napoleon in history's biggest international bailout.

Without the Old West, you also lose a lot of American tradition, like cowboy hats, backyard barbecues, and country and western music. You lose that beautiful turquoise jewelry, some shoot-em-up John Wayne and Clint Eastwood movies, the sport of rodeo, the books of Louis L'Amour, the artistic impressions of many including of R. C. Gorman, Georgia O'Keefe, Frederic Remington, juicy steaks, and denim blue jeans. And, you have to think up some new names for the Denver Broncos, San Diego Padres, Kansas City Chiefs, San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Indians, and Dallas Cowboys.

The Old West left a deep, identifying brand on us in ways that many don't even realize. The images of cowboys and Native Americans are recognized world wide as defining symbols of America. The legacies left by this hurricane of an era are a part of our culture that tells a lot about who and what we are. And those are fairly big boots to fill, pardner.

Happy Trails, Mike Flanagan

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Flanagan, Mike
Published by Alpha (1999)
ISBN 10: 0028629450 ISBN 13: 9780028629452
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