The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 57, July 1953 - April, 1954 Page: 532

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Southwestern Historical Quarterly

outlaws, "noble" red men, profane tobacco-chewing bullwhackers,
and daredevil cowboys wearing "forty-fives" slung low on their
hips ready for instant action.
Among the current narratives based on early-day observations,
and spotlighting the authenticity of the frontier, is Professor
Robert G. Athearn's well-told, and at points humorous, Westward
the Briton, cleverly drawn from more than three hundred English
books of Western travel, magazine articles, and unpublished
manuscripts. The significance of these early observations, says the
author, "lies in the fact that, by and large, these people [Britons]
were literate, intelligent, and well-traveled. . The things they
saw could be set against those they had seen in England" for
comparison. From the opinions of these Englishmen, some grossly
exaggerated, some humorous, some unfairly critical, but others
strikingly accurate and realistic, the author finds the real frontier
West, its society, and its inhabitants-the Indians, the cowboys
("cow servants"), urbanites, stage drivers, and other types of
Westerners. He places within a frame of realism such features of
the frontier as travel, hotels and their accommodations, border
culture, and cities and towns-Salt Lake City ("a perfect para-
dise") , and Denver and Kansas City with their saloons and betting
houses, each as an entrepot of border life. And with deft strokes
he paints the various social and economic developments within
the "Egalitarian West" and discusses in his closing chapter "The
Most American Part of the West." Other intriguing chapters are
titled "Westerners at Home"; "The Descendants of Mr. Cooper's
Indians"; and "The Case of Blackstone vs. Colt."
The author has adequately documented his authoritative narra-
tive, the chapter-by-chapter footnotes being carried at the end of
the last chapter, as are seventeen well-chosen illustrations, an
extensive bibliography, and an index.
Texas Technological College
American Rebels: Narratives of the Patriots. Edited by Richard
M. Dorson. New York (Pantheon Books, Inc.), 1953. Pp.
339- $5.00.
This book will be useful and convenient for courses in Amer-
ican civilization, history, and literature. Its period is the American


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 57, July 1953 - April, 1954, periodical, 1954; Austin, Texas. ( accessed October 26, 2016), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.