The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977 Page: 344
Southwestern Historical Quarterly
of previous studies. Further, the author is unduly careless in his use of
sources. His attempts to discuss national affairs as a backdrop to the In-
dian wars, for example, are often misleading because of his tendency to-
ward overly strong judgments and generalizations. His account of the
origins and nature of the ghost dance is simply confused. Weems gener-
ally does not seem well grounded in Indian culture and psychology.
In summary Death Song is dramatic history which should fare well
with the general reader, but the specialist will find little that is new and
will quibble with many of the author's conclusions.
Purdue University DONALD L. PARMAN
The Cowboy. Text by Ron Tyler. Photography by Bank Langmore. (New
York: William Morrow and Co., Inc., 1975. Pp. 251. Illustrations,
bibliography, index. $19-95.)
The volume of recent publications devoted to the American cowboy is
mountainous and growing. On the face of it, the need for "another cow-
boy book" seems doubtful, unless another approach offers fresh insights-
which the present work does, pictorially and historically. Photographer
Bank Langmore, who looks the cowboy he once was, and historian Ron
Tyler, who looks the noncowboy he is, have combined their considerable
talents in paying homage to the small, dwindling fraternity of working
cowboys who remain loyal to late nineteenth-century buckaroo tradition.
Langmore covered some twenty thousand miles, made about fifteen
thousand black and white and color exposures at nineteeen ranches from
the Big Bend to the Big Sky, and compiled a vivid visual record of cow-
boying in the I970s. It is indeed unfortunate that a reviewer is denied
use of illustrations in commenting on Langmore's abilities. The twinkle
in the eye of a leathery camp cook, the trail dust hanging over a moving
herd, the subtle hues of dawn and dusk on the range, and the suspended
loop of a skilled roper are some of the many images in this collection that
transcend words. Langmore's camera artistry, much of it from the back of
a horse, compares favorably with that of Erwin E. Smith, some of whose
turn-of-the-century photographs are reproduced in the margins of the text
in which the cowboy has been allowed to "speak" for himself whenever
possible." Tyler's commendably thorough research, in contemporary news-
papers and popular magazines, autobiographical writings, and standard
monographic and journal studies, and his interviews with ranchers and
their hands lend authenticity to his nine analytical yet eminently readable
chapters. Though one of his claims-that probably not eight hundred
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977, periodical, 1976/1977; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101204/m1/388/ocr/: accessed October 28, 2016), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.