The American Western

By Anderson, Kent | Journal of American Culture (Malden, MA), June 2008 | Go to article overview

The American Western


Anderson, Kent, Journal of American Culture (Malden, MA)


The American Western Stephen McVeigh. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007.

Stephen McVeigh's book is an efficient study of the myth of the frontier and the history of the West, established as an interrogation of the Western by way of its association with the evolving political culture of the United States. He understands "the myth of the West as a deliberate creation, one that was specifically constructed in response to political anxiety" (viii). Indeed, his work is timely, given the renewed interest in the Western in the wake of 9/11 and the political anxiety attendant on the events of that day (he begins the book with an anecdote about George Bush's desire to bring in Osama Bin Laden "dead or alive"). He emphasizes the relationship between the Western and political culture because: "the American Western will continue to shape, reflect and challenge the course of American development in the years to come" (220). It is noteworthy that he sees the Western as a site of contested meaning, a space in which to address social and political issues, instead of condemning the form outright or celebrating it without restraint.

To show how the myth of the West was constructed, and to establish its interrelationship with the political culture of the United States, McVeigh focuses on specific texts and establishes the social and political contexts in which they were shaped, tracing the production and development of Western narratives in politics and popular culture. The argument moves through the 189Os, into early examples of Western films and literature, to the Western narratives running through Cold War politics, the "New Frontier" of John F. Kennedy, and the Reagan and Clinton years, finishing with the Bush administration. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The American Western
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.