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The Life and Legacy of Annie Oakley (Oklahoma Western Biographies) Hardcover – October 1, 1994


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Product Details

  • Series: Oklahoma Western Biographies (Book 7)
  • Hardcover: 252 pages
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press; First Edition edition (October 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806126566
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806126562
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #788,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Those who know of Annie Oakley largely through film and theater portrayals by Barbara Stanwyck, Ethel Merman, or Betty Hutton will find a more nuanced and complete biography of "Little Sure Shot" (as Chief Sitting Bull called her) at the hands of Riley. Author of Western studies such as A Place To Grow: Women in the American West (Harlan Davidson, 1992), the author here provides not only a biography of Oakley but also an evaluation of her legend and influence-a woman who sought economic equality and recognition for women in a male-dominated profession, but who, as a proper Victorian lady, opposed suffrage for women. Riley's is the latest and most scholarly in a long line of biographies, including Shirl Kasper's excellent study, Annie Oakley (LJ 3/15/92).
Nicholas C. Burckel, Washington Univ. Libs., St. Louis
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

To provide a factual and intimate biography of Annie Oakley, the legendary female sharpshooter and star of Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show, Riley attempts to place her seemingly mythical subject firmly into historical, cultural, and sociological contexts. While faithfully recounting Oakley's personal and professional chronology and impressive list of accomplishments, the author also offers an interpretive view of Annie's highly successful effort to reconcile her public image as a resourceful and athletic western woman with her private perception of herself as a genteel Victorian lady and a model wife. What emerges is a multidimensional portrait of an entertainer and a businesswoman whose enduring fame and popularity both reflected and defied the conventions of her era. Unlike many previous Oakley biographers, Riley moves well beyond the realm of folklore, producing an insightful and original account of the life, the times, and the significance of a uniquely American heroine. Margaret Flanagan

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I've read many spurious versions of Annie Oakley's life. Now I don't have to read another, because I've seen the real story as documented by Riley. Her scholarship is outstanding, and she analyses Oakley's role as symbol of the showbiz Western myth as well as her quiet, hardworking life behind the scenes. If you like the dramatic lies, this book is not for you. If you want a portrait of Oakley as a woman and a symbol, read this.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Flame_926 on April 27, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This was one of the sources that I used for my college term paper. Glenda Riley is concise and simple in her explanations; she does not "wander" in explaining and includes an extensive index which makes this an invaluable scholastic reference. I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to quickly sort out the fact from the ficition of Annie Oakley.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Judith C. Kinney on June 4, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The facts in this book seem complete and accurate. We learn that Annie Oakley did not deliberately lose a shooting match to Frank Butler as she did in "Annie Get Your Gun," a product of the unfeminist fifties.
The information on the trials of Oakley's early life was especially interesting. I felt the book bogged down when the author began trying to fit Oakley into a feminist straitjacket, relating everything she did and didn't do to its connection with women's rights. I also grew tired of hearing how sweet, feminine, and ladylike Oakley was.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tom Bruce on February 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
Indeed, Glenda Riley has given us a complete biography of this American legend, especially when you consider she is dealing with events that happened a century ago and legend and myth surround her subject. But it is obvious that having pulled together countless sources, she has compiled an accurate description of this Wild West Show star. But beyond that, Ms. Riley surrounds us with context, the environment in which Ms. Oakley, grew, developed and prospered. It was a time of women suffrage, the War to end all Wars, the official ending of the Western Frontier. We learn about the women of her era, their work, lives, wardrobes, and how Annie fit or didn't into popular habits. She was dedicated to her craft of marksmanship, she was a brilliant partner to and adored her husband, she was a backbone of her female counterparts, she gave much to those in need, and she traveled the world and entertained and enthralled royalty and peasants alike. Following her death in 1926, her legend grew through comic books, pulp fiction, movies, and musicals. Author Riley separates the fact from fiction in these creations and as a result, we are left with an accurate and endearing portrait of this lady. It's a good read that could have used a little more editing to eliminate repetition, but it is well worth the few hours it will take to read.
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By Judith Zysk on May 26, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a great resource for my daughter when she decided to become Annie Oakley for a middle school project. She had a a great time creating her costume and 3 minute story. Everyone clapped and she got an Al!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Think of how Annie Oakley has been presented in the movies and on Broadway, then be prepared to change your image. Ms Riley writes in a very clear and precise style that is easy to read plus, everything is well documented. I truly enjoyed the book.
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