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Wondrous Times on the Frontier

Author: Dee Brown

Product Code: 6751
9 Inches (US) x 6
Binding: Paperback
Guided Reading Level:  Z   (other titles at Guided Reading Level Z)
Price: $17.95
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In his first work of nonfiction in twelve years, celebrated historian Dee Brown draws on more than fifty years of research in this good-humored social history of the American frontier. In a work rich in anecdotes about pioneers, women, lawmen, outlaws, newspapermen, schoolteachers, cowboys, tenderfeet, preachers, and native Americans, Brown portrays the diversity of the frontier experience.

KLIATT — Raymon Puffer, PhD
"Here is a distinct and really delightful change of pace—a collection of tales about the humorous side of the Old West. Daily life in the ranches, mines and small towns of the American West tended to be dangerous, uncomfortable, and unsanitary at the best of times. In reaction to the grim conditions, or perhaps as a means of surviving it, a strong sense of humor permeated the culture of the frontier. Dee Brown, the author of the gripping and poignant Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee, ransacked his large collection of research data and presents a fascinating collection of anecdotes, tales, stories, and yarns that seldom appear in the more serious history books. Each of the chapters highlights various character types and situations of the society; gambling halls, schools, and cavalry forts, as well as stories about lawyers, itinerant actors, and newspapermen. Along the way the reader finds that many of the well-worn tales and cliches-—he sly gamblers, spunky school-marms, and gullible greenhorns—had their basis in fact. "This is not, however, merely a lightweight book of merry tales about lovable characters. Genuine humor always has a dark edge, and Westerners lived in a land of bullets, incurable diseases, dangerous weather and uncertain justice. It is not surprising that much of their humor turns out to be fatalistic and cruel in tone; it was, after all, based on what they thought was funny. Therefore, as delightful as this book is to read, it is also a shrewd and honest lesson in historical realities. For this reason, it is recommended to teachers and YA readers as well as Western buffs, and all who just want a good, lively read."

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