New Westers: The West in Contemporary American Culture

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1996-05 Hardcover New Brand new copy in excellent condition; still in original shrink wrap. All orders ship within 24 hrs (except Sundays & holidays) and include tracking ... charge at no additional charge. Read more Show Less

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"Break out your favorite cowboy/girl outfit, settle back, and enjoy a delightful ride with the New Westers. Johnson runs the gamut of current Western culture—from poets, novelists, and historians to singers, dancers, and rodeo riders. Whatever you like about the New West, Johnson has something refreshing to say about it!"—Richard W. Slatta, author of Cowboys of the Americas and The Cowboy Encyclopedia

"Illuminating, very well written and easy to read."—Tony Hillerman

"A lively, entertaining, and well-written survey of the role of the West in recent American culture that will appeal to all readers."—Richard W. Etulain, coauthor of The American West and editor of Writing Western History

"New Westers brings it all together—movies and fashion, historians and architects, chili-eating and two-stepping. A readable roundup of all of the manifestations of America's most recent flirtation with the West of the imagination."—Elliott West, author of The Way to the West

Author Biography: Michael L. Johnson, professor of English at the University of Kansas, is the author of numerous books on subjects that stretch from New Journalism to artificial intelligence, including Violence and Grace: Poems about the American West

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Johnson (English, Univ. of Kansas) seeks to answer not only the question of how the West defines us but, more significantly, how we define the West. The "New Westers" gaining currency in fashion, history, literature, television/cinema, and, of course, music seek to recover the ideal of the mythic West but on their terms, blurring the line between what is idealized and what is real. In an accessible survey that will attract both informed lay readers and serious students of the West, Johnson discusses the influence of New Westers like writer Larry McMurtry, musician Garth Brooks, and shoemaker Nacona Boots (out of Texas) and other purveyors of "cowboy chic." One drawback of this otherwise solid work is the author's fixation on Santa Fe as the nirvana of the New Westers. Nonetheless, Johnson's work is highly recommended.-Daniel D. Liestman, Seattle Pacific Univ. Lib.
A survey of the role of the West in recent American culture, as it has attracted and been expressed by the likes of poets, novelists, and historians as well as singers, dancers, and rodeo riders. Johnson (English, U. of Kansas) calls the people who linedance and two-step, listen to Garth Brooks and George Strait, drink beer from long-neck bottles, watch rodeo on ESPN, and vacation in and move to the West "New Westers." They overrun the Old West and yet strive to preserve it, raising troubling new concerns about the differences between the mythic and the real, between traditional and contemporary cultural influences. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780700607631
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas
  • Publication date: 5/28/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 408
  • Product dimensions: 6.61 (w) x 9.58 (h) x 1.51 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Westering Again 1
Ch. 1 A Vertical Ride: Cowboy Chic and Other Fashions of the New West 14
Ch. 2 Manifest Diversity: Turning Turner on His Head, Retelling Western Histories 55
Ch. 3 Rewriters of the Purple Sage, Part 1: Trails to New Western Literature 102
Ch. 4 Rewriters of the Purple Sage, Part 2: A Gathering 135
Ch. 5 Crossed Over: Unforgiven and Other Revisions 199
Ch. 6 Garth and Friends: Resinging the West, Dancing to the Cowboy Beat 260
Ch. 7 The New West: A Sense of Place 303
Conclusion: Staying Put: The Future of the New West 342
Notes 365
Suggested Readings 385
Index 391
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