True West

An Illustrated Guide to the Heyday of the Western

978-0-87565-379-2 Paperback
8.5 x 11 x 0 in
175 pp. 133 color photos.
Pub Date: 10/29/2008


  • Paperback $29.95
2009 Notable Book Award, presented by Southwest Books of the Year
Return with us to yesteryear, when cowboys were cowboys and gunslingers lurked around every corner. Today that colorful period continues to resonate in the collective imagination of red-blooded Americans everywhere—and now we have True West, which illustrates, in hundreds of full-color illustrations, how America’s mass media stamped that vision so indelibly on our collective unconscious over the past century, into today.

Boasting hundreds of rare and colorful movie posters, pulp magazines, television memorabilia, advertisements, paperback books, record album jackets, toys, and clothing, True West covers such hugely popular television series as Gunsmoke, The Lone Ranger, and Bonanza, along with classic Western novels, including Shane, The Searchers, Welcome to Hard Times and that epic of all epics, Lonesome Dove.

True West bows to the icons who ruled the silver screen—Tom Mix, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, John Wayne, and Clint Eastwood, to name a few, while offering up such indelible movie triumphs as Red River, The Searchers, Hud, The Wild Bunch, and Unforgiven.

It also showcases the great Western comic books and comic strips—Colt, Red Ryder, Straight Arrow, and Jonah Hex—along with all those nifty toys and other ephemera that helped link kids to celluloid heroes like Hopalong Cassidy, Roy and Dale, and the ubiquitous Gene Autry. And what would the Wild West be without an accompanying soundtrack? True West reproduces the sublime album covers and sheet music that served up classic odes like “Streets of Laredo” and “Cool Water,” narrative ballads like “El Paso” (with Marty Robbins bedecked in his black gunfighter togs on the cover!), and “High Noon.”

Published by Texas Christian University Press