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Cowboy: The Illustrated History Paperback – March 4, 2008


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Slatta insists that the real story of the cowboy predates as well as antedates the brief golden age of trail drives and open-range ranching (from about 1867 to 1887), and his book tells that story "from the cattleman's early roots to his modern incarnations." The author points out that the image of the cowboy has always been a two-sided coin--some think of him as the tough, virtuous hero of the American West; others imagine him as a lawless villain. There are chapters here dealing with life on the ranch and on the trail, food and free-time activities, and the cowboy's role in popular culture. Color and black-and-white photographs appear on nearly every page, the most interesting ones being the black-and-white photos from years ago: a cowboy branding cattle in Nebraska (circa 1900), a cowboy photographed by Edward Curtis (circa 1905), two men on bucking broncos (circa 1904), and cowboys trailing weaned calves (circa 1933). Slatta quotes from western poems, songs, and novels, all of which add to the book's fascination. George Cohen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling (March 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402753691
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402753695
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,556,440 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I like this book "Cowboy: The Illustrated History" by Richard W. Slatta, as the author presents an exciting and authentic account of cowboy life around the world.

Cowboys of the old west is talking a lot about the life of how cowhand is an American term of how those people are Argentinia's gauchos, France's gardians, Australia's stockmen and Mexico's vaqueros and some of the best four-legged cowboy horses workers are the camargue ponies of France, the Australian stock horses, the criollos of Argentina, and the quarter horses and mustangs of the U.S. and Mexico, talking a lot about the trail with the cowboys of the old West and international figures of independence and bravado, from Argentina's gauchos to France's gardians. Whether it's the types of horses they rode or the clothes they wore, you'll come to understand what made cowboys from every country unique.

In this book by the best author Richard W. Slatta, you'll be interested in today's rodeo cowboys, movie cowboys and the modern working cowboys of the American West.

The best chapters to read and look at in this book for the times are On the Ranch, Cowboy Food & fun and The Cowboy Hero in popular culture.

In the chapter of "On the Ranch", my favorite photo is a rodeo photo on page 90 of "Chester Byers roping, Pendleton, Oregon." Photographed by Ralph R. Doubleday, circa 1935. It's the best rodeo photo of Chester Byers roping a calf as the calf has hit the end of the rope as the calf tricked the horse and rider at going a different direction and the horse is just starting to stop dead in order for the cowboy to dismount. On page 90 of "Chester Byers roping, Pendleton, Oregon." Photographed by Ralph R.
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Format: Hardcover
So many titles have been written on cowboy history that one might wonder at the need for yet another, but here's an oversized photo tribute which stands out from the crowd, surveying both myths and realities of the cowboy on and off-screen, including assessments of cowboys around the world, ranching roots, cowboy film, and cowboy representation in literature. With such a wide-ranging survey in hand, any with an interest benefits from the lively research of 'cowboy professor' Richard W. Slatta, who has already earned numerous awards for his research.

Diane C. Donovan

California Bookwatch
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Format: Hardcover
In the crowd of books about cowboys, this one stands out chiefly for the well-researched photography. Here you will see classic photos from the late 19th century ranging right up to the present. Among the older photos it's refreshing to find many that have rarely, if ever, been published before. Especially useful is the careful identification of each one, with the place, date, and name of the photographer. While some of them have circulated anonymously on the Internet for years, it's illuminating to have their subjects identified (especially the studio group-shot of XIT cowboys that you sometimes see hand tinted, on pp. 142-143). I also had not known that the wonderful bunkhouse shot of a cowboy with a guitar (pp. 154-155) is cowboy-song collector and poet Jack Rhodes.

Richard Slatta's history of the cowboy supports the photo images well but breaks no new ground on his subject. Readers of other cowboy books will find the usual topics, from cowboy gear to trail drives and rodeos, and a repetition of what's generally known already (though for someone who's never researched the material, it's an excellent introduction). If there's an unusual angle, it's that Slatta goes out of his way to comment on the role of women in ranch culture. Altogether, this makes a fine gift book. It is handsomely designed, on nicely finished paper, and the photos are reproduced with satisfying clarity. The book includes recommendations for further reading and a listing of museums and events with their Internet addresses.
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By Pablo Rojas on December 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The company that published this book should be ashamed of itself. It describes the book as a world tour around cowboys, that is, people who tend cattle using horses. Yet, there are around 200 pages in the book but the world tour takes about 20 pages. The description of french, argentine, chilean etc... is superficial to say the least. The author describes the gardian, the french cowboy, in 2 or 3 paragraphs! An ancient cow-horse culture in 2 or 3 paragraphs! And then, after the same thing happens all over again with every other country, hi moves on to the most boring cowboy of all: the texan cowboy. I don't mean the texan cowboy is boring as some intrinsic characteristic, but rather that he is the must publicized cowboy in the world, so it gets boring. On the other hand, the book is about 3 dollars!
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By H M G on January 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Really enjoyed this book, lots of history, facts and great photos.
Highly recommend this book for anyone interested in history, our heritage & cowboys!
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