The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 95, July 1991 - April, 1992

Book Revzews

agreed that there were two Crocketts-the real David, the soldier, the con-
gressman, and Texas hero, and a fictional counterpart, the legendary Davy.
They examined the role that Crockett played in creating Davy and how the me-
dia over the years fixed his image in the public mind. Crockett at Two Hundred,
edited by Michael A. Lofaro and Joe Cummings, draws on papers from the
conference and from selected authorities for ten essays that highlight the man
and the myth. These studies not only update the facts on Crockett's life but also
expand the hero's image to a broader canvas. The result is a fascinating volume
that provides a deeper understanding of frontier America and of the individu-
als who helped shape its destiny.
The ten essays carefully chart the origins and dimensions of the mythical
Davy. Historians I)an Kilgore and Paul Andrew Hutton, in separate essays,
provide an excellent introduction and setting for the volume. They survey
Crockett's life and legend and single out the individuals and agencies who cre-
ated, promoted, and guarded the image of the mythical Davy over the years.
They also describe the backlash they encountered (principally from Texans) in
publishing evidence that Crockett and several others survived the Alamo but
were excecuted immediately by Santa Anna. Succeeding authors (Crockett au-
thorities, specialists on his era, and folklorists) focus on Crockett and the me-
dia. They discuss the impact of his backwoods rhetoric on Tennessee politics,
describe the ways the state has remembered and honored its native son, and
assess Davy's appearance in contemporary music and plays (and later in films
and television). They sketch the rough and tumble "shemales" of Crockett's
world (a hilarious essay), provide a background on Davy's costuming (buckskins
and coonskin cap), and show how his AutobiogRaphy and other writings contrib-
uted to his legendary image. The concluding essay includes a valuable Crockett
bibliography.
Crockett at Two Hundred is a delight to read. The volume is enhanced by over
thirty illustrations (portraits, woodcuts, extracts from the Cockett Almanacs, and
film clips). The editors also provide a chronology covering man and myth,
sketches of the authors, and an index. Several Crockett books appeared in the
ig8os, but this is one of the best. The volume is not only an intriguing primer
on the mythmaking process but also a celebration of David Crockett's role in
American history.
Unzveisily of Anizona HARWOOD P. HINTON
Billy the Kizd A Shoat and Violent Life By Robert M. Utley. (Lincoln: University of
Nebraska Press, 1989. Pp. xii+ 302. Preface, acknowledgments, map, black-
and-white plates, notes, sources, index. $22.95.)
For better or worse, Billy the Kid put New Mexico and the Texas Panhandle
on the map of American consciousness and has kept them there for over a cen-
tury. In this eminently lucid account, Robert M. Utley chronicles Billy's life and
career from his probable birth in 1859 to his "execution," as the author terms
it, in 1881.

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 95, July 1991 - April, 1992. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117153/. Accessed April 20, 2014.