Cowboy: An Album

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Travel back to those thrilling days of yesteryear with this celebration of the life and legend of that uniquely American hero, the cowboy. The author explores both the reality of the cowboy's harsh, dangerous, and lonely existence and the romanticized legend of adventure, romance, and derring-do. The result is an engrossing history.

An introduction to cowboys, their history, their daily life, famous coyboys and cowgirls, and ...

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Overview

Travel back to those thrilling days of yesteryear with this celebration of the life and legend of that uniquely American hero, the cowboy. The author explores both the reality of the cowboy's harsh, dangerous, and lonely existence and the romanticized legend of adventure, romance, and derring-do. The result is an engrossing history.

An introduction to cowboys, their history, their daily life, famous coyboys and cowgirls, and portrayals of cowboys in modern films.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Granfield rustles up a plum wonderful read, masterfully distilling a swirl of cowpoke history, memorabilia, trivia and myth into a comprehensive compendium. Punctuating all is a stampede of photographs, art by Remington and Russell, sidebars, songs--even a recipe for chili. The heyday of the cowboy, according to the author, was a brief span in American history (roughly 1866-1886), but life on the high lonesome quickly caught the nation's imagination and has never let it go. Granfield eschews romanticized notions of the cowboy and concentrates on the real nitty gritty--the monotonous, dusty grind that constituted the roundup and cattle drive; hazards on the trail; an amusing look at ``cowboyspeak''; and the lowdown on such cowboy essentials as boots, hats, spurs--even underwear (usually long johns). The reader also learns about famous outlaws, ``prairie nymphs'' and the rodeo, as well as how the cowboy myth has been perpetuated by Hollywood. This thoroughly engrossing volume ends with an interview with 13-year-old Jessica Chalmers, a fourth-generation rancher in Alberta, Canada. Ages 8-up. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Beverly Kobrin
Famous and infamous, real and movie, male and female cowboys star in this outstandingly written and designed history (I couldn't put it down). Ms. Granfield explains the origin of the word (Ireland 2000 years ago), moves through the profession's heyday (from about 1866-1886, when the demand for beef was high and the range wide open) and ends with its contemporary practitioners.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-10-A clever slant on a timeless subject. In a format suggestive of an old scrapbook, this collection of excellent-quality archival photographs, art reproductions, news clippings along with stories, and letters help Granfield to provide a lively history of cowboy life on the trail. She describes equipment and accessories including the utilitarian reasons for them, and finally profiles the modern cowboy and the surrounding pop culture. She explores the Western mystique in film, literature, art, and advertising and puts it into perspective by digging up little-known bits of trivia. A section of ``Cowboy speak'' humorously illustrates the roots and translates much of the slang. The not-so glamorous aspect of the ``busted'' cowboy, laid off in the winter months and usually broke from too much fun in the rowdy cattle towns, is also related. The inevitable end of the boom, by 1886, brought about by the invention of barbed wire and the rise of the sheepherder, may have dwindled their numbers, but the fascination with these mysterious figures lives on in the songs, the movies, and the books that are still very much in demand.-Julie Halverstadt, Douglas Public Library District, Castle Rock, CO
Carolyn Phelan
Offering a broad vision of the subject, yet full of intriguing details, this compendium of cowboy history and lore will satisfy browsers and researchers alike. Granfield describes the daily life of the historical cowboy; the place of African Americans, Native Americans, and women on the range; the clothing; the lingo; the grind and sudden dangers of the cattle drive; the towns at the trails' end; the decline of the cattle boom; the rise of the cowboy as popular hero in music, movies, radio, television, and rodeo; and the modern cowboy. The occasional cartoonlike drawings seem out of sync with the excellent period photos, paintings, drawings, and engravings, some in black and white and some in color, that give this album its visual appeal Similarly, the inclusion of fictional "letters from one imaginary young cowboy to his sweetheart back east" is disappointing, particularly since Granfield's lively reporting of facts holds readers' attention just fine. Throughout the volume, boxes highlight subjects as varied as famous outlaws, Gene Autry's "Cowboy Commandments," spittoons, and Boot Hill. Written in an engaging style, this book informs as it entertains. Libraries in cowboy country should consider purchasing multiple copies.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781550542301
  • Publisher: D&M Publishers Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/1/1993
  • Product dimensions: 10.40 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda Granfield is the author of 20 nonfiction titles. Her book Cowboy: An Album (Ticknor & Fields, 1994) was an American Bookseller Pick of the Lists and a NCSS Notable Children's Trade Book in the field of Social Studies. She is a three-time winner of the Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada Information Book Award. She lives in Toronto, Canada.
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