Western Places, American Myths: How We Think about the West

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Gary J. Hausladen
University of Nevada Press, 2006 - 343 pages
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Despite countless past attempts to describe and analyze it, the American West retains an enigmatic quality that continues to attract and intrigue us. The essays in ""Western Places, American Myths"" are the work of a dozen scholars from several disciplines, all examining the West as both an actual region and as an enduring element of American culture, demonstrating how today's West is the result of a long and continuous process, a constant reinvention and redefining of place. The book rewards its reader with exciting new perspectives and insights, reminding us that the West still contains 'mythic places that help us come to grips with our national identity and who we are as a people.'
 

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Contents

Continuity and Change
11
twentieth century
36
downtown 1970s
43
An Inescapable Range or the Ranch as Everywhere
57
America Moving Westward
65
The Spatial Musculature of the American West
85
Representation of the West in the National
111
Enduring Regional Voices
135
From Margin to Mainstream
166
The Indigenous West
184
The West as Visionary Place
225
The West as Spiritual Playground
253
Ghost Towns and
273
Mythic Places for Western Film
296
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About the author (2006)

Gary J. Hausladen is professor of geography at the University of Nevada, Reno, and the author of Places for Dead Bodies.

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