The Frontier in American Culture
Examine how stories and images of the frontier and the settling of the West has shaped American identity and values. This reading list was developed for “The Frontier in American Culture,” a traveling exhibition to public and academic libraries based on an exhibition of same name presented at the Newberry Library in Chicago and funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The exhibition used two conflicting stories about the settling of the West—historian Frederick Jackson Turner’s account of free land and peaceful settlement, and Buffalo Bill Cody’s depiction in his Wild West Shows of bloody conflict and violent confrontation—to explore this theme. A third perspective is that of the Indians, who were virtually ignored by Turner and demonized by Cody.
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Berger, Thomas. Little Big Man (New York: Fawcett Crest Books, 1964).
Dippie, Brian. Custer’s last Stand: The Anatomy of an American Myth (Missoula: University of Montana Press, 1976).
Faragher, John. Daniel Boone: The Life and Legend of an American Pioneer (New York: Henry Holt, 1992).
Hutton, Paul. “Correct in Every Detail: General Custer in Hollywood,” in Montana; The Magazine of Western History 41 (Winter 1991), pp. 28-57.
Limerick, Patricia Nelson. The Legend of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West (New York: Norton, 1987).
McMurtry, Larry. Lonesome Dove (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1998).
Miller, Darlis A. Captain Jack Crawford: Buckskin Poet, Scout and Showman (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1993).
Riley, Glenda. The Life and Legend of Annie Oakley (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1994).
Russell, Don. The Lives and Legends of Buffalo Bill ( Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1960).
Smith, Henry Nash. The American West in Symbol and Myth (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1970).
Slotkin, Richard. Gunfighter Nation: The Myth of the Frontier in Twentieth-Century America (New York: Atheneum, 1992).
Tillet, Leslie, ed. Wind on the Buffalo Grass: The Indian’s Own Account of the Battle at the Little Big Horn River, and the Death of Their Life on the Plains (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1970).
Turner, Frederick Jackson. The Significance of the Frontier in American History (New York: Frederick Ungar Publications, 1963).
White, Richard. “It’s Your Misfortune and None of My Own”: A New History of the American West (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991).