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Cowboy Values: Recapturing What America Once Stood For Hardcover – May 13, 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 69 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Americans are known for being optimists, but it doesn't take a cynic to see that our country is seriously off-track. We're upset by greedy corporate executives, who line their own pockets at others' expense; we're disgusted by gutless politicians, who pander to special interest groups; and we're appalled by a culture that glorifies materialism and self-gratification. It's as if "What's in it for me?" were our national motto. No wonder so many of us feel a deep yearning for a simpler time when civility was the norm and a handshake could seal any deal.
     We can't turn back the clock or legislate our way out of society's malaise. But here's what we can do: Look to the bedrock values all Americans share. We many never agree on Iraq, abortion, or how to boost our economy, but surely we can agree that "Our word should be our bond."
    For a definition of those shared values, we need to look no further than the Cowboy Way. Living by a code that centers on principles like honesty, loyalty, and courage, the working cowboy is an enduring American hero--one providing just the kind of inspiration our country needs to find unity and hope in these troubled times.
     It's not too late for us to get back to the qualities that made America great. Cowboy Values gives us a great place to start.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Americans are known for being optimists. But it doesn't take a cynic to see that our country is seriously off-track. We're upset by greedy corporate executives who line their own pockets at others' expense. Disgusted by gutless politicians who pander to special interest groups. And appalled by a culture that glorifies materialism and self-gratification. It's as if "What's in it for me?" were our national motto. No wonder so many of us feel a deep yearning for a simpler time when civility was the norm and a handshake could seal any deal.
We can't turn back the clock or legislate our way out of society's malaise. But here's what we can do:  Look to the bedrock values all Americans share. We may never agree on Iraq, abortion, or same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that "Our word should be our bond."
For a definition of those shared values, we need look no further than the Cowboy Way. Living by a code that centers on principles like honesty, loyalty, and courage, the working cowboy is an enduring American hero - one providing just the kind of inspiration our country needs to find unity and hope in these troubled times.
It's not too late for us to get back to the qualities that made America great. Cowboy Values gives us a place to start.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press; 1St Edition edition (May 13, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599212714
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599212715
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #965,162 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A few years ago, my wife clipped out a book review about Cowboy Ethics by James Owen. In the article was his Code of the West. She placed the Code on our refrigerator and there it sat for a few years. Then my mother, who was raised on a ranch, lost her final battle with cancer and was called home at the age of 89. When I got home from her funeral I looked at that code on the refrigerator and decided that I would buy the book.

When I read the book I realized that I had heard many of these life lessons before. Different words but the same messages and lessons my parents taught me. As I looked around at what our society had become, I decided that I would in my own small way tell as many people as I could about how this book would be an extremely valuable tool for teaching children and reminding adults of what counts in life and how to live by a code.

The books have changed my life and I want to help change the lives of others particularly our children

Since then I also purchased Cowboy Values and I now buy them and give the pair of books as gifts to friends, relatives and even to some politicians.

If I had to start a school or teach a class, these two fantastic books would serve as the basis of my curriculum. If the kids could learn these basic principles, there is no mountain they couldn't climb or dream they could not fulfill.

If you have children or nieces or nephews I would recommend you give them these two books as gifts. And I will bet that many adults should be reading these books as well.

At a time of uncertainty and anxiety about the future, Cowboy Values and Cowboy Ethics will give you some hope that we will get through this period if we just remember the great truths that built America are still true today.
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Format: Hardcover
I bought Cowboy Values for each grandchild --- if I die before they can grasp my "values", I have asked that their parents make sure that the grandchildren read the book and know that it was given to them with much love and a deep understanding that individual values are often the key to happiness. Great Book, beautiful pictures, and an easy read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The original "Cowboy Ethics" was a great hit with friends and business associates. "Cowboy Values" is a great complement to the original book, with more pictures and another perspective of how Cowboys/Ranchers "do business" and what we can learn from their values.

I recommend it as a good follow up to "Cowboy Ethics."
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Format: Hardcover
Isaiah Berlin in his famous essay, The Hedgehog and the Fox, wrote eloquently about "the knowledge of how to live". Cowboy Values likewise speaks volumes about such knowledge but in the way you would expect a cowboy to communicate - few words and a whole lot of substance. It is a stark reminder in today's troubled times that each and every one of us is responsible for our own choices. Each of us almost always knows what the right answer is; the difficulty comes more often in finding the courage to make the right choice. Cowboy Values will help you find that courage.
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Format: Hardcover
I am a teacher and have been using Cowboy Ethics and Cowboy Values since they came out. They present a powerful discussion on the ethics and values that can make our nation stand tall and lead, if we will but follow their guide. My children and grandchildren each have been given a copy. Not only are the words powerful but the photographs are teasures.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book is beautifully illustrated with photographs of cowboys and landscapes of the American West by a number of contemporary photographers. James Owen remarks in the text that America needs the cowboy more than ever. He cites Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859), "America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great." I've also written an article about James Owen's Center for Cowboy Ethics and Leadership (Austin, Texas), on my WordPress blog: "Cowboy Ethics ~ Ten Principles to Live By." I believe businessmen and women - as well as nonprofit executives - would benefit greatly from the Center's presentations.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
James Owen joins Mary Austin, Edward Abbey, and Barney Nelson in calling forth the best in Americans. Good people have remained silent too long and allowed the foolish and greedy to push our country near the edge. In a gentle, honorable way Owen points toward a sustainable civility that could make the promise of the Constitution come alive.

These three books back up everything that Owen presents to us:
Mary Austin, THE LAND OF LITTLE RAIN
Edward Abbey, ONE LIFE AT A TIME, PLEASE
Barney Nelson, THE WILD AND THE DOMESTIC

I can only say of Owen, "May his tribe increase."
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well written review of old-fashioned practical values which are so needed today. Terrific sayings that challenge. Easy to read and understand with useful hints clearly stated. Neat design format and well illustrated. A wonderful coffee table gift.
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