the image of the American West was created mainly, though often
inaccurately, in dime novels and in the tent circuses of Buffalo Bill
and his rivals.
The Wild West show, usually preceded by a lively parade, enter-
tained its patrons with feats of horseback riding, marksmanship, and
roping. Buffaloes, the Pony Express, and a sham battle between
Indians and settlers were frequently added. Its coming was the most
exciting summer event in many an inland town and set youngsters
to playing cowboy during the weeks that followed.
Cody, as Russell notes, entered the circus field in 1883 after a
decade in stage melodrama. Although his was not the first Wild West
show, it soon became the dominant one in spite of its many rivals.
Cody, who teamed with several partners in turn, wisely included
in his show the personality and marksmanship of Annie Oakley and,
for a time, the crowd-drawing attraction of Chief Sitting Bull. He
took his show on several tours of Europe and performed before
many crowned heads. Once he drove with four kings and the Prince
of Wales inside his Deadwood coach. Back home he put his circus
on the railroads and perfected the practice of overnight travel be-
tween one-day stands. Following the peak of his success at the Chi-
cago World Fair in 1893 he suffered financial difficulties that came
from poor management, rival shows, unfavorable weather, and chang-
In addition to offering a well-documented history of the Wild West
show and its contribution to American culture, Russell has gar-
nished his text with a wealth of illustrations, many of them in color.
Dallas, Texas WAYNE GARD
Fifty Years on the Owl Hoot Trail. By Jim Herron. Edited by Harry
E. Chrisman. (Chicago: The Swallow Press, Inc., 1969. Pp.
xxiii + 355. Illustrations, bibliography, index. $8.50.)
In the summer of 1965 Mrs. Homer C. (Jean) Jeffrey mentioned
to Harry E. Chrisman that in the early 1940's she had typed a
manuscript for hler grandfather, Jim Herron. Since Chrisman had
written about this legendary cowman in his Lost Trails of the Cimar-
ron, he was deeply interested. With Mrs. Jeffrey's help, Chrisman
traced and found the original document. The result, superbly edited,
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101200/. Accessed December 9, 2013.