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Outside America: Race, Ethnicity, and the Role of the American West in National Belonging

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Hanover 2005 Softcover First Edition. 272 pages. Softcover. Brand new book. AMERICAN WEST. A new study of those excluded from the national narrative of the West. Dan Moos ... challenges both traditional and revisionist perspectives in his exploration of the role of the mythology of the American West in the creation of a national identity. While Moos concurs with contemporary scholars who note that the myths of the American West depended in part upon the exclusion of certain groups&emdash; African Americans, Native Americans, and Mormons&emdash; he notes that many scholars, in their eagerness to identify and validate such excluded positions, have given short shrift to the cultural power of the myths they seek to debunk. That cultural power was such, Moos notes, that these disenfranchised groups themselves sought to harness it to their own ends through the active appropriation of the terms of those myths in advocating for their own inclusion in the national narrative. Moos reads a variety of texts by such margi Read more Show Less

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Overview

Dan Moos challenges both traditional and revisionist perspectives in his exploration of the role of the mythology of the American West in the creation of a national identity. While Moos concurs with contemporary scholars who note that the myths of the American West depended in part upon the exclusion of certain groups--African Americans, Native Americans, and Mormons--he notes that many scholars, in their eagerness to identify and validate such excluded positions, have given short shrift to the cultural power of the myths they seek to debunk. That cultural power was such, Moos notes, that these disenfranchised groups themselves sought to harness it to their own ends through the active appropriation of the terms of those myths in advocating for their own inclusion in the national narrative. Moos reads a variety of texts by such marginalized westerners and argues that, because the construction of American culture was never designed to accommodate these outsiders, their writings display a division between their imagined place in the narrative of the nation and their effacement within the real West marked by intolerance and inequality.
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What People Are Saying

Gerald Vizenor
"Outside America is an outstanding, original analysis of the material fantasies, myths of identity, and vanity narratives of the American West. Dan Moos knowingly compares the arenas of national culture created by Theodore Roosevelt, Oscar Micheaux, Buffalo Bill, Luther Standing Bear, and many other frontier storiers."
Gerald Vizenor, Professor Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

DAN MOOS is Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments introduction The American West and U.S. National Culture rough riding across america Mythologizing the West, Constructing the Nation reclaiming the frontier Oscar Micheaux as Black Turnerian recasting the west Frontier Identity and African American Self-Publication the making of americans Assimilation and Mormon Literature of the Mid-Twentieth Century buffalo bill's object lessons Native American Survivance in the Arena conclusion Notes Works Cited Index
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