Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Now available: How the West Was Written, Vol. 2 (1907-1915)

David Cranmer over at Beat to a Pulp Press has just announced publication of Vol. 2 of my book series, How the West Was Written. It continues the chronology of western writers that began in the first volume with Mary Hallock Foote's The Led-Horse Claim (1883). Here is a short description of the new volume from its introduction: 

During the years 1907–1915, frontier fiction boomed with new writers, and the success of Owen Wister’s The Virginian (1902) began to make itself felt in their work. That novel had made the bestseller lists for two years running. With the continued popularity of Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West show, and the appearance of one-reeler westerns on movie screens, many featuring the adventures of Bronco Billy Anderson, the cowboy hero was becoming an established mythic figure in the public imagination. 

New writers capitalizing on this interest begin to emerge in numbers and include Zane Grey, Dane Coolidge, Charles Alden Seltzer, William MacLeod Raine, and Eugene Manlove Rhodes. Fans of cowboy westerns will find this book's discussion of these storytellers of particular interest.

Meanwhile, for writers of popular fiction, the frontier was also a subject for exploring ideas drawn from current public discourse—ideas about character and villainy, women’s rights, romance and marriage, democracy and government, capitalism, race and social boundaries, and the West itself. With each new publication, they participated as well in an ongoing forum for how to write about the West and how to tell western stories.

Taken together, the chapters of this book describe for modern-day readers and writers the origins of frontier fiction and the rich legacy it has left us as a genre. It is also a portal into the past, for it offers a history of ideas as preserved in popular culture of a century ago that continues to claim an audience today.

Currently available at amazon for kindle and in paperback. Also in paper at Createspace. Order both volumes from amazon here.


14 comments:

  1. Congratulations, Ron! I am glad you're getting this all published as it will be a help to others interested in the genre and region.

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  2. Way ahead of ya Ron - I ordered my copy this morning from amazon. :)

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  3. This is great news Ron. I'll be ordering my copy also.

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  4. Many congratulations, Ron! I have the Kindle edition of Vol.1 and I'll be picking up Vol.2 soon. Look forward to reading it as well.

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  5. These are great reference sources, man.

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  6. Such a great accomplishment, Ron. Congratulations.

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  7. Add my congratulations. I'll be picking up a copy.

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  8. What a legacy! Two copies making their way to France as we speak. Congratulations Ron!

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  9. I believe this will be the standard work on early western fiction. I am looking forward to volume three.

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  10. I very much enjoyed Vol. 1 and looking forward to reading the second one.

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  11. Congratulations, Ron, on this wonderful accomplishment! I'll be adding #2 to the shelf with Volume 1 and refer to both over the years to come. Thank you for an enormous contribution about and for Western writers.

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  12. As I said about volume 1, I think this is important for the study of how the mythologizing of the west through western fiction evolved.

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  13. I just bought vols. 1 and 2. Looking forward to reading them.

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  14. Congratulations! I can't wait to read them!

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