The Old West (July / August 2017)

Nothing captures the popular imagination more than the Old West. Full of Native Americans, gunslingers, trappers, bank robbers, cattle rustlers, and US Marshals, it promises adventure and romance. From western dime novels to spaghetti westerns, endless stories centered on the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of settling the American west. Legendary characters like Wild Bill Hitchcock and Annie Oakley live on in our imaginations. Old Hollywood put out hundreds of westerns, including a few classics that stand the test of time. Their heroes fought rustlers, sought revenge for murderous wrongs, and sometimes rode off into the sunset with a woman. Or their trusty horse.

Westerns have come and gone in popularity, and few attract a large audience in modern times… but the history of the old west, its notorious heroes, gamblers, and sheriffs, give us a glimpse into a past Americans share as part of the last frontier. While Bostonians drank tea and dithered on politics, men and women lived in an unsettled territory that forced them to survive on sheer willpower.

Read along as we celebrate some of the legends and tales set in the Old West.


From One to Many: What Westerns Tell Us About the Past: by Rachel Kovaciny

Calamity Jane: by Scarlett Grant

Destiny at High Noon: by Rachel Sexton

The Adventures of Half Pint: Laura Ingals Wilder: by Veronica Leigh

Blazing Saddles: by Carol Starkey

Not Just a Little Sure Shot, Annie Oakley: Scarlett Grant

Dr. Quinn: Old Lessons for New Times: by Jessica Santulli

The Pony Express: by Lila Donovan

The Feminist Western: A Vision of Equality: by Charity Bishop

Links updated as articles go live.

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