America's Frontier Culture

Three Essays

978-1-58544-263-8 Paperback
5.5 x 8. 108 pp. 8 line drawings.
Pub Date: 04/16/2003
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In this little classic, first published in 1977, Ray A. Billington outlines the threecenturylong process of westering that forged the American characteristics of resourcefulness, individualism and democracy, and upward social mobility.

“The American Frontiersman” looks at the mountain men of the fur trade who succumbed to the wilderness world in which they found themselves and in which they were forced to begin the climb upward to civilization once more. In “The Frontier and American Culture” the author suggests that although many backwoodsmen seceded from civilization, others made a heroic effort to perpetuate their culture. And in “Cowboys, Indians, and the Land of Promise” Billington reviews the worldwide myths of the American West—its violence and lawlessness on the one hand and its ripe abundance on the other.

Elma Dill Russell Spencer Series in the West and Southwest

Published by Texas A&M University Press