Buffalo Bill's America: William Cody and the Wild West Show

Buffalo Bill's America: William Cody and the Wild West Show

by Louis S. Warren
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Buffalo Bill's America: William Cody and the Wild West Show by Louis S. Warren

William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody was the most famous American of his age. He claimed to have worked for the Pony Express when only a boy and to have scouted for General George Custer. But what was his real story? And how did a frontiersman become a worldwide celebrity? In this prize-winning biography, acclaimed author Louis S. Warren explains not only how Cody exaggerated his real experience as an army scout and buffalo hunter, but also how that experience inspired him to create the gigantic, traveling spectacle known as Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. A dazzling mix of Indians, cowboys, and vaqueros, they performed on two continents for three decades, offering a surprisingly modern view of the United States and a remarkably democratic version of its history. This definitive biography reveals the genius of America’s greatest showman, and the startling history of the American West that drove him and his performers to the world stage.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307425102
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/18/2007
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 672
Sales rank: 755,113
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Louis S. Warren took his B.A. at Columbia University and his M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D. at Yale University. He has taught at Yale, University of San Diego, and, since 1999, at the University of California, Davis, where he is currently Associate Professor of History. He is the author of The Hunter's Game: Poachers and Conservationists in Twentieth-Century America (1997), which won the 1997 Western Heritage Award for Outstanding Non-Fiction Book, and several articles. His article on "Cody's Last Stand" in the Western Historical Quarterly won the Oscar O. Winther Award for best article (2003).

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Buffalo Bill's America: William Cody and the Wild West Show 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
That's the question with which the author challenges his readers--was William Cody (i.e., Buffalo Bill) a real frontiersman or simply a show business celebrity pretending to be one for the sake of profit? In the end, the author seems to conclude that it doesn't matter--he brought the West--genuine or imagined--to the East Coast and to Europe, creating a community among its diverse performers in their traveling city which defied the seething tensions between Anglo Americans and immigrants in teeming cities such as New York. Though his Wild West Show perpetuated the myth of inevitable white dominance in the world, he was actually ambivalent about everything he presented on stage, and that ambivalence is what struck a chord with both middle-class audiences and angry immigrants, making him appealing to everyone who dreamed of his own homestead where he could write the narrative of his own life. Isn't that the goal of every performer? In that sense, William Cody was the consummate performer, who deserves to hear an eternal applause.