John Wayne: American

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9780029238370: John Wayne: American

Based on over five years of interview and archival research, John Wayne: American explains the appeal of Wayne's abiding Americanness. Indeed, we cannot understand America itself without understanding John Wayne. Born in a dyed-in-the-wool Republican town in Iowa, a football star and student leader, and a scholarship boy at USC, Wayne went to Hollywood because it was the truest meritocracy in America, the one place where his lack of wealth and connections could not hurt him. After spending the first decade of his career on Poverty Row, he emerged as a star in Stagecoach. But it was during World War II that Wayne - and America - emerged as superpowers. Wayne came to politics reluctantly, joining the mainstream of America in its confrontation with communism - and maintaining his opposition ever since. At heart, however, Wayne was a nonideological conservative. He loved his freedom, his friends, his women, and his booze. He believed in simple justice, and common decency, and he will always be beloved as a result.

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Review:

"Writing in a plain-spoken style that avoids both fanzine and academic cant, the authors nicely retell the story of Wayne's relationship with John Ford, the director most responsible for setting him apart from the gunslinging crowd."-New York Times Book Review

About the Author:

Randy Roberts, a professor of history at Purdue University, is the author of "Papa Jack: Jack Johnson and the Era of White Hopes." James S. Olson, a professor of history at Sam Houston State University, is the author of "The Ethnic Dimension in American History."

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