Revolvers and Pistolas, Vaqueros and Caballeros: Debunking the Old West

Overview

Early Anglo settlers in the Old West crafted negative images of Latinos in part to help justify the takeover of land occupied by Mexicans and Spaniards at the time. Unfortunately, these depictions were perpetuated throughout the 20th century in art, popular culture, and media … eventually reshaping the narrative of the American West to the exclusion of the non-Anglo people. This book contrasts dominant lore with historical reality to provide a broad overview of the history and ...

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Revolvers and Pistolas, Vaqueros and Caballeros: Debunking the Old West

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Overview

Early Anglo settlers in the Old West crafted negative images of Latinos in part to help justify the takeover of land occupied by Mexicans and Spaniards at the time. Unfortunately, these depictions were perpetuated throughout the 20th century in art, popular culture, and media … eventually reshaping the narrative of the American West to the exclusion of the non-Anglo people. This book contrasts dominant lore with historical reality to provide a broad overview of the history and contributions of Latinos in the Old West.

Author D. H. Figueredo sets out to debunk the myths and falsehoods of the American West by chronicling the cultural perceptions that led to such historical inaccuracies. Through spellbinding accounts, chapters address such topics as the legends behind the caballeros, Mexican culture in the Old West, and the search for cities of gold in the Southwest. Arranged chronologically and thematically, the book examines how popular culture diminished the role of the Mexican vaqueros and illustrates how the image of the Anglo cowboy became the iconic symbol of the Old West.

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What People Are Saying

Nicolás Kanellos

"Revolvers and Pistolas, Vaqueros and Caballeros: Debunking the Old West is a delightful and engaging review of Southwestern history aimed at revealing the origin and development of many of the myths held even today about Mexicans, Mexican Americans, and Latinos. Thoroughly researched and documented, the book will engage the general reader as well as the scholar as Figueredo explores how legends and stereotypes have colored our vision of Hispanics in the making of the American nation. Because the themes touched run the gamut from 'banditos' to the 'Yellow Rose of Texas,' readers will be able to regard today's images of Hispanics on screens and in print with a critical eye. Figueredo has provided an invaluable guide."
Alex Abella

"Like a history detective, Dan Figueredo finds the clues, identifies the culprits, and sets the story straight as to how the West was won. Move over John Wayne, the real lawman was Marshall Elfego Baca, who took on 80 gunslingers all by himself in a gunfight that lasted two days! The Old West will never look the same after you read Revolvers and Pistolas!"
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