By Professor Karen Jones, Professor John Wills
The yankee West used to be the tale of gunfights, glory, wagon trails, and linear growth. Historians reminiscent of Frederick Jackson Turner and Hollywood videos together with Stagecoach (1939) and Shane (1953) solid the trans-Mississippi area as an epic frontier during which "savagery" met "civilization" and boys turned men.During the past due Eighties, this concept of the West got here below fireplace. students equivalent to Patricia Nelson Limerick and Richard White cast a clean tale of the area, a brand new imaginative and prescient in line with the conquest of peoples and landscapes. the yankee West: Competing Visions explores the distinction among Turner's outdated West and Limerick's New West, highlighting the values and ambiguities linked to each one culture. Sections on Lewis and Clark, the frontier, and the cowboy accompany learn on Indian genocide and excerpts from women's path diaries. photos of the zone as visible in the course of the arcade Western, Hollywood movie, and Disney topic parks reaffirm the West as a symbolic and contested panorama. Tapping into the preferred fascination with the cowboy, the Western, the Indian Wars, and Custer's final Stand, the authors deconstruct the imagery and truth of the historical past of the yank West.
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Additional resources for The American West: Competing Visions
That few audience members welcomed the Turner thesis on its first airing reflected not only their endurance of four lengthy academic papers beforehand, but also that Turner himself engaged in ‘heresy’ (to borrow Billington’s words) by going against ‘germ theory’, a popular approach that explained American character as rooted in European antecedents (or antibodies). 3 However, the first truly difficult period for the frontier thesis came in the 1930s, several years after the death of Turner. Political science professor Benjamin F.
Their take on the Corps may have been strikingly revisionist – ‘to set the historical record straight with a fresh perspective on everything from the places they really slept to whether they actually discovered anything at all’ – but ‘Clark’ still imported sideburns from China and treated them with a particular dye to achieve an historically accurate hue. At other events, authenticity was conferred by the material presence of Lewis and Clark artefacts, the purchase of a direct connection to the past through the medium of ephemera.
This digital reinvention of the Corps bears the imprint of the classic mythology, but technology allows a full-on sensory barrage and the airbrushing out of reminders of the contemporary world. The visual(ised) digital landscape of Lewis and Clark features herds of bison and nomadic Indians, and not a telegraph pole or car in sight. For the more intrepid armchair wilderness enthusiast a further step into virtual reality beckons: transportation into the shoes of Lewis and Clark courtesy of interactive games (Lewis and Clark Into the Unknown; Go West across America with Lewis and Clark) prompting the player to make critical decisions along the route west.